Duo reunited with long lost family after they hitch hike across Europe

Hitch hikers Sam and Chris Ogrizovic meet long-lost relatives after their hitchhike across Europe.
Hitch hikers Sam and Chris Ogrizovic meet long-lost relatives after their hitchhike across Europe.

Two cousins who hitchhiked to Croatia to retrace the footsteps of their late grandfather managed to complete their remarkable journey in just five days.

Chris and Sam Ogrizovic didn’t use a map or spend a single penny as they walked, hitchhiked and blagged trains across France, Germany and Austria.

They have raised almost £6,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

The cousins were retracing the journey of their grandfather Nicola (corr) Ogrizovic who grew up in a small village in Croatia called Brlog

He was forced to flee the Nazis in 1942 aged just 14 when German soldiers brutally murdered his father in front of him.

Along with other escaping Yugoslavian freedom fighters, Nicola - who was known as Nick - lived in forests as he crossed borders across Eastern Europe.

Sam, 30 from Mansfield, said: ““It was great - it took us just over five days.

“When we arrived we were eventually reunited with our long lost family.

“We met up with my dad’s cousin who knew my grandfather very well and thought a lot about him.

“We found out they had tried to get in touch for years.

“Addresses they had didn’t work and people had moved away from the village where atrocities had taken place.

The last people we met when we hitch hiked put us up for the night. they translated for us as the people in Brlog didn’t speak any English.”

Sam told how the pair had managed to complete their entire journey free of charge.

He said: “Using our letters from the Alzheimer’s Society we wre able to get a free train to London and managed to blag our way across Europe.

“We were picked up by the police in the Alps but they took us to the motorway and we got a lift to Zagreb.

“England was the toughest place to get free travel, there were a couple of train guards who threw us off.

“Germany ws the easiest. People were very friendly and I wa samazed at the amount of free food we got.”

An independent film company is to make a documentary about their exploits.

See more about the cousin’s epic fundraiser here:

website - www.papasjourney.com

donations - www.justgiving.com/papasjourney