Coming from Austria most of the Refugees cross the german border near Passau. Polizei and Bundesgrenzschutz are inspecting all trains coming from Austria.
The arrangement of all arriving Refugees starts here.
Croatia created a concept to deal with and transport the refugees over the last couple of months. The majority of refugees will be picked up in Serbia and travel by train. That prevents the refugees from crossing the border by foot.
Once the refugees make it to Macedonia the route gets bumpier. Sometimes they have to catch a train other times a bus depending on the availability. If nothing is available they will end up taking a taxi to get to the border. Price: 25€
After arriving in Lesvos the Refugees have to register on the island. The time waiting for transport to the mainland they have to spend in one of the three established refugee camps. If those are overcrowded they have to sleep in tents or on the street. The ferries to the mainland are fully booked for days in advance.
The most intense part of my journey was the dangerous boat ride from Turkey to Lesbos, Greece that lead to my arrest for entering a EU country “illegally” once I made it safely to Greece.
The boat ride happened at 3AM. 17 km (10 miles) with 35 refugees squeezed on one tiny unstable boat.
Constant prayers in Arabic by the passengers asking God for a safe journey. Fear in every passengers eyes.
No GPS or any type of coordination. Hardly enough gas to make it to the other side. Lights on the other side used as guidance.
Relief when we made it to the other side. As soon as I stepped of the boat I was arrested, as the only passenger.
I spent the night in a dirty small prison cell, the day at the precinct and was scheduled to see the judge.
I was asked if I needed some more days to speak with a lawyer or prepare my testimony. Fear. How long will l be in this prison cell.
After explaining in detail to the judge that I was a photo journalist traveling with the refugees and presenting evidence, finally, my release!
The boats that are bringing refugees from Turkey to Greece leave at night to cross the ocean in hopes of reaching Lesbon, Chios or Kos. Not everyone makes it to the other side since the boats are overcrowded, not secure and not meant to cross the ocean. The short ride of 15 km is ending for many refugees tragically when boats sink on the way.
Izmir is one of the biggest seaports of the Mediterranean Sea. It has become one of the biggest regions for refugees who are trying to cross the ocean. Human traffickers are selling trips to the desperate refugees that are trying to get to Greece. The price: between $900 and $1500.