Eat, Play — on the Road to Kiel
Ahhh the Autobahn — Supposedly built by Hitler to move his war machine (this is not true as military equipment was moved by train to save fuel, however the German Government in the 1930s did use the construction of these highways as big PR events), the best and worst thing about them is that there is no speed limit.
I tested this and frankly didn’t feel comfortable cruising at more than about 90. You had to keep your eyes open because before you knew it, there would be someone coming up on you and sitting six inches from your bumper. The ‘hint’ was to move over so they could pass. Which they did at speeds approaching 120-140 MPH or more. If you were in the right lane and an Audi came up on the left, they passed in a blur. It was a good idea to keep your eyes on your mirrors as well out the front.
I discovered that when cars came up fast from the rear, it was, in about 3 cases out of 5, an Audi. No clue as to why, but my wife drives and Audi and frankly she can really move.
However, when the road is blocked, its blocked:
We sat on the rautobahn, unmoving, for an hour, then were taken off at the next exit. Note the sign indicates about 82 miles an hour – we were coming up on an exit. Past the exit, it was allowed to resume whatever speed your car could make.
Buy stock in the GPS system used by Mercedes. When they took us off the highway, the system re-calibrated and unlike everyone else, took me down side roads, alleys, lanes, and put me back on the Autobahn a good 10 miles before the rest of the traffic. Saved quite a bit of time.
Northern Germany is flat and covered by wind turbines:
I felt safer driving at 90mph here than I would have in the US — I think it was the design of the roads. The Autobahns are straight, have wide aprons, and they seem to grip the cars. The ‘paint’ for the lines actually replace the little bumps between the lanes you find in the US. When you cross the white lines, you hear a ‘honk’ rather like a middle pitch truck horn. It serves the same purpose as the bumps (wakes you up if you drift) but at 100 MPH those bumps could really shake you up.
Speaking of Mercedes — It was an A type:
Cute little thing — no pick up at all, but could eventually get up to speed. I sat in it for five minutes before I could figure out how to shift gears — seem you use a lever like a turn signal on the steering shaft and by flipping it up or down, you can go forward or reverse.
I headed out and figured they had given me a lemon. When I stopped at a light, the engine died. When I took my foot off the brake it started up again. This car was the ultimate ‘green’ car. If it wasn’t moving, it wasn’t running. A good thing too.
In Europe the gas is expensive. The nutter who ran the Department of Energy up to a few months ago said his goal was to get prices of gas up to what they pay in Europe. Well let me tell you that it really clears your sinuses when you realize that to fill the tank on this little baby cost $100. Yikes.
Dinner at the hotel was very good — I had a chicken dish with all the trimmings– food on the road was very available , about every 50 miles or so — MacDonalds, Burger King, and the like. I carried some chips and cookies in the car and with some water, really didn’t stop for lunch.
Kiel is a beautiful city just south of the Danish border. It is the home of Designa.