Musings from the Autobahn

So for those of you wondering….what is it like to drive on the Autobahn?

I am on it quite frequently as I go and visit Thorsten (in fact I will
be going there this Friday because we have a wedding to go to on
Saturday) –  Here’ s a little map of my route.

Route to Hilgartstausen

Honestly, the Autobahn is like most highways…..sure there are times
where there are no speed limits and going 100 mph is common place (at least for my Siegfried).  However, you will also find your typical
stop-n-go traffic.

A few weeks ago, I was driving to pick up a package before work. There were two big accidents on the A6.  There was a semi on it’s side and another semi that smashed into the back of a tanker.  (Don’t worry, no one was seriously hurt) I was on the other side of the Autobahn…only having traffic because everyone decided that they needed to slow down and look at the accidents.

They also closed down the A6 from the opposite side and directed
everyone off…at my exit.  This made my 30 minute drive into over an
hour and a half!  I was still supposed to drive to Ravensburg after
that! (another 2 hours or so).  It was a long day!

There are also little rules of the road that differ from the US.

The biggest one is overtaking on the left hand side.  This is supposed
to be a law in the US as well, but let’s face it: no one follows that.
This is mostly due to the fact that someone will get on the fast lane
and decide to drive ungodly slow.  I will admit that I was once one of
those self-righteous people who was still going well above the speed
limit and felt that the asshole tailgating me was going fast enough.

This is not the case in Germany.  If you are driving down the Autobahn at 100 mph and someone is coming behind you at 150 mph…..then you better get off to the right and let them pass because they will not go to the right.  They will slam on their breaks and if they are extremely unlucky then they will rear end you.  This is the same when you are getting on to the fast lane….don’t pull out in front of
someone who is obviously going very fast.  This has happened to me
quite a few times mostly by vans who obviously don’t know how to use their side mirrors or they don’t care that they cut me off.

They will harly even honk at you.  In Germany, everyone shines their
brights if you are doing something that they don’t like.  It is also
illegal to give obscene gestures (like giving the middle finger).
It’s sounds ridiculous, I know; however Germans can have road rage on a level that we Americans cannot fathom.

Thorsten once gave a guy the finger for cutting them off (or something to that degree).  The driver got so pissed off that he slammed on his breaks causing Thorsten to rear-end him.  (Side note: T wasn’t driving, it was his friend; when I was Thorsten I am refering to the car he was in).  Unfortunately, both parties got tickets: the driver for obviously causing an accident and the other for T giving the
finger and there were witnesses to prove it.  Germans also don’t know the difference between whistle blowing and tattle telling.

I know it sounds stupid but when you have a group of people who can
get violently angry over something as stupid as a finger…then maybe
it is better that such things are illegal.  So if you’re on the
Autobahn and want to give rude gestures….well, keep it below the
dashboard, ok?

Anyway, the Autobahn is a lot of fun but the backroads are also just
as fun especially in my little car.  I am glad that I find driving
such a pleasure whilst here in Germany because once Thorsten and I
have our apartment, I will be commuting at least 45 minutes each
way….. :-/

Until Friday!

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