Saturday, October 15, 2005

Auf dem Autobahn

Yup! I got me a car and I´ve hit the road. Well, except it´s not much of a car. It´s a Renault and it´s like driveing a delivery truck. The seats are way too high and built like truck seats so I am not comfortable with how it handles curves any higher than 140 km/h (86mph). I´ve been driving on both regular raods and the autobahn and I can´t always say that the autobahn is faster. See, it´s a myth that the Germans are speed demons. If the speed limit is posted at 100, 80, 60, 40 km/h then they pretty much adhere to that limit. As soon as there is no limit or the magic 120 sign comes up, then they go for broke. It´s not hard driving here at all.

I spent my first day in the car driving far south to Mindelheim, the location of Mindelberg and the birth place of Georg von Frundsberg. The castle is closed, but I was able to get a good view of the town and walk off my typical German breakfast of bread, butter, cheese.

The drive home was an education in reading German road signs. My map has tiny numbers indicating the road number (and then there are hundreds of small towns and roads it doesn´t show). On road signs, there are typically 3-8 city names and sometimes an equally small number and color indicating what road takes you there. So if there are 15 towns between you and your destination, read quick! It´s not that bad. I missed only one turn taking the winding roads across Bavaria in the dark. (Oh yeah, no signs are lighted here, that´s one reason they are extra big.) But I made it home in one piece, found a free overnight parkign spot and in the morning, found my way out of Nürnberg and heading south....

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