Don’t you hate people who use the word summer as a verb? Me too.
After spending a week in the city we were ready to head to Rugen Island in the northern part of Germany to explore the white cliffs and soak up some sun. The drive to Rugen Island took about 4 hours and it was the first time that we saw car wrecks on the autobahn. It was raining quite a bit for part of the trip and there were two separate accidents where the driver obviously overestimated his abilities and from the looks of it, flew off the road trying to take a turn at 200 km/hr. Thankfully they only hurt themselves since both scenes involved single cars.
It is a well-known fact that Germans love their fast cars. And what better place to drive than in Germany, with their lack of speed limits on their famous autobahns and the most polite and skilled drivers in the world? N and I rented a Mercedes stationwagon (i.e., SWAGGERWAGON) for a week to drive up to Berlin, not because we’re ballers, but because it was the cheapest automatic car we could rent in a land ruled by stick-shift drivers.
If you ever decide to drive in Germany, we suggest familiarizing yourself with the traffic laws and signs. We didn’t, and it was a guessing game all the way down to the Bavarian Alps from Munich. The turning point was when we ignored the signs and drove into a pedestrian-only dead-end in tourist-packed Füssen in our huge tank of a car. Germans stopped and quietly stared at us as we backed out of the virtual obstacle course — a narrow street with people milling everywhere and al fresco dining tables and chairs spilling out onto the street from all sides — and that’s when we decided to consult the internet that night. Thank goodness for this comprehensive site.
You see, the Germans have funny traffic signs. Most of them are impossible to decipher. They are mostly pictorial, which I guess makes sense since their words are normally about 20 letters long and wouldn’t fit inside the confines of a sign. Here are some fun examples:
After a good time in GaPa with the little lady, we started our three-day drive up the east side of Germany towards Berlin. We only had half a day in most places and a day at the most in a couple, but it was a good way to get a taste of these places. Keep in mind that we only had time to explore the old town areas of these towns and cities.
Regensburg is an adorable town with a quaint old town area. The town lies at the intersection of the Danube and Regen Rivers. It reminded us of Old Town Tallinn in Estonia, except this German town has one of the largest, most stunning cathedrals we’ve seen so far. It towers over everything, is totally over-the-top with its Gothic design both inside and out, and we loved it.