|Parking is indicated throughout Europe with a white "P" in a blue square.|
What if David and I couldn't figure out where we were going and got stuck on an inner autobahn lane, missing an exit and going miles out of our way with no hope of finding our destination? What if we were going so slowly that we got a ticket for holding up traffic? How would we figure out where, or how, to pay the fine? What if we tried to go fast and, not being used to such high speeds, crashed? How would we explain broken ribs to the ambulance guys when we couldn't speak German? Would our insurance really come through or would we be paying off the totaled car for the next twenty years?
|Rest Area Facility Sign|
|That's kilometers, not miles!|
So, here, are suggestions for driving successfully in Germany.
First of all, get a global positioning system, GPS, as it will rescue you from innumerable road construction messes, traffic snarls, and general ineptitude (Our ineptitude, not Germany's). Constance (never Connie) provided us such peace of mind she was worth far more than her €33 price tag (total for ten days.)
International road signs are symbols any ten-year-old could understand. Even if you don't know the words that may accompany the signs, you will be able to figure them out.
On the autobahn you w i l l be passed by drivers going over 100 mph, but, if you stay in the right lane except to pass, you won't have any problems. And you may be surprised to find yourself driving just as fast as they are! Parnelli David got the hang of it very quickly.
|This rest area had everything and let us know in three languages.|
Getting gas is easy, much like it is in the States or Canada; first you pump the gas and then pay for it inside.
|We noticed many overpasses with lots of trees. Maybe these serve as safe passageways for animals.|
We're not planning to return to Germany any time soon, but when we do, I assure you I'll be the one clamoring for a rental car--preferably one with black leather upholstery and red stitching. Now, if only I can get David to let me drive.
Remember the rule of thumb which is to use public transportation in big cities and rental cars to travel the countryside from village to village.
Make sure your German rental is equipped with a paper dial clock because you use this when you park in a municipal or fee lot. You'll set the time and leave the clock on your dash so policemen will know how long you've been there.
Only UK countries (Or countries that were conquered by England such as India.) drive on the "wrong," or left side, of the road; all the EU countries on the mainland drive on the "correct," or right side.