Impressions of Europe: Driving in Germany

Impressions of Europe: Driving in Germany

Driving in Germany was somewhat surreal.

The good news for us American types was that we were on the correct side of the road. You know, the right one.

The bad news was that at some point we must have been caught by a speedtrap camera going just a few kph over, and were mailed a ticket.

Yes, Germany still has stretches of autobahn that are unlimited, at least some of the time, but the surface roads and most of the highways are regulated. Juvenile jokes about how the vehicle exits are all labeled "ausfahrt" aside, how they do it is quite impressive.

The speed limit signs themselves are simple enough. Yes, they are different, but they are clear. They are almost univerally paired with an "end of" sign. Yeild, stop, etc. are also straightforward and as expected, and most of the rest are intuitive enough.

"Stau" is basically a heads up for a "stall" or traffic jam.

Where it starts getting interesting is the bevy of not only heigh-limited roadways, but width-limited ones, as well as the various "no bikes/mopeds/cars" signs. There are significant areas in the downtowns that cars are not allowed. Or even bikes. Interestingly, there are "no diesel vehicle" zones as well, but gas engine vehicles are fine.

Even more interesting on the authobahn is that almost every sign I saw was electronic, and updated on the fly for traffic conditions, construction, and time of day. This included lane-narrowing signage that specified what width vehicles could go in each lane as the road narrowed for a construction project.

And yes, doing 260+ on an unlimited stretch in something with the power and stability to get there is fun.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.