Tuesday, 6 May 2008

A weekend away

After so much travel for business it was time to travel again... but this time for a weekend away! Nicole had planned to visit a penfriend in Arnsberg (near Dortmund) on this weekend, when I was supposed to be in New Orleans. However, with some good fortune, the meeting was cancelled and I could stay in Berlin, then join the family for a weekend away.

This was the first chance to take the little car for a blast on the famed German Autobahn. The Autobahn system is great, although it is not all 'free speed' - of the thousands of Km of Autobahn, apparently only a bit over 3000 km are open speed. So, after bobbing through the various speed zones, we finally hit 'open road'. It is 3 lanes wide - the outside lane has cars going up to about 120km/h. The middle lane has cruising speeds of about 150-160 km/h and the inside lane - anything goes!

The little car got up around 200 when pushed (I was watching the road, not the needle, so I didn't see if we actually got there...), and cruised nicely on 180km/h. Thats 3km per minute - it sure makes the journey go quick! This was a bit fast for Nicole, so on the way home we stayed in her comfort zone of 160-170 or less.

Anyway, the car was great, really comfortable and cruised beautifully at good speed.

A German habit which is annoying - when you listen to the traffic reports, the volume automatically increased (doubles) when a traffic report comes on. On the A2, there seemed to be a traffic report every 5 minutes, and this really got on my nerves. If I wanted to have the radio louder for the traffic report, couldn't I choose to turn it up myself?? German rules and control in action! I think I accidentally managed to turn this default function off (not by slamming my fist into it...) and this was much better.

The Germans are also really aggressive in the fast lane. Right up your tail-pipe if you are overtaking and they are flying (try 240km/h plus) and they catch up to you. Best to pay attention, leave lots of space and watch out for the supercars (An Audi R8 literally 'purred' past us, and we were doing 180!)

Anyway, I have that Autobahn thing out of my system (until next time.....)

1 comment:

Tanya McKibben said...

Thanks so much! I am on my way to Britzer Garden because of the post you put up. I didn't see it in any of the guide books I have. So thanks to you I will have so soft brown sugar and a good day at a beautiful park. My daughter and I are pretty open during most days and would love to catch up sometime. Let's keep in touch. Thanks again!