I love driving in Germany, except when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, inching along for over an hour to drive 2 exits on the A6.
It’s lovely and scenic on the back roads, driving through random little red-roofed villages. Except when there’s street parking on both sides and I hold my breath and suck in my tummy, subconsciously thinking that will help us squeeze through.
On the curvy, narrow two-laned roads, white-knuckled and hugging the white line on the right-hand shoulder while I cast glimpses of the pastoral squares of 50 shades of gold and green with vineyards, wheat, cabbages, other crops unnamed and unknown.
My life is now complete that I saw an old man driving a tractor, pulling a camp trailer. That was just quirky and beautiful.
I often feel like I’m driving a huge, wider-than-a-Mack-truck while these sleek European sports cars whiz past, almost driving in the middle of the two-lane road. There are no dividing little dotted lines either. And I really love it when I get passed by motorcycles and sports cars, flying on these dangerous can’t-see-around-the-bend curves.
I drive an old blue Dodge Caravan – so that screams I’m an American, and I try to imagine it’s really a Porsche. I so want it to be.
But I don’t dare go into that left lane on the Autobahn. The lane of hell. The lane where motorcycles and Porches, BMWs, and Audis zooooom past in a split second and disappear on the horizon. I suck in my breath and grip the steering wheel a little tighter and say a quick prayer through clenched teeth as the wind shakes my van a bit.
If I’m going 130 kph (80 mph), who knows how fast they’re going? The speed sign is just a recommendation, after all, right? Breathe in. Breathe out.
The kids love all these little road trips. It takes an hour to go anywhere. There are no shortcuts or “state highways.” Just these little windy roads through villages and the Autobahn, which is often inconvenient and in the wrong direction. I often pack a cooler since I don’t want to get stranded foodless and ravenous – and there are no quick stops other than grocery stores with bakeries.
Get a Germany Driving Guide here.