|The famous no speed limit sign (cafepress.com)|
The Germans love the Autobahn just as much as the rest of the world. The idea of being able to go as quickly as you wish is the dream for most any boy over the age of 16. The thing is, as great as the Autobahn is (and it is great), it is not exactly what all the hype makes it out to be.
First of all, there are many fewer places on the Autobahn in Germany that you drive without a speed limit than the average American (or we think anyone else outside of Germany) would believe. Although the system is very complex and (as of 2012) the fourth longest highway system in the world with almost 8,000 miles (13,000 km), it is important to realize that Autobahn means highway, not no speed limit. The number of stretches with no speed limit are almost non-existent in some parts of Germany, and quite common in others. It depends where you live and other factors such as traffic, road repair, and more. Sometimes you are going along with no speed limit and then there is a speed limit for a few kilometers (and very tricky traffic cameras to catch those who do not slow down) for a few kilometers, before the famous no speed limit sign appears and you are on your way again. Additionally, unless you are driving on a Sunday afternoon or late into the night, most times there are too many cars to go whatever speed you want (and you are not crazy so you keep a reasonable speed even if you can go as fast as you wish).
This was something that he noticed when road tripping through the USA. Although the idea of speed limits (and quite low speed limits) in the USA sounds horrible, if you are not in the middle of Nevada (which we were but that is another story), there are few times you could go more than 10 miles over the speed limit without having to slow down and dodge cars every few minutes.
We don't want to break any dreams, so even with the traffic camera, speed limits, and traffic, we will stick to the idea that the Autobahn is awesome (Actually, it really is!)
|West and East listed on American signs (utexas.edu)|
|Only city names on German signs (mages.yourdictionary.com)|
Yup, that is what we thought about on our drive back to Frankfurt this Sunday, so we thought we would share it as a Mix-Up Monday.