My husband said that Germany is a very big country, I was expecting a higher level of efficiency on the super highways at some point. The roads to Germany was in fact wet as it was raining along the entire way. Crossing Austria, we made our way to Cologne. We were planning to first head to Helmond in the Netherlands and finally Amsterdam.
About the traffic jams which are kilometres and hours of wait, I couldn’t help but to mention this and to prepare any of you who are planning to use their super highways.
Their motor ways has literally ‘NO speed limit‘ when the leftmost lane allows vehicles to ‘fly’ at 180 km/h or more!! Not exaggerating at all. Some cars are even speeding at 200 km/h, ask me how does it feel? Well, it was pretty exciting!
Quite a surprise was the quality of the roads. An Australian exchange student, Lana was sharing with us about her road trip stories. Surprisingly, not Germany is having the best roads. The only good about driving across Germany is the maturity of the drivers who gradually slows down altogether seeing the need to observe the speed limitation. That makes you feel good in a way.
It is also pretty interesting to observe the things other drivers transport with them across the highways. You name it: from private motor vehicles
…to private boats
to manufactured automobiles…
Quite funny to see these different things in the day, in a certain way they are good signs of the vibrancy of the economy. At night, there is almost a pitch black with lights of the other approaching vehicles in the opposite direction. In the day, I found the trees rather unique. In Rome, there are trees with shapes of the leaves on its top and a long stem following that. In Germany, their trees looks like this:
Rather tall, thin and lean. These colours passing you by at the speed of averagely 160km/h. A lot of them are these trees. They also have the christmas fir trees. Those are more beautiful and near the settles.
Our ride was supposed to be about 12.5 hours from Amsterdam back to Budapest. However, due to the traffic jams, we arrived only in 20 hours!!! The lesson we learned is to not plan the arrival on a Friday. Somehow the traffic is heavier than normal.
It was good to start in the early hours like 2am. In the early morning, you can see the beautiful sunrise at 5:30am in Austria and have a breakfast while taking a little ‘Stretching’ break.
To drive in Germany, first you need to get a Low Emission Zone emissions-control windscreen sticker from the TUV or from a TÜV partner establishment.
The way to arrange for it can be easier by ordering it online. It costs 5 Euros, but if you arrange for it to be delivered to you via postal services, it will be about 12 Euros. It is a regulatory offence if you drive in a low emission zone without the sticker and it shall costs 40 Euros. If you possess a German driving licence you will additionally incur 1 point, which will be registered at the Federal Office of Motor Transport. So, you choose 🙂