Europe tour, part 1: 2612 km by car through Germany
In the next few weeks we will see her metamorphosis again. Then our cars turn from hardware store companions and commuter cars into getaway vehicles. From everyday life to vacation. 53 percent of Germans use their car as a means of transport during the loveliest weeks of the year. Far more than the plane (27%) or the train (22%), according to the 2022 mobility study by the tire manufacturer Continental.
Our favorite travel destination is right on our doorstep: Germany. Almost a third of holidaymakers go away, but stay at home to a certain extent (30.6%, source: Foundation for Future Questions).
There can be a 9-euro ticket or 19-euro flights – we only feel real freedom when we are driving our own car. And being able to decide for ourselves when and where to stop, take a break or stay overnight because it’s so beautiful.
Better a country road than a freeway
We have an estimated 830,000 kilometers of roads, but not even the Federal Ministry of Transport knows that for sure. On the other hand, what the “statistics of the length of the roads used in regional traffic” shows: Not even 1.6 percent of our roads are motorways. It would be boring in the long run.
Instead, we relax on bumpy avenues with cobblestones and gnarled trees to the left and right of the road. Or meander along the Oberjoch pass road, Germany’s most curvy stretch of asphalt. Some routes have nice names like “Deutsche Uhrenstraße” or “Bertha Benz Memorial Route” (see below).
Since 1988, “tourist information boards” have been showing where it is worth stopping, sign number 386.3 of the Road Traffic Act. These are the brown signs along the Autobahn that point to the “Ringelnatzstadt Wurzen” as well as to the “Garden of Butterflies” in Friedrichsruh (although the mausoleum of old Bismarck is also recommended in Friedrichsruh, but only marginally).
If you feel like there are more and more of these signs, you’re right. In 2006 there were still around 620, today there are over 3,400 nationwide, estimates the ADAC.
Just take a break – at interesting places
Speaking of the Harz Mountains: The Harz University of Applied Sciences found out in 2019 that every sixth car driver has already left spontaneously to see what the brown information boards are advertising.
We think there is more to it than that. If you are going on vacation in the next few weeks, then plan some breaks. And instead of smacking 70 cents at Sanifair, you’d rather spend 24 euros for the Sinsheim Museum of Technology or 18 euros for the PS.speicher in Einbeck. The toilet is included – and the experience is even better.
The Alpine Road – 106 curves and 25 locks
Up to twelve percent incline: Germany’s oldest holiday route (since 1927) connects the major sights in Bavaria. The German Alpine Road stretches 484 kilometers from Lindau am Bodensee to Schönau am Königssee.
Bocksbeutelstraße – come on, let’s go to the shops
The Porsche Museum
194km Bertha Benz Memorial Route
an automobile. 106 kilometers in one day! In the pharmacy in Wiesloch she buys cleaning agents as fuel, Bertha does smaller repairs with a hat pin and garter. Its 194 km memorial route traces the path of that time.
Technikmuseum Sinsheim – a car with a displacement of 47 litres
Nürburgring – take a quick break!
PS.Einbeck storage – overnight stays next to oldies
Alleenstrasse – the green belt in Germany
As early as autumn 1990, letters to the editor were asking the ADAC to save the avenues of the GDR. No sooner said than done: Today, the Deutsche Alleenstraße meanders 3,000 kilometers from the Baltic Sea island of Rügen to the island of Reichenau in Lake Constance.
Autokino Zempow – play it again
Miniature Wonderland Hamburg – a trip around the world on a small scale
St. Peter-Ording – by car to the beach
Even a car should relax: From mid-March to the end of October, the 2 km wide car beach in St. Peter-Ording on the North Sea is open. Parking here costs 8 euros/day.