When in Doubt, Hang on Tight!

Have you ever driven you vehicle and came across a sign that made you question why you were there or what the sign meant in the first place? I did, the entire time we were in Germany. I am not talking about the language. For some unknown reason, I can read German and pick out enough words to figure out the meaning. I was either a reader of German Literature in another life, or I am a genius. I am going with genius.

After the Muppets had their fill of meatballs from Ikea, we loaded back into the Caravan and headed for the Rhineland in Germany. My Dad handed Honey the keys and said “you drive for a while”. WOW! This meant I got a break from boomerang fish, singing chickens, and Fozzy’s knock knock jokes because I could Navigate! Remember I had packed my “just in case” case before I left. In it was our trusted GPS Phoebe. We call her Phoebs for short. She isn’t too bright, she likes to think she is in control, she prefers the Autobahn and she talks too much, but mostly I liked her company and was very happy she joined us on the trip.

Let it be known I prefer country roads. It gives me a better sense of the country of origin’s culture. Motorways and Cities seem to be the same all over the world, fast, large and loud. Apparently Phoebe likes fast. She must have been in consultations with my mom earlier in the day. Mom and informed us over breakfast that this was to be a driving day. Great! I couldn’t wait to get to Germany! The route Phoebe took us on was straight and fast. But the signs were puzzling. Dad had given us some advice before his nap, he said “if you see a windsock sign, whatever you do, HANG ON TIGHT!” Sure, sure dad…whatever you say. How bad could it be? We weren’t near the Alps, we weren’t very high up. No problem, right? HA! We came to a bridge on the Autobahn that was so high up, I could not see the ground below. It span was wide and there were windscreens on the bridge itself. Phoebe was having a great time going as fast as possible, while Honey and I said, “Zoinks Scoob!” (not really but this is a family blog). We held on for dear life! Obviously we made it safely to the other side, but it was nerve racking and a very exciting! I am a prairie girl from Canada, this kind of speed and height is just not a common occurrence!

Phoebe brought us straight to Baden-Baden, showing us a few signs that were new to us:

As we were driving lightning fast down the Autobahn, we thought we were travelling in circles because all roads lead to Ausfahrt.

Of course we figured out that meant EXIT! So maybe I wasn’t a genius after all, but now I know more today then I did yesterday!

17 thoughts on “When in Doubt, Hang on Tight!

  1. Signs that make you wonder what on Earth you are doing driving down the road you are on? Yep.

    But it only takes a simple sign to evoke that feeling. If you are driving at night, that is:

  2. Oh I must agree with you dear friend, I love the country roads much better than the fast paced ones. There is an appreciation all its own. You just crack me up!

    Have you ever thought about making friends with the natives of the lands to which you travel, and let them be your guide?

    Just a thought from a fellow travel lover,

    1. We did that once when we went to Italy. They showed us all over Florence! I was 10 though. I’m not sure if I want to take that kind of risk while the muppets are still young. However, it would make for an interesting blog! “Crazy local leads the Muppets on a wild goose chase!”
      Hmmm sounds like fun! πŸ˜‰

    2. The country roads are very cool. I had the use of a Mercedes S500 when I was traveling to Germany a lot. It was great. I have a picture somewhere of the speedometer reading 240 KPH with an endless row of trucks travelling about 1 meter apart and going 160 KPH on the right lane (where they belong).

      I was travelling at a high rate on the back roads around the little villages around Darmstad, came around a corner. In front of me was a German Shepard dressed in Lederhosen and carrying a Shepard’s crook, a German Shepard dog and about 200 sheep. All in the middle of the road. I came within inches of having all the lamb chops you could eat in a year. It was like being transported back to the 19th century.

  3. When in Baden Baden did you go to the “car wash” my name for the famous and ancient baths?

    I love Baden Baden and when I traveled a lot to Germany I always made a point of getting down there for a nice Sunday treat at the baths.

    The process is great;

    1)You come in and take a nice warm shower;
    2) You go into a steam room;
    3) You go into a hot spring;
    4) You go into an ice-cold pool;
    5) You go to another hot spring;
    6) You go to a big pool;
    7) You go into another steam room;
    8) You come out and a German lady at least 6-2 and 220lbs beats the hell out of you in what they call a “message:”
    9) She soaps you from head to toe (sort of embarrasing the first time, but you get over it. Notwithstanding it is co-ed, German people are just not that great looking, although I was once there when 5 Swedish Stewardesses were there but that’s another story;
    10) The soap lady hoses you down with cool water that gets warm and then nearly unbearably hot;
    11) Finally they wrap you in a hot blanket and you lie down in a circular domed room until you fall asleep. They roust you in about an hour.

    My ritual is to walk out to the Casino lawn and fall face down and sleep for about 2 hours. Then I go and get a Pils or two and drive back to Wiesbaden.

    It used to cost about 10 DM and then about 2 Euro’s. I have no idea what it costs now, but I would pay it no matter what.

    The other great thing about Baden Baden is the clear river with the stones on the bottom all aligned by Germans who cannot stand disorder even in their river beds. They are goofy folks, that is for certain. Started some nasty business in the late 1930’s.

  4. Now let’s be perfectly clear, when ET said “We’re driving on the Autoban” she was being kind to me. I was as giddy as a school girl. Sadly we were in a caravan that maxed out at 105kph. The biggest thrill was guesstimating the approx velocity of the various Bemmers, Audis’, VW, etc, etc blasting past us in un-restricted lane.

    And I’m sure you’ve seen photos of European vehicles, they are all tiny not unlike some of the swim wear (speedo’s etc. Sorry for the visual ladies). Now try and stick a Cdn boy driving a caravan on their narrow, construction clogged streets.

    I’ve driven 18 wheelers before and I’m used to tight places, but this was ‘tight’.

    Sadly, when you ask Phoebs for a shopping centre, she assumes that you want the Major department stores in the center of the location you are headed. Some very pretty downtown locations where seen in this method. 😦

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