Friday, October 05, 2007

Into Germany

We planned to tour some of Germany and Austria during the first week we were in Europe so we were off bright and early on our first day in Poland. After visiting Wroclaw, we headed on down the highway.

One of the first things that struck me as we travelled through Poland, was the tall church that dominated every little village. You could spot the spire (sometimes 2) miles away and I know that people would often walk from their farms and homes to get to church.

Mel and Tyler were great navigators and we went from the freeway down to a small road connecting over to the highway that would take us into Germany. As we got closer to the border, oncoming traffic got heavier until it was bumper to bumper, mostly big transport trucks, inching along. It was a Friday so maybe that had something to do with the heavy volume. Our lane wasn't as busy so we made pretty good time.

Leaving Poland, we spent nearly an hour in a lineup to clear German customs at the border. It was very slow going but we eventually got our passports stamped and continued on our way. It wasn't long before we started to see windmills on the hilltops. Germany uses considerable wind energy to generate power.

We had heard lots of stories about the speed of German drivers on the Autobahn and there were some cars that went whizzing by us. But Bob was a great driver and handled it all like an expert. Our van was spacious, comfortable and got great gas mileage - 36 miles per gallon. The price of diesel fuel ranged from $1.08 Euros to $1.20 Euros, which translates to about $1.62 - 1.80 Canadian. Good thing we had got good mileage! We saw lots of transport trucks, cars, SUVs, and vans but pickup trucks were non-existant. I think we saw less than 10 the whole time we were in Europe.

Small villages could be glimpsed all along the highway - when there wasn't a tall fence barricade lining the way. We are rural people so we loved these little places. This day ended up being a very long one, as we turned off the autobahn a little too early and took the long and windy route into Chemnitz to find our hotel. By this time it was pitch black and raining - not ideal conditions for navigating in a strange country. After 2 phone calls to the hotel and further map consultations, we realized what had happened and finally found our destination, about 2 hours later than we had hoped. We fell into bed that night!!


  1. I am so glad you are still posting holiday photos, Crystal.... I love seeing them all. There are very few pick-up trucks here, but zillions in South Africa! And I have never understood why people who live in central London need 4 wheel drive Landrovers or the like!

  2. Crystal,
    What an exciting vacation....the pictures are fantastic.....

    Thanks for visiting with me and commenting....please come again..Betty

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Day, Crystal! Have a wonderful time with your family.