The car is to the Germans what the handgun is to the Americans; a birthright that no state is allowed to fiddle with. No government shall ever take from the American his right to by a gun and carry it wherever he wants, and no government shall ever tell a German how fast he is allowed to drive on the Autobahn. Safety first? How many extra dead per year? Aber doch, who would ever care!
The free speed on an Autobahn built like a runway can be exiting when you are used to the long and winding Norwegian roads with a limit of 80 k per hour, but the excitement soon makes way for nervous irritation. Then nervousness comes from the fact that fast driving actually is fast. We can go well over 100 k and they pass us like we are standing still. It is not about when the other guy will get a speeding ticket, because he won’t, it is more likely that we will be getting a parking ticket for not moving at all. Should we happen to be in the left lane, and blocked from going right because we were passing a truck ourselves, then our Subaru would have a shiny angry BMW up it’s ass before we have time to say «abstand halten». And should we want to pass two trucks in the same operation, than the idiot in the BMW would race around us, passing illegally on our right with the tiniest of margins. And actually, the idiot does not need to be a BMW, we also had this exercise performed on us also by a middle aged little lady in a gray and dusty Fiat.
We do not normally wish for other motorists to get killed, but there were people on these roads whom we would not have stopped to help if we had later seen them in a smoking wreck. All we wished for would be that they would injure themselves only, and not kill too many others in the process.
We spent two days like this. On the first day we did 13 hours. Probably not a world Autobahn record, but enough for us. The 13 hours also included another pain in the backside, the very slow stretches where it felt like the entire German road maintenance budget for the year was being used exactly on the route we had chosen to travel. This was how we spent some enormously irritating and endless hours between Flensburg and Hamburg. On one hand we should be happy that Angela and her friends are actually keeping the roads in good shape, considering the speed used on them, but why the heck must all the work take place exactly where we are and exactly when we are there?