It isn’t the cars climbing on the sidewalks that worry me- or even the folks dashing into oncoming traffic to avoid a too-large truck on the narrow, Roman-built roads. No, those things are annoying, dangerous, and maybe just a little charming in their own way. But, what is really going to set my brain spinning and keep it spinning is: the directions.
Germans like words. And they like numbers. And they seem to see no need to bother limiting their usage. Signposts in Germany often read like the history of the area, with little authoritarian reminders thrown in.
“This way to Mülhausen/Thüringen by way of Badfrankenhausen/Kyffhäuser, where the Battle of Frankenhausen was fought in 1525- Stay to the right, and make sure you go between 70-100 km/hour as you pass through town!” The “or else” is implied. Go over 20 KPH over the speed limit and you can lose your license- instantly.
They also have narrow roads, bizarrely laid out to avoid crop lands and, presumably, to maximize the efficiency of Herr Johan getting to markt without running into his mortal enemy Herr Gertz who once stole wood from his meticulously stacked woodpile (or was it a dirty French guy who did that instead?).
Even that doesn’t really explain the roundabouts, though. Ah, the roundabouts. I actually rather like the roundabouts as a traffic construction. There is something reassuring about knowing that even if you miss your turn, you can just grab it on the next trip around! But, be that as it may, they really don’t make for simple directions. “Take the 4th exit veering to the S/SW onto E35”
Today David told me about a larger electronics/appliance store in the next town. They might have better prices on some of the items we will need to purchase. So, I decided I might like to pay it a visit. Here are the directions googlemaps gave me, verbatim:
Driving directions to Media Markt Offenburg
77694 Kehl, Germany
1. Head south on Gutenbergstraße toward Neudorfstraße 59 m
Easy enough start.
Ach… Well, at least we will be stuck forever in:
What does that look like on a map, by the way? Lots easier, actually! Maybe I will try this out tomorrow….. If you don’t hear from me again, send an away team into the Roundabout!