So, as mentioned previously, my rental car during my trip to Munich was more like a golf cart, despite it being a Mercedes. You can see a picture of it here. It doesn’t exactly scream “I’m a bad ass!” does it? Anyway, I wasn’t out looking to be a bad ass anyway. I was out to get a cheap rental car, since we do have budgets to follow at work. Now, as for the highways, I grew up always believing there was this single stretch of highway in Germany called “THE AUTOBAHN,” a road with no speed limit where dudes with black gloves with the fingers cut off drove 150mph, while white-knuckling the steering wheels of their exotic sports cars – Ferrari’s, etc etc. Of course, none of it is true. Autobahn’s are simply Germany’s highway system and there are many of them. There are certain stretches of autobahns where there is, in fact, no speed limit. In fact, on my drive down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the autobahn narrowed to two lanes each way, yet there were stretches that had no speed limit. But there are plenty of spaces where there are speed limits.
Given I was in a foreign country, for work, with a rental car that felt like a Dodge Colt, my inclination was to stay in the right lane and cruise along at 70-80 mph. That was the going rate for the right lane. The left lane, on average, saw drivers hitting 85-90, by my estimates. There were most certainly occasions where I became un-nerved as I saw a car absolutely fly by doing what had to be 120-130 mph. Those were almost always Audi’s, BMW’s and Mercedes. I would say that happened once every 5-10 minutes. On more than one occasion, I would look in my rear view mirror and see nobody behind me and then it felt like five seconds later someone would blow by me – that was alarming. So there’s plenty of speed on the German autobahns, but it’s not as mythical and insane as I thought previously and I didn’t see a single exotic sports car.
It’s not for the faint of heart, but not totally out of control either. I did find myself imagining what an accident would result in at those crazy speeds……wouldn’t be pretty.