Friday, June 29, 2007
Travel in Germany is one of those legends everyone hears about, mostly concerning screaming along the autobahn at speeds which seem even faster when measured in kilometers. I've logged my share of Autobahn hours, but it's not my favorite thing. When I remember my teenage gearhead years dreaming over auto magazines and Porsches, and drive the Autobahn today, I have to sigh with disappointment. Gone are the days of "Fahrvergnugen". Now, all you get is "Joy of Trucks". Lots and lots of trucks. Double trucks, single trucks, trucks with cabs decorated like Casanova's living room. Trucks from Holland, Slovakia, trucks from England, Russia, Greece, and trucks from places I can't possibly pronounce, much less spell.
Imagine climbing into a comfortable seat in an air-conditioned space, picking up a book or plugging in headphones for music or a story or simply watching the world go by. Imagine that a fellow comes by with a cart, offers you a perfectly chilled beer and even opens it for you. I keep a little bag of nuts in my pack just to nibble with a beer, on the train.
Yes, this American (a Texan, no less) has forsaken the car. I believe that in 100 years (if we have a kind of eco-economic revolution) we will look back at these silly little vanity boxes and say "What the hell were we thinking??" There are times I think it would be more practical to keep a horse. The personal relationship would probably be more fulfilling.
So I leave my husband the car, stroll to the train, bring a good book and music and savor the sweet, soft rolling scenery of Bavaria from the comfort of a second-class seat. First class doesn't mean you'll make it on time 90 times out of a hundred anyway. On the occasions I've paid the difference, I've been disappointed.
Meanwhile, I enjoy the simplicity of just getting on the train, and getting where I want to go.