You Won’t Survive Germany Without This One Item!

There certainly is something magical about Germany isn’t there? The castles, the green pastures, the huge glasses of cold beer, the winding roads… In case you didn’t know, here is a little secret. While most of America was generally designed with cars in mind, Germany wasn’t. The roads here can be a bit confusing. To illustrate my point I have provided you with a small graphic…

road meme

Ok, you’re right, that is a big graphic. Regardless, my point is that you will almost certainly become lost without a good GPS in your car. Scratch that, you WILL become lost. Back in 2006, I was the new kid in town. I was excited to be in Germany and have some adventures. I was also eagerly awaiting the arrival of my POV. The day it came I ran over to vehicle registration as quick as possible and got my baby freed from the clutches of those evil shipping people. I promptly attached my fresh German plates and set off to Patch Barracks for some much needed gasoline.

The trip to Patch went very smoothly. Probably because I followed the directions given to me by the vehicle reg people. The trip back, eh, not so much. I figured I could handle anything and jumped on the autobahn. What should have been a five minute trip over to Panzer Kaserne turned into an hour that included a tour of Ludwigsburg. Upon reaching my destination I drove straight to the shopette and picked up a GPS from their display stand right in the front. Hmm, I wonder why it was there?

The moral of the story is that German roads are just a tad different to navigate than those in America. They are well built no doubt but until you become accustomed you will have trouble. Now, almost a decade later, I can go anywhere without the aid of a GPS. You probably won’t reach this level of zen in your three year tour. I highly recommend that you get on over to BestBuy or and find a good GPS. Then make sure you have the European maps loaded on it. Most companies such as TomTom and Garmin have downloads available from their website. If you have built in navigation you should talk to your local dealer about loading the maps before you ship your POV. Most if not all GPS units sold in the PX here come loaded with European maps straight out of the box so you can also wait to arrive if you wish. Happy motoring!

1 Comment on You Won’t Survive Germany Without This One Item!

  1. Well…
    Being German, I can tell the very same thing about navigating roads in the US.
    During a short trip to Orlando (one week of theme parks! :-), I would have been lost without the built-in nav unit.
    In Germany, the Autobahn “crossings” almost always work the same way. You don’t have to think about it.
    In contrast, the bigger roads/highways in and around Orlando at least confused me – similar to the lower one of your nice drawings 🙂

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