Monday, July 16, 2007

Our Vacation Day #1 - Traffic Jam (Stau) near Hannover

Friday July 6

We left for Lengede around 12:30pm. It should have been a 3 hour drive. We were doing great. I remember at one point, Gardner telling me we would be there in one hour. And then the unthinkable happened. TRAFFIC! Not just any traffic, but a dead stop traffic jam on the German autobahn (the German word is Stau!). The traffic jam or Stau was about 13 kilometers long. A stretch of highway (about 1 kilometer) that should of taken us minutes to drive took more than an hour. At one point, we let the kids get out of their car seats and we got out of the van (as you can see in the pictures below). We did end up getting off the freeway to drive around it, but not right at first. Driving around the traffic jam was not much faster than sitting and waiting for traffic to be cleared, but the moving car was 100 times better for the kids.

We then finally got back on the freeway and starting moving again. And what happens? another TRAFFIC JAM (or Stau)! This Stau was 10 kilometers long and we did not stay on the autobahn, but rather got directly off to drive around it again. Our drive through the countryside ended at a McDonalds where the kids could run around for a bit and could eat a bite or two. We then continued our journey without further problems, but our 3 hour trip ended up taking us 6 ½ hours.

We got into Lengede after 7pm. We had dinner plans at six. So Sibylle, our Au Pair from a few years ago, took us straight to her church where they were having a barbeque. We met her mom, dad and sister there for the first time.

We described our vacation and naturally our wonderful experience of sitting in traffic in Episode 4 of our Living in Germany podcast.

This is our Van with the Storage on top.

No comments:

March 2007