We didn’t have all that long in Germany because our Russian visa has been valid for about a week leaving us little time to be in Russia and to cross it. We do however plan on visiting the south of Germany on our way back through Europe after Central Asia.
So our first stop after leaving The Netherlands was Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg is home to the VW factory and Audosdadt Automotive museum. We found a decent campsite just next to the museum on the Allersee Lake.
The next morning we were up early to check out the museum and VW factory tour. The Autostadt museum is an impressive complex with an number of different unique buildings housing the exhibits from different manufacturers owned by VW. Porsche, Lamborghini and Audi to name a few.
There was also a large building dedicated to the general history of the automotive industry.
The later actually being a museum where as the manufacturer dedicated buildings were more like glorified dealership showrooms. None the less sitting in a brand new Porsche 911 turbo or Audi R8 and pretending to be at a dealership contemplating purchasing one is still a bit of fun, for me anyway.
The actual museum was pretty impressive with vehicles from the turn of the 19th century right up to supercars of the present era like the Bugatti Veryon and Porsche Carrera 911 GT. All probably sounds very uninteresting for non car enthusiasts but hey we are living out of one for the next year so it’s nice to see things which are pretty much the exact opposite to what we are driving.
In saying that cruising down the autobahn in Germany is pretty soul destroying, particularly when we have pissy little hatchbacks passing us double the speed we travel at. We pretty much limit our speed to 100kph mainly to conserve fuel. Not that the troopy will do any better than 100kph anyway. On these roads which are particularly flat we manage about 500km to a 90L tank. With the automatic transmission, constant all wheel drive, turbo charger, roof cage and all the weight we are lugging around, I think that’s as good as it gets. Will be good to hit the Stans where fuel is around 60 cents a litre but we will be climbing to almost 5000m above sea level so who knows what the fuel consumption will be like there.
Anyway off on a bit if a tangent.
The Volkswagen factory tour was interesting, they took us through the golf production line on a miniature purpose made VW tour bus. It Was really cool to see all the robots at work as well as the Germans doing their thing, spotless, clean, efficient and logical. They roll out a new car every 18 seconds Amazing!
After the tour we jumped back onto the autobahn headed for Berlin and hit Mach .00001 just thinking about the Bugatti Veryon and cranking 400kph down the road, legally. Soon enough speed wasn’t an issue when we hit a monumental traffic jam which held us up for hours, must have been a bad accident.
We arrived in Berlin and decided to stay in a hotel as we only had one full day to check the place out. There use to be a cool camping area right in the heart of Berlin called the tent station. I stayed there a few years back but it seems the place ceased exist.
The next morning we chose a two hour walking tour as we only had the day and it’s a good way to cram in as many sights and history as possible. Turned out really good, we had a brilliant guide who told us about the early history of Berlin through to nazi Berlin, Cold War Berlin and present day Berlin. Definitely a city that has seen a lot of change. It is amazing how it’s risen from the ashes. We saw many of the mandatory sights, Reichstag, Berlin Wall, holocaust museum, Hitlers bunker where he offed himself and of course the Brandenburg gates.
We asked the guide if there was a good authentic German restaurant he could recommend. He gave us a couple of choices so we hit one up for dinner and had a nice cruise through Berlin at night. We woke up early the next day and hit the road for Poland.