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Germany driving by car from Frankfurt to small town --using GPS

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Nov 10th, 2010, 08:45 AM
  #1
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Germany driving by car from Frankfurt to small town --using GPS

Ok so an office mate is leaving tonight to visit her brother near Frankfurt, till next tuesday. I tis her first trip outside the USA. She is hispanic by birth but speaks great english. She knows no German and will be driving to her brother's home after she lands tomorrow.She says it is a short distnace--she is not sure of the village where she is going. She has no idea about driving in Germany but I suspect the rental car was cheaper than the train from what I hear. she plans to use only GPS. I told her I was a bit concerned as my husband and I have driven in Germany and France too, BUT he is fluent in German and was a Doctor for five years as a civilian in the US Army in Germany. We mostly drive in the south Munich Salzbug, Baden Baden, etc. But we have knowledge of German and the culture---drive fast!

Should I be concerned for her with her almost non existent knowledge of German? He brother apparently cannot meet her when she lands in Frankfurt tomorrow. I have read the weather forecasts and it is rainy there today --also for tomorrow--according to the predictions here in DC. I am German and Austrian by heritage and I do not drive alone in Germany and I know the language... I am concerned for her.

Comments, anyone?
Thanks,
Jen
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Nov 10th, 2010, 09:18 AM
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Jen, I wouldn't be worried about her, I'm sure she has her wits about her and yes, it will be stressful but I'm sure she'll be fine. Obviously renting an auto was her choice so she must be fairly confident that she'd do well. We go to Germany once or twice a year, know a bit of German and have no problems, in our book GPS is the way to go. We just returned from 3 weeks in Germany and one week in northern Italy, we took our personal GPS (Garmin) as we've done the past several trips and find GPS invaluable. I'm sure your friend will have some wild tales once she returns but hopefully will have a great trip. Only downside I see for her would be driving the autobahn at first, perhaps she could take back roads with slower speeds.

Susan
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Nov 10th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Don't worry about her. She has GPS and a knowlegde of German is not really needed. Lots of people visit Germany who speak no German and they all survive just fine.
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Nov 10th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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Susan,
I think her brother told her she will be ok--this is her first trip however to anywhere outside of the USA--she is trying to learn a few works of German online. We have all tried to help. As you can see, I am very experienced, would not consider drivng ther on my own, and I know about the faster driving--she does not.

thanks for your comment!
Jen
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Nov 10th, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Tell your co-worker to make sure the GPS is programmed to speak English. Also she can print out the driving directions from one of the mapping sites like Google maps or www.de.map24.com. On the plane she can study the printout so she's familiar with the route.

Since there's no train access from Frankfurt to her small town destination, it's probably reached by smaller roads, not the autobahn with the superfast drivers. If she does drive on the autobahn, tell her to just stay in the right lane.
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Nov 10th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Thank you all for your comments. I will let her know.

Jen
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Nov 10th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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I wouldn't be concerned about not knowing German.
I would be concerned about her not knowing where she is going and having a decent map - that her brother confirms she has identified the right town and route.

I would also make sure she understands driving rules are differnet from the US - and you cannot lollygagin the left lane at 50 if you don;t know where you're going. You have to pull over, figure it out - then keep up at least with the slow lane of traffic.

(I have driven in many counries in europe with only a smattering of the language and that was never a difficulty. But I always had a good map.)
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Nov 10th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Here in Europe, it is totally normal that you travel to countries without any knowledge of the local language. Millions of truck drivers do that every day without any problem.

At the airport all signage is in English too. Everybody speaks English at the airport and also at the rental car agency. And once enroute - there is no need to speak the language. Road signs in Europe are pictograms, not written commands as in the USA. So, absolutely no problem.

Driving rules are 98% the same. With common sense, everything will be easy.
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