Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Corner View" Modes of Transportation

Of course, it goes without saying that there are cars in Germany, some of the best, in fact... Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, just to name a few. The autobahns are world famous and provide a nice adrenaline rush for the race car driver at heart who is allowed to drive at record speeds, but one is not limited by cars only to get from point A to point B here...

... And since Germany is very traditional in many ways, why not get to where you are going the old fashioned way... Walk.

Of course people walk... isn't that everywhere? But I find is that it is more a part of the general culture here than in the U.S. People walk to work, to the store, to the bakery... walking has a purpose other than just exercise. When the weather is nice the streets are literally packed with people out to get some fresh air, enjoy family time together, or just move after having eaten a large Sunday morning brunch. In fact, I found this to be one of the most stressful things when I first started driving in Germany is that I always have to be on the look-out for pedestrians... on every corner.

At every shopping center, bank, grocery store, home improvement store, and even at Ikea, you will always find parking sections lined with bikes. I love it to see a 3-year old riding their miniature version of a bike with Mama close on their tail, only to be followed by an 80-year old grandma just coming from the grocery store.

Within the cities, and often in the country, one can find a bus station on just about every corner. What I hate admit with some sense of shame, is that many times public transportation in the States is for those who cannot afford a car... for those who are a little less well off, to put it delicately. But public transportation here is not limited to race or financial status, in fact it is completely common place and for people-watchers like myself, it is interesting to see the variety of people on a bus.

How many times have I expressed my love for old architecture... again and again have I exclaimed my sense of wonderment and awe for buildings that are older than I can imagine. What is always a treat for me is that some of the most fantastic buildings out there are used for subway and train stations. Can one really tire of such masterpieces?

...curious about other methods of transportation around the globe? Visit Jane at Spain Daily for a "Corner View" and a world travel adventure.

25 comments:

  1. Great post! Very familiar modes of transportations to a swede like me.

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  2. I like your German Hauptbahnhofs.

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  3. Hey Allison! Great post! It´s the same here. Wouldn´t it be great if more Americans lived abroad...They could learn a thing or two...Hugs-Jane

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  4. Love your post !! The shot of the bike wheels ... I love that one !! Love that you are an American living abroad. I am too. Been living in Australia for almost 12 years !!

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  5. I enjoyed walking with you ... thanks

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  6. Hi, du brauchst bestimmt keinen Translator. Es ist genauso wenn ich Englisch schreibe. Die Grammatik ist doch so egal.

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  7. Hamburg is so pretty, guess I nice Alster spring walk would be great, great post

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  8. Kay, you may have noticed from the photos... that is exactly where we were yesterday! The photo of the bus has the Rathaus (courthouse) in the background, which is right around the corner from the Alster. The weather was typical for Hamburg... gray. But the people say that if you don't like the weather in Hamburg... just wait 30 minutes.

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  9. Great post!
    Hamburg seems so beautiful!

    You make want to travel!!!

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  10. i love the pedestrian sign in the top. walking is the best :)

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  11. thanks for sharing!
    have a nice week!

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  12. these pictures make me think of when i lived in switzerland - it was so great! enjoy!

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  13. Lovely pictures. I especially love the first one of the sign. Thanks for the great corner post!

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  14. hi allison, you HAVE to go!!! and yes, schweitzerdeutsch is really different than high german much more sing-songy...
    fribourg was great because it was bilingual (french and german) so if you forgot something in french, you could throw it out in german and vice-versa...however, in paris and germany, you got stuck! the town is very international (lots of cute norweigans & swedes - go visit!)
    kim

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  15. ahhhh, wonderful. i wish we had better public transport in the states. everything is so spread out (at least where i am) that service is too poor for it to be useful.

    it was wonderful to see your corner. i spent a few days in hamburg many, many, many years ago...i loved it.

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  16. wondeful picturs. i like the street shots and to see the dog so calm in the mist of all the people and traffic.

    Jane I would love to live abroad, but would have to find my husband a good job first.

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  17. I SO badly want a bicycle with a basket.. although it's been so long since I have tried to ride a bike, I would probably crash into things and wreak complete havoc. If I lived in a city with so many gorgeous buildings, I would make excuses to walk everywhere too! :)

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  18. This is such a great post!! Looks beautiful there! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Allison, these pictures of Hamburg and transit options are close to my heart. I think that the Hamburger Rat haus is one of the most beautiful buildings -- on the days after 9/11 there was a memorial held there. from out of one of the small windows on the top floor came a lone trumpet player and played America the Beautiful to 20,000 people. Unforgettable.

    Your shots are wonderful, and it is true, it is city bustling with people "unterwegs". Your commentary brought back another memory. Coffee and cake at Literaturehaus near the Aussenalster and then the long walk around the lake afterwards, past Bobby Reich, the swans and the ducks, with all of the other clad-in-black-protective-raingear Hamburgers....

    Nice memories from your corner of the worlds. Danke!

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  20. Hey, can you mail me your postal adress on touyarou@yahoo.co.in ... my daughter Lou has a small handmade card for you ...

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  21. Great pix.

    When I lived in Chicago everyone walked everywhere...and the public transportation was awesome. Never needed a car. Where I live now, yes, as you said the public transport is not for everyone...it only goes to certain neighborhoods, limited routes and times...doesn't even come within a few miles of my house. Ah well!

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  22. verstehst/sprichst du schon Deutsch?!
    thanks for your comment on my blog!
    viel Spass in Deutschland!
    und bis bald!

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  23. You never get tired of such masterpieces. It's beautiful! Ooh...modes of transportation it was....uhhmm....can I have an Audi A8 and drive on the autobahn??? LOL

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  24. Well, you don't have to live abroad to learn to walk everywhere! In most Eastern American cities, walking or biking is the way. I walk everywhere in Boston. It's so tiny, there's no point in driving. And we walked or took the train everywhere in NYC and Chicago..... just sayin. The great thing about America is that you can have completely opposite experiences growing up in the same country.

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