The German Autobahn is the world's second largest superhighway system, today consisting of about 12.000 kilometers (7'450 miles) of freeways. Except for some areas in the east, they are in excellent condition and since unification the government has expedited upgrading of the old East German Autobahns.
New West German Autobahns have for many years featured two, three, or occasionally four lanes per direction. And a landscaped "green" median with a double-sided guardrail running down the middle. Outside emergency shoulders together with long acceleration and deceleration lanes. Gentle and well-banked curves and with a grade of maximum 4%.
The beginning of this network was laid in 1935, when the first Reichsautobahn was opened on May 19th between Frankfurt and Darmstadt - part of which is still in use today. The plans were to build two north-south and east-west links for 'employment reasons', although the real purpose was to facilitate military mobility.
Today's mobilities are mostly logistics mixed with a fair amount of private motoring - many of which are tourists going to or from vacation. Because of Germany's location in central Europe, transit traffic is generally heavy around weekends, holidays and vacations.
This was shot from one of the frequent parking areas - showing a rather lazy Sunday afternoon traffic on A5/E40 between Alsfeld and Kirchheim. It was a good day to drive, as I made the 950kms (590mi) from Basel to Puttgarden in 8 hours.
It's life in the fast lane on the Autobahn and I just love it!
Image cropped, autolevels, increased saturation +20 and reduced in blue –30, ran NeatImage 60%, resized for TE, sharpened and faded to 60%, framed and saved for Web.
Critiques | Translate
smoothdude (266) 2005-08-03 21:28
Nice clear and well composed picture. I like the bending of the road and the perspective here, good point of view. Insightful note as well. Thanks for sharing.
GerdVDC (0) 2005-08-04 0:08
Like the photo with the bend in the road. It's a good composition and quite clear as well, but the note is what really makes the photo: well researched :-)
All the best,
jawx (0) 2005-08-04 0:24
I really like the composition of this picture. The picture is crisp and the way it progresses into a slight haze just past the bridge is great! I like the bend as well; it gives the picture some direction, almost like making you wonder what is next. Nice work.
RGatward (20060) 2005-08-04 2:46
I agree, 'going home' on German autobahns is about the best place in the world to do it. I still hestitate a bit when about to overtake a police car at 110 mph, until I realise that it's perfectly legal, and why not, in the right conditions. Another sight which amuses me is the 130 limit signs, when the road becomes a bit more curvy than usual, in fact this year, somewhere near Magdaberg, I saw one for 140!
Very good shot of this stretch.
pamastro (7288) 2005-08-13 1:02
Another view of those beautiful German roads. You found a good point of view to photograph from the perfectly placed pull off. The bridge frames the scene well almost like a triumphal arch of old except modernized over a modern highway. There's a nice flow of traffic captured crisply with an interesting light that gives it a dream like state. The road curves around to let the eye continue in the mind. But again, those roads. So beautiful and so smooth and well maintained.
orme (7215) 2005-08-16 22:02
I like the clarity of this shot, Kaj, and the way that the autobahn almost seems to be hidden by the surrounding nature. The dip in the road gives us an excellent view of the whole road and all the cars. The lighter colour of the road contrasts well with all the other darker colours. Nicely framed.
maphoto (8082) 2005-08-18 23:21
Hi Kajen, Interesting picture, I've to a few shot in a car and it's not always easy to find attractive scene, fortunately you found a good place to stop and shoot. Interesting not and nice unleveled and curving road, well done.
kent_s (1911) 2005-08-27 10:13
A beautiful compo with the bend and the slight haze
Nu så ser vi bekanta motiv A5-an har man gått några gånger. Hoppas middagen på alsfelder rasthof var god. Jag har ett litet tips på alternativ väg om du vill. Om du går av A7 efter Göttingen och tar B27 så kommer du ut i Frankfurther kreuz. Belöningen blir att du följer floden Werra nästan hela tiden och att du slipper alla "Kasselbackarna" nackdelen är 20-30 min längre restid.
nst (135) 2005-10-07 12:32
Personally, I find the subject of this photo very interesting. Since I love driving and travelling, this picture is more than "roads and cars" and helps the imagination be creative.
It is the feeling of the movement of the cars that I really like in this photo, particularly at the location you chose to photograph, meaning that I don't thing the curve and the little uphill are pure coincidence.
Furthermore, I find that shadow below the cars and under the bridge have the proper contrast and also that the atmosphere, of a not sunny day, is also well represented. One of your best shots, IMHO.
- Copyright: Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) (2424)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-03-20
- Categories: Daily Life, Transportation
- Camera: Olympus C-750UZ, Olympus 6.3-63mm f/2.8-3.7, JPEG 50 ISO
- Exposure: f/4, 1/650 seconds
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: CeBIT and Swiss skiing in 2005
- Theme(s): On the road again... [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-08-03 21:08