Photographer's Note

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.

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Additional Photos by Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 240 N: 845] (2442)
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