July 17: Did we start something when we left the group and ran with Klaus? It seems that everyone is ready to find their own way. Today we started with the group-minus Jerry. He wanted to get a photo with his car at Checkpoint Charlie between East and West Berlin. We went there yesterday while touring Berlin.
Jerry and Tatiana drove there as we the rest of us were leaving the city and then met up with the racers on the highway. So the “group” consisted of Jack, Clay, us, and the two vans. That is until we stopped for gas. At that point we told Alice, our second guide, that we wanted to stop in Dresden and would run ahead on the autobahn and ultimately meet them in Prague if not before. Jack and Clay only run between 50-55 on the autobahn and even Stewball wants to go faster than that.
Now, just after we left the autobahn as we were heading to the Zentrum, we were stopped by the police. This was an experience we have never had with the police. First, the car, rather than lights and siren, had a light bar across the top with a flashing message first in German then English that read: Follow me, please.” Yup, please. How often do any police, in any country say that? I think the problem was we didn’t have a front license plate. They did check Ed’s license, but when they read the back plate and saw we were from N. Carolina, all the questions were about the World Race. With lots of smiling and pleasantness, they tried to direct us back to the autobahn but when we told them we wanted to visit the city, they lead us to the center! Great experience.
The rest of the day was uneventful, except for a slight glitch in the GPS which turned us around just after the Czech border and headed us back to Dresden. We knew better, we’d just been there, so winged it for a bit and got ourselves back on the road to Prague. We do have an atlas of Europe, but it is a bit old and doesn’t have some of the new highways.
Part of the autobahn doesn’t have any speed limits. Well, that was too much of a temptation for Jerry’s Corvette and he made the decision to run ahead, leaving the two vans with Jack and Clay. What to do when 4 different cars wsant to go in different directions at different speeds? Well, it went like this. We were on our own, Jerry too. Then, I am sure at the same point our GPS messed up, Jack and Clay couldn’t agree on the route so one van went with Jack and one with Clay. I haven’t heard the story from them, but I do know that Clay’s GPS had them headed back to Berlin.
Just another road adventure, we are all here and a bit later, Ed and I will walk from the hotel to the Old City for dinner. Those photos I will have to add later. Much has changed since we were here in the early 90s, but I must say this huge Hilton had not added anything to the city-except for more rooms for more tourists. We hear a lot of American English.