I don't want to burst any bubbles, but: Our Autobahnen is not that speeder's utopia that some think they are. Yes, there is no global upper speed limit, but nearly everywhere, you've got to stick to local speed limits which will usually be somewhere between 100 and 130 km/h. Furthermore, the main population of an Autobahn is not sleek Audis, speeding Porsches, heavy Mercedes battle cruisers and arrogant businessmen in fierce BMWs... those occur, often they are very annoying. Most cars are ordinary VWs (Polos, Golfs, Passats), Opels (Astras, Vectras, Corsas), French or Japanese models. Except for Sundays and odd hours, the right lane of the dual carriageway is usually nearly completely taken up by lorries -- the European variety, usually chunky Scania, DAF or Daimler-Benz machines hauling containers from one EU country to another. An Autobahn is usually much narrower than any American highway, it's very crowded, and we don't drive as relaxed as other people. We want to get from point A to point B -- fast. There's no smooth and cool driving over thousands of miles. We've all got five-speed stick shifts and we know how to use them. Due to the very dense traffic which causes a lot of wear and tear and the high density of nodes such as intersections, bifurcations and exits, there are also permanent repairs about everywhere, causing lots of traffic jams.

On the first driving lesson that took me to an Autobahn, my driving teacher pushed me to a top speed of about 160 km/h. There are many Germans who regularly do 200 km/h where it's allowed.