A charming old lady dropped me on the motorway rest stop at the Belgian-German border. I went around with my Berlin sign, and a truck driver agreed to drop me off in Düsseldorf. He was carrying meat, he said in relatively good French. I explained the purpose of my journey and my childhood dream to visit Berlin, until a police car overtook and pulled us over. I was completely bewildered and did not quite understand what was going on. And then the police brought us into the station.
A French-speaking policeman asked me several questions, including if I knew the truck driver. They then searched my luggage, and kept me in wait. I was only 19 years old, and the worst scenarios kept haunting me. It might seem silly but listening to the German language behind closed door gave my chills. I lost track of how long I had been kept waiting when the officer returned and finally released me. They told me that the truck driver was an illegal worker without papers; his boss also for questioning meanwhile.
At the exit of the station, my only desire was to go back home. A policeman came up to me and asked if I was still continuing my trip to Berlin, and proudly I said yes. And he offered to host me for a night at his place then drive with his sister to Berlin the next day.
So many times...
Did you know...
- The area of Germany was over 50% greater during the Second Reich (1871-1918) and included nearly the half of the present-day Poland and part of Lithuania.
- Germans are the second biggest consumers of beer in the world (after Czechs), with an average of 107 liters per person per year in 2010.
- The Germans were the pioneers of the environmental movement and environmental policy. The first Green party in the world, Die Greens was founded in 1979-1980.
- Drachenfels (Siebengebirge) in Rhine NordWestphalie became the first nature reserve in the world in 1836.
- Weihenstephaner brewery in Freising, Bavaria, has not ceased to operate since its founding in 1040, making it the oldest brewery in the world.
- Germany had many capitals during its turbulent history, including (in chronological order): Aachen (from 794), Regensburg (seat of the Reichstag from 1663 to 1806), Frankfurt (site of the election and coronation German emperors between 1152 and 1792, seat of the Bundestag of the German Confederation from 1815 to 1871) Berlin (from 1871 to 1949 and 1990 to present), Weimar (1919 to 1933) and Bonn (1949 to 1990 West Germany only)
- German motorways are the oldest motorway network in the world.
- The Frankfurt International Airport holds the world record for most destinations served.