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In my last post I talked about traveling Germany by train, and I promised to tell you about other ways of getting around. So here we go!
A cheaper alternative to train travel is carpooling. There are several websites dedicated to aranging long-distance carpools, the one with the largest community being mitfahrgelegenheit.de. Usually the person driving from A to B offers the free seats in their car to people who want to go to the same destination. In return they get paid an amount of money that is a bit larger than every passenger’s share of gas costs would be. It’s a great way to reduce travel costs for both driver and passengers. It’s eco, since you reduce emissions, and it’s convenient because the community is so big that it’s no problem to find a car from any major city to another any given day.
Sometimes the goal of your travels is not to get to your destination as fast as possible, but to enjoy the traveling itself. Germany renders itself perfect for biking and hiking. There’s a multitude of well signposted routes throughout the country. Just have a look at this amazing interactive map of bike routes! Or this one for walking / hiking tours!
The establishment of hiking routes, their maintenance, signposting, and the production of hiking maps is in Germany the domain of hiking clubs – in German Wandervereine. They came into existence around the end of the 19th century. Most of the regional hiking clubs are members of the national Deutscher Wanderverband, which was founded in Fulda in 1883. These clubs also put a lot of effort into creating a net of accomodation facilities for hikers and youth groups. This effort led to the establishment of the German youth hostel federation Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk (DJH) between 1909 and 1912.
The German cyclists’ federation Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club (ADFC) is much younger than that. It was founded in 1979 to promote the idea of sustainable transport. Among other things they produce bike maps, give quality ratings to bike routes, and complile a list of cyclist-friendly accomodations.
What is your favourite way of traveling?