So, I had another surprise trip at the end of June, and this time it was a country that I always managed to drive through, but had very little interaction with: Germany. Germany is the country I always admired, I guess it was a bit of a social thing: it was the role model country for a large part of Eastern Europe while I was a child. For us, it was the place where everything is perfect, everyone is happy and we should do everything as they do. While this utopian allure of Germany faded away, it is still an impressive place to visit, where everything, still, works (or at least I would expect) flawlessly.


My first contact after quite a few years (the last time I was in Germany, apart from just driving through, was when I bought my car almost 5 years ago) with Germany was Dortmund airport: a very bad touchdown (while, as always, everyone was applauding) with Wizz and then off to a meticulous passport/ID check. Then, I quickly found the car rental place, arranged everything flawlessly (for some reason even my German was very well understandable by the agent) so it was so far so good and everything was as expected 🙂 .

Maybe a few words about the car: it was a surprise car (as even the rental agent put it) for an economy: a Seat Ibiza FR. What this meant, was that at the price of economy, I received a car with which I had a chance on the highways 🙂 . Indeed this little car had a quite good acceleration, and on the no limit sections (which is almost everywhere on my planned route) it even reached 180 km/h without too much hustle. Do not imagine it as your average speed-cruiser, though: I would not trade my 11 year old BMW for it despite the fact it had sport seats and square-like sports wheel. The little Seat is a quick car but by far not a fast car: it shakes and it is quite wobbly at high speeds, and the accelerometer seems to struggle after 180km/h. Nevertheless, I was quite happy with it, it always managed to put a smile on my face, and it was by far much better than my last rental car.

And now, it is time for my big disappointment: after arranging my rental car, even though I was a bit late from my appointment, I decided to grab a quick bite at a McDonald’s (which was conveniently on the route) just next to the airport. I went to the counter, placed my order, and planned to pay with my bank card (VISA Electron). Now this is usually just a formality (in ALL countries I visited so far), but the woman at the counter quickly broke my appetite: “Only German cards”. Whaaat? I could imagine no VISA Electron, but no VISA, no MasterCard? Well, no. Apart from the hotel, car rental and fuel I was not really able to use any of my bank cards (not even at a supermarket as I later learned). Luckily cash-machines do accept even VISA Electrons so I did not die of hunger, but this was really disappointing 🙁 .
I quickly forgot about this bad encounter though, and I was, again, enjoying some of Germany’s finest treats: the German Autobahn, which, with the help of the little car I rented, did manage to put back the smile on my face :).

Aaand, as an addendum cherry topping: the car rental company, through which I rented the car, did not make ANY mistake with processing my request. Even though there was a misunderstanding about the billing address, they quickly corrected everything, had NO delay with creating the invoice and the invoice was automatically generated in Romanian (I guess they took into consideration the billing address): so, yes, Germany has won quite some points when talking about precision :).


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