let’s buy some autobahn

today’s spiegel online reports that the probably soon to be german finance minister peer steinbrück plans to sell off germany’s autobahns to close gaping canyons in the german budget.

interesting. how much is a piece of autobahn then? according to the article the lowest estimate is a whooping (or not so whooping) €127’000’000’000 for all of the roughly 12’000km of german autobahn. which, more or less, comes down to €10’584/m.

so…if i were to buy 10m of autobahn (does it come with or without signalisation BTW?) that would set me back about €106’000. what i would do with 10m of autobahn? that, as the cautious engineer is wont to say, depends…

here are the options:

  • if it close to where i live, i’d turn it into a walled garden.
  • if it’s not close to where i live, i’d build a lovely toll station (just for those 10m, of course) complete with very nice and easy to use money drop-off points, soothing colours and an viewing platform complete with café — all very user friendly.

what do you mean that this is what the highwaymen did? no, no, no. i wouldn’t be threatening anyone. besides those would-be-users of my would-be-toll-station would get a service for they money: i’d be optimising their fuel consumption (i leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure that one out 🙂

p.s.: it seems the SPD’s coalition partner, the CDU, has got wind of my plans: they are against selling the autobahn now…oh, well.

speeding across lake constance

rainy sunday…take the s-bahn from mannenbach to kreuzlingen and thence to konstanz. continue on to friedrichshafen by the newly installed katamaran service. the trip is quite nice, quite a number of passengers on the kat, but not too many 🙂

we arrive around 12:00 in friedrichshafen, almost right at the entrance of the zeppelin museum, our destination for today. inside we are at first quite surprised to see long queues but then remember that is fall vacation time, it’s raining, so what do you do when you’ve got a bunch of kids to entertain? right.

the museum is (as always) rather interesting. i’m still fascinated by the zeppelin concept — i guess if there were zeppelin operated flights, i’d rather take one of those than any of those crammed-and-we-don’t-give-a-fig-about-you-as-a-passenger airliners! alas, not an option (currently)…

oh, look! a lake!

up at 7:15, getting everything cleaned up and in ship shape…9:01, we take the RE train from erlangen to nürnberg, then the IC train from nürnberg to stuttgart, switch there to the ICE to schaffhausen and then the S bahn train to mannenbach-saalenstein…we arrive on time in mannenbach-saalenstein

our hotel, the seehotel schiff, is literally just around the corner from the railway station and only a 3min walk. it’s located directly at the shore of the bodensee (“lake constance”) — and from our room at the top of the hotel we have a very nice view across to reichenau and across the lower bodensee to radolfzell.

the weather, having been quite nice so far this week in erlangen, has turned autumnal: fog, an occasional light drizzle. as we are just in time for tea we have the same.

dinner is in the hotel’s restaurant. we are seated in “second row” not at the windows (probably because we are showing up “late”, around 19:30). we take the captain’s dinner, an assortment of local and not-so-local fish, quite nice.