Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.

Why Navi's Are Useful in Europe

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So imagine you’re cruising along somewhere in the middle of nowhere Germany. You pulled some directions down from Google Maps, but the problem is that it’s not always obvious where to go. When you don’t know the language and have the town names look the same to you, it’s very easy to get turned around. Combine that with the lack of directional assistance on signs in Germany and distinct lack of knowledge about the geography, I had a little fun today.

I was going to meet a couple of friends at a castle for lunch, and then head over to the town of Rothenburg, which I’ve blogged about before. The only difference this time was the stop for lunch that was, a bit off the beaten track.

Comfortably conquering the backroads before, I copied down the directions from Google and headed out. Two wrong turns that I was able to correct a half-hour into the trip and I was starting to lose my confidence. Although I had written down the names of several towns I was to head through, none of their exact names were showing on town signs as I cruised through the countryside.

Finally admitting I was thoroughly lost, I made a pivotal decision to head towards something that sound right (note, however, that I was wrong) and headed on my way. I had tried to enable data access on my phone so I could use Google Maps, but I couldn’t get an EDGE connection where I was. Finally, my friends called to tell me that the castle restaurant was closed and we were going to meet in Rothenburg. I quickly corrected myself via a useful Info-station with a map (not driving a rental so there was no map in the car :-) and found my way.

This is why navigation units are so useful in Germany - roads twist and turn through various little towns and it’s very easy to miss a turn.

For the visually inclined, here’s a link to a map of the route I should have taken: The route I should have taken

And the route I did take: The route I did take

You can see, of course, right around Neuhof an der Zenn where I should have taken a right turn and instead continued on my way. I remember that exact moment thinking, this doesn’t seem right… Perhaps I should listen to my intuition more often. ;)