I have just returned for another world wind tour of Europe, last stop Karlsrhue, Germany. Karlsrhue is one of my “Marathon Cities”, that is a place where I have race walked twenty six miles, and often more, even though I was not in an official marathon.
It was snowing and cold on my first trip here a few years ago. The weather was not a deterrent. I sped out the hotel lobby and onto the early morning snow filled streets. A half inch of snow allowed time to walk without sliding. The city is easy to negotiate. It is nicknamed “the fan city” because of the symmetry of the street layout. Then, in excitement I walked by the tram station. The trams, so efficient and so German, carried early morning Karlsrhue. Workers. Everyone seemed so proficient. They too, of course, were not bothered by the snow.
The trams reminded me of those in Basel, Switzerland and Den Hague, Netherlands.
But, my fondest memories of Karlsrhue are the people, and I met many. “If we go to dinner and drink beer with you we must stay in a hotel” one colleague said. “The DWI laws in Germany are very strict”. I was very impressed. After all this is German professionalism at its finest.