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Navigating You Literally Over The Hill

| Friendly | April 11, 2015

(During our holiday in Germany, my friend and I (both Dutch) plan a daytrip to a limestone cave. I can’t find a street address or zip code, so I find it on the map, not realizing that it takes the GPS coordinates for the location. The navigation is already set to ‘use dirt roads’ because our campsite is located at one. We head from the village to the cave, when the navigation suddenly suggests us to take a smaller road into the woods. Quickly, the road changes from concrete to dirt. We just drive a normal passenger car. But we, happy hippos as we are, don’t think much of it.)

Me: “What does that sign [German forest road sign] mean?”

Friend: “Uh, no clue.’

Me: “Probably that it won’t be kept clean during winter…”

Friend: “…and it’s not winter, now. This is probably a local shortcut.” *pulls up*

(After a few kilometres through the woods, the road goes uphill, getting steeper and narrower.)

Friend: “Sure is a weird suggestion from the navigation. Are you certain we’re going the right way?”

Me: “I’m sure of that. We should be close, according to what I see on screen.”

Friend: “Okay.”

(The road has gotten so narrow that I can’t turn the car anymore. The tracks are so deep, the middle almost touches the bottom of the car, and it’s getting so steep that I worry if we’ll make it… to wherever we’re going.)

Me: “I’m afraid we have no choice but to go on.”

(We proceed, and thankfully make it to the top of the hill. There, we find a nice old tower, with a 4×4 car next to it. A man gets out of the car when he sees us.)

Man: “Hey, you two! How did you get here?!”

Me: “Um, by that road there… We used our navigation.”

Man: “That’s almost impossible with a normal passenger car. And forbidden, too. Where are you heading?”

Me: “The stalactite caves?”

Man: *sighs* “Take this road down here, and you’ll end up on the parking lot of the caves you’re looking for in a minute. And don’t come back here!”

(And so, we reached the caves… It was only later that we realized: caves are usually found INSIDE a mountain, not ON TOP of them… and that we had really taken a risk by driving up there, over a road forbidden for normal cars, and that we were probably told off by the forester himself!)

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