16 February 2012

Rest stops

This weekend we were traveling to Stuttgart and I am reminded of another difference between Germany and the US--rest stops.  Most of us are familiar with the typical American rest stop--area for picnicking, place for your pets to do their business, and then the men's and women's rooms with a vending machine in-between.  They can be fairly clean, depending on the time of year and the location in the US.

Hot Veggies Bar

Cold foods bar
Hot food bar

Grilled food bar (including brats)

Salad bar

Olive and antipasto bar
In Germany, there are different types of rest stops.  One is just a place to pull over with no facilities (these happen in the US too); just watch where you step if you get out of the car.  There are the types with water closets--probably more comparable to its US counterpart.  Then there are the SuperStops (well that's what I call them).  Reststop, resthaus, whatever they are called, they are great!  The restrooms are clean, but you will have to pay a small fee (about 70 cents euro) but you get a coupon for 50 cents off a purchase at the stop.  These stops typically include at least a coffee bar and a restaurant.  Larger ones have a chain restaurant attached.  But who really needs a chain restaurant, when you have the selection of foods available that is typically there.  I have included pictures of one reststop we used on the way to Stuttgart.  After we walked the dogs, we went inside for espresso, used the facilities, and got our espresso.  We found a table and sat and watched people coming and going through the rest haus.  I don't know how we resisted the temptation to get some more food with our espresso, but we did have one of the best pretzels ever.  We had planned to get to Stuttgart and eat there.  I think we should have eaten here!  These pictures didn't include the fruit bar, the dessert bar, the yogurt bar, the wine/beer selection, etc.  Makes me hungry just looking at the pictures!  I would take these resthaus stops over the American counterpart any time!

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