Travel cheap - Travel modern

People here, have a very interesting mode of travel experience. There is the normal car-rental service, where you can rent a car for a limited period of time, or distance and fill the tank (or not) while you return. There is also Mitfahrgelegenheit (I simply call it Mitfahr). 

For those who of you who don't know what this long M word means: (even I couldn't spell it out at first)

This is a way of connecting people who desire to travel, with drivers who have empty seats. Cool, right? Like, suppose I want to go to Munich. I first have to check online (There are plenty of Mitfahr sites like mitfahrzentrale, mitfahrgelegenheit, bla bla car etc.,) Drivers who are travelling to Munich on that day, would have ads posted. They display their type of car, number of free seats available, time of departure and a small amount of fee. The fare is usually lower than journeying by bus or trains. So, its not such a big deal.

My First Mitfahr:
When S and I first put an ad, I (still so Indian) had all form of nightmares: wondering who the people would be, would they want to snatch our passports? what if they ask us to handover our cash? Or worse .. what if they shoot us?! (Lol) It was totally shocking to me. In India, we don't always take strangers travel alongside. So, it was the first time when we went to Berlin. We had two seats free, with the last one filled up just half an hour before we started. The first one had wanted to get down in Leipzig, and another till Berlin. And just as we were ready to start from home, came another text asking if a free seat was available from Leipzig to Berlin. Voila! We were fully booked.

The first person who hopped in was a guy - a 25-something. He put on his headphones, adjusted his head pillow and slept with his head resting on the car-window - Till Leipzig. He was not a man of words. Wonder what stress he was in! The second one was a tall guy, with shorts and a huge backpack and shoes hanging from it - a typical traveler I'd say. He was a very enthusiastic guy, and oh he spoke English! I still remember him and S talking so much till he got down in Leipzig. His replacement was an older person - should be in his late forties - tapping his laptop and looked up only when we reached Berlin. I also remember once, where one of the guys who came was a part-time Model! And one, who was snoring in the car, and an Indian couple who kept on talking to us, their stories - Duh! They were excited seeing Indians, but hey you should understand S is driving! And let me sleep for some twenty mins!

End of the day, we cashed in so much that our whole Berlin trip (3 days) was covered by it ! Travelling becomes much more fun and cheap. And if you own a car, it is also a way to bring in pocket-money. Similar car-sharing service is prevalent in France, UK, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Russia and Ukraine - apart from Germany. Make sure you experience this for sure, if you are making a trip to Germany!


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