Posted by: lifeonislandtime | August 13, 2012

The difference

The difference..


-A Rastplatz is a place to get off the highway and rest. If you’re a trucker, it’s a place to spend your mandated 15-minute break.

– A Rastplatz/WC is what we think of as a rest stop. It’s got a small dog area, a small picnic area, and utilitarian bathrooms.

– An Autohof is a rest stop on crack: it has a gas station, showers, a convenience store, a cafe (sometimes a McDrive, a Burger King, a Subway or an AutoGrill), a picnic area, a dog area, and a parking area for truckers, trailers or cars. They are on both sides of the “A” motorways, and seem to be everywhere when you don’t need one, but when you do, they are scarce as hen’s teeth. We loved these, and as life goes, we wanted to stop at a “McDrive” Autohof for the entire trip, but we would see them only after we had stopped at a non-McDrive Autohof. The Auto-Grill chafes were our absolute favorite, but they were also scarce.  The one in the Czech Republic was kind of scary, but turned out to be fine, with clerks that spoke English and were very friendly.

-A Rasthof is the most superior of the European motorway stops. They have a cafe, convenience store,gas station, park, parking, dog area, cafeteria-style restaurant, and a nicer-chain hotel. The best one we found was in the Salzkammergut National Park in Austria. It overlooked the Alps and a giant, still lake that reflected the sky and the mountains.


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