Das AutobahnEnlarge Photo
Things slowed down considerably over the weekend on one of Germany’s busiest stretches of the autobahn as three million revelers came out to celebrate the “Still Life” cultural festival. The event saw a 37 mile stretch of the autobahn--the part that crosses the Ruhr region in the North Rhine-Westphalia state--closed off so that millions of people could sit down and have a beer, ride a bike of just soak up the sun.
Cars, which normally travel at speeds in excess of 80 mph on the road, were nowhere to be seen. Instead, a giant table that stretched almost the entire 37 mile length was set up for people from all over the region to come and have a meal or simply party together. The actual table consisted of more than 20,000 individual tables put next to one another.
The Ruhr region is known as an industrial zone littered with smokestacks, steel mills, and pollution, but events like the Still Life festival are helping to reshape the negative thoughts many Germans have towards the region.
Incidentally, the last time cars were absent from the autobahn was back in 1974 during the oil crisis, when the roads were closed on Sundays.
[Associated Press via Boston Herald]