West Germans spend more on international travel than people from any other country, including the U.S. Income from foreign visitors for 1981 was $6.3 billion; outgo was $17.8 billion, leaving a travel deficit of $11.6 billion, by all odds the largest in the world.
Germans average more than twenty-seven days a year vacation time and they work only 31.6 hours a week compared to thirty-five for Americans and thirty-nine for the average Japanese. Where do the Germans travel? Everywhere. Look out from a cliff on the island of Madeira. A solitary swimmer is out 500 yards, pumping away as if in a race. Chances are he’s a German. Who is hunting the stag in Scotland? Probably a German. Climb the Matterhorn and there you find the Germans ahead of you.
Most of Germany’s visitors are from neighboring countries: the Netherlands, Austria, France, Switzerland, and Denmark.
Frankfort is the major gateway and West Europe’s busiest airport.
The Frankfort terminal has train service leaving from below the airport. Fifteen minutes later the passenger is in the city’s central train station. Germany’s railroads are efficient and clean. Germany the size of Oregon has fifteen thousand miles of track over which twenty thousand trains serve forty-seven cities daily. Forty express trains run between Frankfort and Cologne.
Lufthansa, the national air carrier of Germany, has arranged for a novel Lufthansa Airport Expressâ to serve air travelers flying from the Frankfort Airport. Three Speed-trains ET 403 of the German Bundesbahn travel four times daily from the Dusseldorf Railroad Station. Passing through Cologne and Bonn, the nation’s capital, they connect with continental and intercontinental flights at the Frankfort Airport. The Rheingold, a trans-European express train, is put together especially for tourists. It is the only train in Germany with a bar car. In winter, the Rheingold connects Amsterdam and Basel, Switzerland. In summer, three cars are detached at Mannheim and take the scenic route to Munich. A stewardess pours Rhine wine and serves a five-course lunch.
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