A Swedish tourist’s story of his journey through East Germany in 1985.
He goes the distance Trelleborg – Sassnitz operated by both Swedish and East German ferries at the time.
On-site, he notes that two-stroke vehicles dominate, as well as motorcycles, are more common than in Sweden. Also, so-called family motorcycles are present.
Looking over the fields at the side of the road you see large amounts of agricultural machinery which usually are more modern than the cars on the road.
Intertank is the name of the state own fuel company. By the facilities, foreign motorists have a separate queue where you pay by western currency. Gasoline in the pumps is designed for vehicles from the west.
At Intertank stations are shops called “Intershop”. There, East Germans have facilities to buy alcoholic beverages. The entrance around the corner is only allowed to use for the citizens of the West. In that shop, Intertank sells all sorts of goods from the West. This as a way for the state to get Western currency to a bankrupt system.
Control Towers are located at the transit routes in East Germany and also very frequent speed checks could be seen. They are certainly for other reasons as well, then it is forbidden to change the transit route if you not applying for a tourist VISA in advance.
He meets an East German police chief, informing that they protect public health and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, they have a BAC limit of 0.0 in traffic.
The police chief is asked what fines would be if running between 20-30km / h too fast. For some reason, the police chief laughs and refuse to answer.
Our tourist also learned that the Russian car brand Lada considered as a fancy brand with the same status as Mercedes and BMW in the West.
Impressive is how well the East Germans maintain their cars. Cars from the 60s have a paint that often seems to be in mint condition. This is due to a waiting time of 9-10 years for normal people to buy a Trabant car.
Finally, a simulated failure of the car is made. This is to see how the road service works for vehicles. 55 minutes after the call a service car shows up but tells that they can’t-do much because the car is an American Dodge. In the East, there are no spare parts to repair them.
This is a summary of Carl-Ingmar Perstad’s journey.