Today’s Word Search: The one with the runaway wife and the stolen car

trip
A remarkable woman named Bertha Benz went on the first road trip – in the first car! Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

If you’re able to mark off all the items on this checklist – good weather, loved ones available, snacks at hand, a car with a full tank – then all that’s left to do is buckle in and head off on a road trip!

Click start to play today’s Word Search, a road trip inspired word jumble. From ‘rest stop’ to ‘roundabout’ – this puzzle is about all the things you can find along the way.

Did you ever wonder who went on the first road trip?

It was a remarkable woman named Bertha Benz, wife of German engineer Karl Benz – the man often credited as the inventor of the first automobile. When Benz built a gasoline engine powered three-wheeled carriage, the ‘motorwagen’, in 1878, he found that it was fairly difficult to control. It even crashed into a wall during a test. Doubtful about its marketability, he wanted to keep the automobile under wraps until he could work out all the kinks.

That’s when Bertha took the wheel. To prove to her husband, and the public, that the invention was a true marvel, she decided to take the vehicle for a spin – and not just around the neighbourhood. She wanted to visit her mother in Pforzheim, a German town that was close to 100km away.

And since she knew Benz wouldn’t allow it, she didn’t seek his permission. She conspired with her teenage sons and early one morning in 1888, when Benz was fast asleep, the three of them piled into the vehicle and zoomed off! Well, ‘zoomed off’ at a maximum speed of 16km/hr.

The road trip was a resounding success. They made it to Pforzheim by nightfall, where Bertha wired her baffled husband, letting him know they had arrived.

Although the trip had numerous obstacles, Bertha was a resilient and resourceful driver. At one point, she found they had to push the motorwagen up hilly areas (Benz later installed better gears after hearing her feedback). She even used her hairpin to fix a clog in the fuel line and used her garter to insulate the electric ignition cable when it broke.

Bertha also devised the first brake pads! By the time she journeyed home, the wooden brake shoes had worn down so much that, on the way, she asked a shoemaker to nail leather strips onto them.

Bertha’s daring and courage has been marked for posterity. Today, travellers can follow the Bertha Benz Memorial Route from Mannheim, through picturesque German towns and meadows.

Are you inspired to go on a road trip? Play today’s Word Search and rally your loved ones for a drive! Tell us if you enjoyed today’s puzzle at games@gulfnews.com.