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      11-06-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
dclowd9901
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ED Trip Journal: Winter F80 3000 miles

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I've never been to Europe and I've never owned a Bimmer, so my ED trip was a two-for-one shot of new. I'm not a particularly interesting story teller or a good photographer, but I hope you all enjoy my recap of my trip.

Munich:

I had a rough start here. This being my first BMW, I was severely unacclimated with using one, and with the newer models being closer to complex flight sim video games than cars, they can be a handful to someone whose next closest car was a 2007 Lexus IS250. I mean, I'm a software developer by trade, but even I needed a little time with this thing to feel like I wasn't just going to destroy it.

Once I got the hang of the parking cameras and the nav system we were on our way to Venice.












Italy:

First tried to head to Großglockner, only to find it closed for the winter. Truly disappointing, but nevertheless, one still gets a chance to drive deep into the valleys that lead to it, which can be just as satisfying.

We doubled back and made our way down to Venice, by way of a car train. Incidentally, if you find yourself in Europe, and your nav system tells you that your route "involves" a car train, it behooves you to understand what that means. I and my fiancé had no clue. "What's a 'car train?!" we mused, then went on our merry way, only to find the nav, at some point, asking us to hop on train tracks and carry on to Italy. As someone who didn't know such things even existed, it was a bit of a "mind blown" moment.





We caught the front end of a major storm in Venice (and got to hear the "high tide" alarms ring out in the city... truly eerie if you ever get a chance to hear it). It was bad weather pretty much the entire way to Zürich, either rain or snow, so no chance to hit up any of the remaining passes (Susten, Grimsel or otherwise). But again, absolutely stunning views of Switzerland. Driving through the valleys of the snowy Swiss countryside will be something I'll take with me to the grave.

In Venice, we stayed at the Best Western Hotel Olympia. It doesn't really have an onsite garage, but the service staff are excellent, and the rooms decent. Plus the hotel is right in the thick of Venice, and if you book early, it's priced well. We parked the car in the nearby San Marco parking structure. Ascending the spiral drive in the car felt terrifying and claustrophobic, and they require you to leave your key with the car.

Zürich:

We stayed at 25Hours Hotel Zürich West, which had pretty awesome rooms and a great, spacious garage. The location wasn't ideal (sort of felt like it was located in a business or conference area), but it didn't take long to get downtown with a cab. Just bear in mind you'll want to get some Francs for the cabs.

Since we only stayed for the night and headed out early in the morning, I didn't really get any pictures. Our cabbie dropped us off in one of the seedier parts of town. My fiancee was a bit skeeved out, but I love being places that make me feel kind of uncomfortable.

Prague:

After Zürich, we made our way back through München to drop off our ED Winter Tires (since we wouldn't be driving through Austria anymore throughout the trip). The Czech countryside is largely similar to the German countryside, so don't expect too much dynamicism there, but the real magic happens in downtown Prague. The city is absolutely stunning. From the cobble stone roads to the old buildings seemingly cut out of a daguerrotype, this city bleeds history, and you feel it everywhere. And if that wasn't enough, it's SO CHEAP to do anything there. Full dinner for 2 and drinks? $20 USD. Top of the heap hotel? $100/night. If/when we come back to Europe, Prague will be a no-brainer.



Krakow, Poland:

My lovely fiancé, who endured my maniacal behavior on this trip (new car, frustrating weather conditions, toll road payment inconsistency...) only had one request this trip, and that was to stop in the humble and beautifully stark Kraków. It continued to be gray overcast and fairly rainy during this portion of the trip. The trip into Krakow was a bit horrendous. I had intended to take backroads into the city proper, but being there was construction ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE, what should've been a brief 4 hour journey turned into a relatively hellish 9-hour journey. After hour-long traffic queues and perpetual man-digging-into-the-ground signs, we finally made it into Krakow. We stayed at the Hotel Yarden which is pretty near the city center, yet has its own parking lot. What I didn't expect was an entrance to the parking area that defied understanding of width of modern cars. Somehow made it in with my mirrors still on the car, but only just barely.

The city is hugely important in the history of Poland, and thus houses a plethora of fantastic old buildings and plazas. In my opinion, the gross weather actually made it more beautiful. I only have one photo to share of the car, and it's one of my favorites, because I think it perfectly represents the experience of doing an ED in the late Fall.



Berlin:

I took my now rally beast to Berlin for a one-night stay on the way to west Germany. It just so happened, completely by accident, that we had booked that one night stay on the night where the city (and, indeed, the country) was celebrating its 30th anniversary of the "taking down" of the Berlin Wall. The city was very lively, as a result. I wish I could say I got some good pictures of the event, but we were exhausted after yet another long, grueling and construction-ridden drive from Krakow to Berlin, so we only stayed out for a little bit and then hit the sack a bit earlier. I didn't even really get a good picture of the car :\

Oh, we stayed at the Adina Apartment Hotel. It's a nice place, great garage, but a bit out of the more fun areas of Berlin, it seems. You'd do better booking somewhere more centrally if you want to enjoy some more of the culture of the city.

Monschau:

Originally when I booked the trip, I was looking for a place that split the difference between Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring. Being that Nürburgring was going to be closed while I was in Monschau, the point of booking there was essentially rendered moot, however, this ended up being one of my favorite stops on the entire trip.

When I had told people I was going to be visiting Monschau, even Germans were unsure of where I was talking about. It's a tiny altstadt (old city) on the western edge of Germany. To get there, you will literally have to drive through the edge of Belgium. Tons of great winding roads to get down into the valley where the town resides. What you end up finding is a city that looks like something out of a German fairy tale, replete with an old castle sitting perched atop a hill overlooking the town.





We stayed at the Hotel Haller Garni, which was a great place with good parking (covered even!). Turns out the owners also own a bar in town, Zum Haller, which they (obviously) recommend you visit. We did after also checking it on Yelp (what? we figured what are the odds they run both a good hotel and a good bar?). Turned out it was pretty awesome. The bartender, Marco and his wife, made us feel very welcome and chatted us up a bit, telling us that he was born in had grown up in this tiny town. Walking through the town at night was a treat, with the street lamps dramatically lighting the old architecture and cobbled streets. Truly felt like old-world Germany and a step back in time.

Spa-Francorchamps:

This was the one I had been waiting for. I actually booked my entire trip around the fact that Spa-Francorchamps had public track day events once a month, and in November, it would be on the 11th. I've raced this track probably 2 million times, since it's made its appearance in dozens of driving simulations and games. It's a mind-blowingly beautiful track that is fast and still very technical. And nothing can prepare you for your stomach hitting your pelvis when hitting Eau Rouge at 90-100 mph.

As track days go, it was very familiar fare. Line up, sign an "I'm ok dying here" paper, rent a helmet. Only differences I noticed were 1) No after-run "download" (where organizers might run through things they noticed) 2), we got to pick our own times, becuase 3) there was no skill organization. This meant the tracking ranged from spirited to aggressive and sometimes a bit scary, especially as people treated it like a race, and would cut your inside line. As someone who's done a few track days, but is by no means even a novice, I was a bit intimidated, especially by the Porsche GT3 drivers. Those cars are fast, and the owners are typically good at driving, and I was on unfamiliar turf.

The car got a lot of looks, and it was the only F8x at the event. An E92 owner offered me to trade, and honestly, I probably would've gotten the better end of that deal. The way his car blew by me on the track was unreal, but it was also tuned, so there's that. I also got a chance to meet Dave72, a fellow bimmerpost member! Great guy, and such a beautiful family.

















So how'd I do, and more importantly, how did the car do? Well, honestly, I was a bit of a wuss. This is my second RWD car, and first car I've had with this much power. I left the very-nannying traction control system on full during 3 out of 4 of my runs. But even only partway through the first run, I was feeling frustrated by the amount it cuts into the car's power. I was being passed left and right, mostly because my exits out of turns were so amazingly slow. The simply refuses to put any power down if the TCS is fully on.

The power in this car is unreal, and I'm amazed how touchy the throttle is in Sport + mode. If you're not a featherweight with it, it can seriously throw the car around. I only opted for the steel brakes on my car, and they did fade a bit, but I found them to be more than adequate for my driving, even later on when I was running the car harder. I wonder if I'd be so confident at 90% instead of the 50-60% I was running at...

What really blew me away was how it dug into corners. I kept thinking, "Ok, it's going to start giving here," and I would give it a bit more, and it would go right along with me. "On rails" is one of those phrases that's thrown around when people talk about handling, but really, this car feels like its wheels just settle into invisible grooves on the road. And as far as the steering goes, it's heavy, but that's my only complaint. If I was good enough to time the corner right, I never had any problem running the bumpers on the apex or aiming with the "numb" steering.

As I was finally beginning to feel more comfortable with the car and the track, I decided to put it on MDM, with the BMW Welt associate's words ringing in my mind: "MDM will do nothing unless you hesitate, then it will cut in like normal traction control." OK, I figured, I can probably handle that. And I could, mostly. The day was very dry, despite warnings of early afternoon rains. On my fourth run, I headed out with the MDM on, and proceeded to erase a full 6 seconds off my laps, and the car really started to feel fun and rompy. Then a slight drizzle. Then more of a drizzle. Soon, I started feeling the understeer of a wet track and pulled back a bit. And then on, I think, turn 6 or 7, I was accelerating out of the apex when I started to lose the tail. Remember how I said this was the most powerful car I've ever driven, and my first RWD? This is the first time I've ever thrown the tail end of the car.

I have to assume its from simulations and games, and probably a lot of help from the MDM, but I was able to quickly recover from the slight slide. At that point, there was maybe 10 minutes of running time left, and I was pretty sure I'd soiled myself, so I decided to call it a day so I could shake off my jitters. It *is* an expensive car after all, and I really didn't want to total it right away...

Fun aside: On our first laps out of each session, we would have a professional pace driver give us the best line. I think the 3rd run or so, I somehow ended up next to an Alpine White E92 at the front of the starting line. The pace driver laughed and came over and asked if we were gonna duke it out. I quickly assured him that the other driver would easily leave me in the dust. We got to talking about the two cars, and he was saying he really loved the F80, but the E92 had a better sound. Weird. I'd never heard that opinion before

Here's a quick video recap of Spa:



Frankfurt:

I don't really have much to say about Frankfurt. We actually spent two days here, but I kind of wish we had instead spent maybe more time in another small village or something. It's just kind of a very standard big city with a very touristy area. We stayed at Motel One Frankfurt-Messe. Yet another nice room, but the parking was very tight and crowded, and the location, in my opinion, was very bad. We had to walk at least a mile to get to anywhere worth seeing in the city. Which maybe wasn't so bad. By this point, I had probably drank and eaten my weight in German beer and brats.




Nürburgring:

So, initially, the Nurburgring website only showed Saturday, Nov. 15 and Sunday Nov. 16 as Nordschleiffe days. I was a bit devastated by this, as I would be returning my car in Munich on Saturday, and thus there would be absolutely no way for me to drive the famed track. Of course, I was still thankful that I could even *do* this trip and that I still got a chance to drive on the equally prestigious Spa-Francorchamps, but ever since I knew that the Nurburgring existed (thanks to Gran Turismo), I wanted to drive a car on it.

I don't know what changed, but for whatever reason, Nurburgring decided to open up another public day on Friday as well, from 1:30p-4:30p. A 3-hour window, and one in which there was forecasted rain. I now had some small hope of driving the track, but being that the rest of the trip was absolutely saturated with bad rains, I didn't hold out much hope, especially because I also know the track has a tendency to close often due to accidents. So when heading there, I really only had in my mind that I'd be able to tour the track, and that should be enough for me.

The plan was to head there from Frankfurt, then head down to Munich. We arrived there around 10am in the company of brutally cold, hard wind. We bundled up and bought a couple of "Behind the scenes" tour tickets. The tour was fantastic. The guide took us around, told us the history of the track, some interesting stories, and since we were a small weekday group, we had a chance to go to certain places they don't normally get to go. We even got to step out on the GP track because it was closed that day.














I'm convinced that my Euro license plate was a lucky charm or something (had the designation "M3" after all), because it turned out to be a very dry day in Nurburg, and since it was in fact a weekday, the traffic was incredibly light on the ring, so there hadn't been any incidents. At this point, I honestly felt like the luckiest person alive, because now I was just about to be able to realize a dream when I had originally no hope of doing so.

I bought two laps and headed into Nurburg to enter the ring. This is something that I had no notion of. The entrance to Norschleiffe is nowhere near the actual Nurburgring visitor area. You actually drive a good 8 minutes down the road to a humble little roundabout where you make a right and suddenly you're on the most famous race course in the world. Swipe of the card, and I was off.

With the tour guides words echoing in my head ("The track is very dangerous." "Lots of people have died." blah blah blah), and my memory of the course a bit rusty (I think the last time I did the 24h Nordschleiffe race in a game was Gran Turismo 3), I decided to take it a bit easy. What I would come to realize is that this is probably more dangerous than simply driving a bit faster. Cars were consistently whizzing by me and I was nearly clipped at least a couple times (warning: frightened language):



This is the second, and decidedly faster time around. Fewer people passing me. I could start to see how this track could become addictive.





So what is it like? Pants-peeingly scary, honestly. The road is far bumpier than I think any game I've ever played makes it out to be, and on every hill or blind spot, you're convinced the road is just going to make a hard right or something. What really surprised me is how composed the car was on such a bumpy road. I never got the sense it was floating or unable to hold its place, and of course, the thing was a rocket on the straights.

Now with a bit of adrenal afterglow, we were headed to Munich, our first -- and last -- city.

Munich:

Gave ourselves two days here. As mentioned before, I was dropping the car off on Saturday with Log In Out GMBH at the airport. Really great of them to have their location there. We were flying home Sunday, but had I known they were right at the airport, I may have just had us fly home Saturday after dropping off the car. But I digress...

We stayed at Hotel Demas City, which is a great location, but they wouldn't allow me to try to park my car in their lot ("too big", I think is what she said). Their garage entry didn't seem any smaller than the one in Krakow, though, so maybe their lot was too small? No matter. There's a big, spacious, secure garage literally 300 feet down the road, so it was no problem at all. The hotel had nice rooms, and I would definitely recommend it.

As we were pretty exhausted, we sort of wound down the trip with a relatively simple day of eating, drinking, and visiting the BMW Museum (which I didn't really have a chance to do when we were heading out initially, since we had a pretty tight schedule). The museum is pretty rad, if you can get past the fact it's really just a gigantic PR anchor for BMW. It's a company with real history, good and bad, and while they don't exactly advertise their building engines for the wrong side of history, it's not like they pretend there was no World War II either.

And, of course, the cars. I'm a damn sucker for 70s and 80s era European cars, and this place is just a candyland of them. I won't post pictures of the museum, because you really can't appreciate the beauty of a pristine tangerine 2002 plucked right out of history and hermetically sealed for enjoyment in a picture. You have to see the light hit its contours and see the color radiate from it. It's breathtaking.

Anyway, stepping back a bit, earlier that day, I dropped off the car. Log In Out's Katherin was very sweet and helpful as I was parting ways with my new appendage. Here's the final numbers:




What I was most impressed by (seriously) was the gas mileage. At one point, on the Autobahn, I was doing about 110mph, and just out of curiosity, I checked the efficiency meter, and I was getting about 20mpg. This thing is an incredible technological marvel.

It was really hard giving up the keys knowing I would not see the car again for at least 2 months, but I can't imagine a better way to have put the first 3000 or so miles on it. I now feel a real kinship with this car, and, it being my first BMW, I hope to be able to have it in my garage for the rest of my life.

Thanks for reading. Tchüss.
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      11-06-2014, 06:04 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing! Looked like an awesome trip, congrats!
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      11-06-2014, 06:43 PM   #3
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can you make the photos any bigger?
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      11-06-2014, 07:34 PM   #4
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wow...pics are huge.
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      11-06-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
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nice. did you rent winter tires?
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      11-06-2014, 08:50 PM   #6
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very cool! nice shots, congrats
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      11-06-2014, 09:03 PM   #7
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Looks like an awesome trip What are you thoughts on driving through Italy? Most folks on here recommend avoiding it.
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      11-06-2014, 09:21 PM   #8
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Congrats!

The winter wheels look like the 640M wheels BMW offers in their winter package - best pics I've seen of them, they look quite good actually. What tires were on them and how did they do on the dry and wet?

I just came back myself from my ED trip late October and picked up almost the same car! Enjoy the rest of your trip!
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      11-06-2014, 11:23 PM   #9
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Sorry about the ginormo pictures, guys. Fixed.

The winter wheels were *much* nicer than I expected. I honestly thought I was going to get some crappy steel wheels or something, but they looked fantastic, and I was impressed that they carried the M logo. Nice touch.

The tires were pretty simple Continental all-weather numbers (I think I've seen these tires on a buddy's pickup). I'll check the paperwork later and see if the model # is listed. They did perform great, though. I was driving through sheet rain in Italy and snow in Switzerland, and drove through parts of Germany in the rain at 100 mph without so much as a cough from the handling.

Driving through Italy can be pretty treacherous, especially in a new car, that's, you know, *yours*. People there just don't seem to give a fuck. I parked my car in a Venice garage, (Garage San Marcos) and it was fine. They had me leave the keys in it, so I was a bit of a nervous wreck about that. But they didn't so much as move it.

On the way to Zürich, we pulled off to get some of those countryside photos, and I had stopped my car to let a lady back out of a parking spot in a small village, and she nearly backed right into the front of my car. If I hadn't thrown the thing in reverse and stepped on it, she would have certainly nailed it. Yeah, so, people there are nutty. Lots of cool Alfas everywhere though. I'd say if you're used to LA or SF traffic, it's probably no worse.
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      11-11-2014, 03:19 PM   #10
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Great car and person, i've seen it in real at Spa-Francorschamps today.
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      11-11-2014, 03:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclowd9901
Sorry about the ginormo pictures, guys. Fixed.

The winter wheels were *much* nicer than I expected. I honestly thought I was going to get some crappy steel wheels or something, but they looked fantastic, and I was impressed that they carried the M logo. Nice touch.

The tires were pretty simple Continental all-weather numbers (I think I've seen these tires on a buddy's pickup). I'll check the paperwork later and see if the model # is listed. They did perform great, though. I was driving through sheet rain in Italy and snow in Switzerland, and drove through parts of Germany in the rain at 100 mph without so much as a cough from the handling.

Driving through Italy can be pretty treacherous, especially in a new car, that's, you know, *yours*. People there just don't seem to give a fuck. I parked my car in a Venice garage, (Garage San Marcos) and it was fine. They had me leave the keys in it, so I was a bit of a nervous wreck about that. But they didn't so much as move it.

On the way to Zrich, we pulled off to get some of those countryside photos, and I had stopped my car to let a lady back out of a parking spot in a small village, and she nearly backed right into the front of my car. If I hadn't thrown the thing in reverse and stepped on it, she would have certainly nailed it. Yeah, so, people there are nutty. Lots of cool Alfas everywhere though. I'd say if you're used to LA or SF traffic, it's probably no worse.
Bet this is the winter m640 winter kit you have. I bought this set 2 weeks ago for $3000
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      11-11-2014, 04:49 PM   #12
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congrats dude! My M3 was parked on the other side of yours earlier that morning and I got to snap a pic while the place was still quiet. That storm system that moved through last week was something, but (like you), my wife and I still made the most of it. I too thought that the winter wheels would be some crappy non-descript set of wheels, but to my delight they were an OEM set. I can say though that the wheel depot that handles that program left a lot to be desired considering that a large portion of their customer base is from the ED program. I waited over an hour just to get my car into a bay despite having an appointment.

Will post a review once I compile all the photos and experiences. No way I would take delivery of a car otherwise!! Who was your delivery associate?
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      11-11-2014, 05:51 PM   #13
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Congrats!
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      11-11-2014, 06:12 PM   #14
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Nice ! Congrats! First bmw too, first of many!
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      11-13-2014, 12:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by notan///m View Post
congrats dude! My M3 was parked on the other side of yours earlier that morning and I got to snap a pic while the place was still quiet. That storm system that moved through last week was something, but (like you), my wife and I still made the most of it. I too thought that the winter wheels would be some crappy non-descript set of wheels, but to my delight they were an OEM set. I can say though that the wheel depot that handles that program left a lot to be desired considering that a large portion of their customer base is from the ED program. I waited over an hour just to get my car into a bay despite having an appointment.

Will post a review once I compile all the photos and experiences. No way I would take delivery of a car otherwise!! Who was your delivery associate?
Was yours the Austin Yellow number? I saw one down on the floor and was in awe. That color made me regret the Alpine White a little bit

I can't remember the name of my associate, but he was great. Explained everything to me, a BMW newb, and he was fun and not stodgy at all.

Wish we could've had a chat before taking off, but who knows, I've already met dave72 at Spa-Francorchamps, so who knows how many of you cool peeps I'll get a chance to meet

Oh yeah, and that storm system was total garbage, but I was still in awe of the beauty of the drive from Italy to Zurich. It just makes me want to do this again with the next gen M3... but you know, in the summer, maybe
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      11-13-2014, 02:14 PM   #16
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I was thinking about doing this same trip, similar route this time next year. More specifically October 7-21.

Do you know when they start requiring winter tires?

Also, I've heard they start closing down palaces, tourist stops, roads in the third week of October. Did you find this to be the case?

Any tips or advice would be great!
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      11-13-2014, 04:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmoneystatus View Post
I was thinking about doing this same trip, similar route this time next year. More specifically October 7-21.

Do you know when they start requiring winter tires?

Also, I've heard they start closing down palaces, tourist stops, roads in the third week of October. Did you find this to be the case?

Any tips or advice would be great!
Most countries don't actually "require" winter tires. The only ones that do are Austria and Amsterdam (I think). However, if you're involved with an incident in most countries without M+S (all weather tires), you're likely to be held at fault. Their definitions of "Winter" also vary, but generally are understood to be mid-October to mid-April.

Aside from all of that, I was glad as hell I had them on the trip from Venice to Zurich. It ranged from sheet rain to full on snowing. Very treacherous conditions.

As far as everything closing down, yes, I found this to be the case as well. I had planned to hit Großglockner, Stelvio Pass, Gotthard Pass, Susten Pass and Grimsel Pass. Not a single one was open, and Großglockner wasn't even raining (the others, I probably wouldn't even have attempted if they were, due to the terrible weather). Further, the Nurburgring Norschleiffe is on a severely limited schedule, only being open 3 days a week (Friday from 1:30 to 4:30 and Sat and Sun all day). Of course, this is only if the weather isn't bad and if no one crashes. I'm planning on heading there tomorrow, and while I'd love to do even one run, there's a 30% chance of rain, so I'm not expecting too much. Truly my only regret is coming here past the token "Winter deadline".

That said, the changing to Fall is stunning, so if you can do a late Sep/early Oct trip, I'd totally recommend it. And hey: Oktoberfest!
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      11-13-2014, 06:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclowd9901 View Post
Was yours the Austin Yellow number? I saw one down on the floor and was in awe. That color made me regret the Alpine White a little bit

I can't remember the name of my associate, but he was great. Explained everything to me, a BMW newb, and he was fun and not stodgy at all.

Wish we could've had a chat before taking off, but who knows, I've already met dave72 at Spa-Francorchamps, so who knows how many of you cool peeps I'll get a chance to meet

Oh yeah, and that storm system was total garbage, but I was still in awe of the beauty of the drive from Italy to Zurich. It just makes me want to do this again with the next gen M3... but you know, in the summer, maybe
Probably not, I drove the car out by 10am to the valet. I guess it was someone else's M4 that was parked next to you. Same for me, our delivery guy was top notch and put up with my 1+ hr of questioning during the introduction. Here's what I took:

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      11-13-2014, 06:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclowd9901 View Post
Most countries don't actually "require" winter tires. The only ones that do are Austria and Amsterdam (I think). However, if you're involved with an incident in most countries without M+S (all weather tires), you're likely to be held at fault. Their definitions of "Winter" also vary, but generally are understood to be mid-October to mid-April.

Aside from all of that, I was glad as hell I had them on the trip from Venice to Zurich. It ranged from sheet rain to full on snowing. Very treacherous conditions.

As far as everything closing down, yes, I found this to be the case as well. I had planned to hit Großglockner, Stelvio Pass, Gotthard Pass, Susten Pass and Grimsel Pass. Not a single one was open, and Großglockner wasn't even raining (the others, I probably wouldn't even have attempted if they were, due to the terrible weather). Further, the Nurburgring Norschleiffe is on a severely limited schedule, only being open 3 days a week (Friday from 1:30 to 4:30 and Sat and Sun all day). Of course, this is only if the weather isn't bad and if no one crashes. I'm planning on heading there tomorrow, and while I'd love to do even one run, there's a 30% chance of rain, so I'm not expecting too much. Truly my only regret is coming here past the token "Winter deadline".

That said, the changing to Fall is stunning, so if you can do a late Sep/early Oct trip, I'd totally recommend it. And hey: Oktoberfest!
Thanks for the quick response and advice! Definitely shooting for early to mid October, hopefully we get lucky with weather and it'd be great to see the seasons change (coming from Southern California, haha). Looking forward to the journey similar to the one you had and congrats on the great looking ride, I think that goes unsaid here.
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      11-14-2014, 03:19 PM   #20
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Doing ED this winter.

I was just in Prague, but it never gets old. Originally I was just going to return the car and train to a few cities and fly home, but I might want to drive. Are you trying to stay out of the mountains?

Does Czech Republic not require winters?

If you could explain how you went about getting the winters that would be great.

Thanks!
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      11-14-2014, 06:21 PM   #21
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Doctor///M, thanks for the additional pic!

seis-speed it appears some roads *do* require winter tires. I may or may not have been in a dark area of the law in this regard, but this is mostly due to my ignorance. As you intimated, yeah, I aimed to try to stay out of areas I thought might be troublesome, such as the mountains (hence, having the winter tires through Switzerland and the Alps).

As far as the process, it's pretty easy. Go to edwintertires.com (it's the only place that does this service). Schedule the tires for a block of time, and you will pay for them in advance. Aim to schedule your tire pick-up time for *at least* a couple hours after your car pick-up time, to give you enough time at the Welt to get through the pick up process. Then you'll go to a local tire fitter (Büchler Reifen in my case). Doctor///M apparently had some trouble getting his car in and out, but they took me in straight away and got me out in less than 10 minutes. It was pretty incredible, and I was off to Italy.
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      11-14-2014, 11:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclowd9901 View Post
Doctor///M, thanks for the additional pic!

seis-speed it appears some roads *do* require winter tires. I may or may not have been in a dark area of the law in this regard, but this is mostly due to my ignorance. As you intimated, yeah, I aimed to try to stay out of areas I thought might be troublesome, such as the mountains (hence, having the winter tires through Switzerland and the Alps).

As far as the process, it's pretty easy. Go to edwintertires.com (it's the only place that does this service). Schedule the tires for a block of time, and you will pay for them in advance. Aim to schedule your tire pick-up time for *at least* a couple hours after your car pick-up time, to give you enough time at the Welt to get through the pick up process. Then you'll go to a local tire fitter (Büchler Reifen in my case). Doctor///M apparently had some trouble getting his car in and out, but they took me in straight away and got me out in less than 10 minutes. It was pretty incredible, and I was off to Italy.
Have fun, I love Europe, I travel a lot and would not drive my car in Italy unless just passing to southern France so you have more guts than me.

Did you leave your summer tires at EDwintertires?
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