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      11-02-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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Oct 2014 European Delivery PhotoBlog - M4 Convertible (High Bandwidth)

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A few disclaimers:
* The pics are a mix from my cell phone and my Canon 6D
* There is NO COLOR RETOUCHING or post production - wanted to stay true to what the camera saw. I did adjust the white balance in the Prince's Garage
* With the obvious exception of delivery, the car isn't washed so it's got 100s or 1000s of Ks of dirt, bugs, and brake dust on it
* I took thousand of pics and had trouble editing down to this set - it's far from perfect
* I had to balance my photo-journalistic aspirations with actually having the trip so these pics are far from complete :rofl:

Hopefully it's at least entertaining - On with the show!

Part 1 - Travel to Munich
Of course the first thing you have to do for ED is get to Munich. For this trip because of the LOOOoooonnnnggg flights from the US west coast we decided to splurge for biz class ... this had some mixed results: Delta switched out the return flight from JFK to a 737 so it was essentially worthless. My recommendation would be JetBlue's Mint which doesn't have that problem. However the LAX-JFK was on Delta's 757 trans-con product, here it is:




Food was excellent!



But the real winner was Air France's JFK to CDG business class - it was FANTASTIC! Highly recommended. If you're only using dollars/points on one leg, this is one to pick. Even despite the long flights we both arrived Munich with little jet lag. Here's Air France:






MUC Airport transportation to your hotel
Once we got to Munich, we used the ED Sixt service for pick up. It was great and feels like a really premium way to arrive for your ED:





Getting from your Hotel to The Welt
The next morning we got up early (I recommend ED times of 10am or earlier), and took the train to the Welt. It's super easy, pretty fast (faster than a taxi), and a good experience.





Once you get to the top of the underground steps, it's a 30 second walk to the front entrance:







The Welt
And the first thing you see when you walk in, at least right now, is the F8x display:






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      11-02-2014, 04:16 PM   #2
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 2

Part 2 - The Welt

Of course there's lots of other cool BMWs on display in The Welt:










A few of their Luxo-barges:




And, of course, the new stuff:




Delivery - Step 1
The first thing you need to do is head up the elevator to the "Premium Lounge" to take care of your paperwork:





And then it's off to the waiting lounge
Had to take a pic of my Bavarian favorite, weisswurst!




I MacGyver'd a pair of glasses with a Mobius cam for 1080p eye-level video of delivery. Looked pretty stupid but way cooler than the gopro chest or head harnesses! That's sparkling apple juice btw - I used a Paulaner glass to keep with the festive atmosphere:



... And finally, Delivery Time!
You walk to the staging area that has the names and times list on the boards. Both EDs my delivery specialist has picked me up in the lounge and we walk over together:


The grand staircase!
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      11-02-2014, 04:17 PM   #3
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 3

Tah-Dah!





Moonstone compared to Silverstone:









This is once of the few pics that shows how Moonstone changes in the light ... you can see the gold tinges in the door jam:






Only 1 mile on the odometer!




Birthplace is still in the GPS!






Check out the seats, man, they frickin GLOW!



Time to Bail
So the delivery specialist runs you through everything and helps you get it all set up which, for a new platform, is a good thing. Then you have to make a decision ... get escorted out or not? I went with yes. So the pace car does a victory lap or 2 with you and then you exit out


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      11-02-2014, 04:18 PM   #4
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 4

Travel to Zurich
We returned to our hotel, packed up our gear and drove straight to Zurich. Even with an earlier ED time, if you take your time shopping in the Welt etc it'll take up the whole morning so we didn't get on the road until around noonish. We considered driving southest into Austria and then heading back west through Innsbruck to Zurich, but decided we'd rather get to Zurich asap, so we drove direct.

Even though I had video running for most of the trip, on the way to Zurich it was all normal freeways so I thought I'd save some card space and had it off. DOH! One of the scariest moments of the trip was when a guy in front of me changed into the left lane (mine) and slowly kept going right into the freeway barrier, kicking his car up on 2 wheels and almost flipping him. Luckily he didn't, and kept driving for another few miles! I videoed that, but there's not much to see. Unfortunately he kicked up a lot of debris which chipped our windshield, front bumper, and the roof. I'm hoping they'll see it on re-delivery. We'll see.

The rest of the drive was uneventful and we arrived until about 5pm. Parking was pre-planned and private in a secure garage so now worries there.

Luckily they had our room prepared for arrival!


Zurich towards Milan
We decided to take the long way to Milan, heading southwest towards Interlaken and then south on Grimsel Pass. The goal was to take the Furka Pass east, but it was a nice day - the first for a long while I guess - and there was some pleasure traffic. I was hoping for some alone time on the twisties to test out the new M4 and heard there was less traffic on the Sustenstrasse so we took that. I have some video I'll post later but it was stellar - great lesser taken route and I'd recommend it.

Roomservice in the AM to fuel up for the big drive:



Of course there are lots of picturesque towns and buying gas is easy - and much less frequent that in the E9x! It's noticeable.




And Sustenstrasse was stunning:






There were a few other pleasure drivers up there but it was pretty quiet overall:



We stopped here to take a break from some sport driving and snap a few pics:



This helicopter flies up through the alps and lands in front of a waterfall right in front of us!



So the disaster of a plan was to drive south out of the alps on E35 into Lugano and then head east across SS340 to Menaggio and then south along Lake Como to Milan. Here are the massive errors in judgement:
(1.) Lugano is a trap. You don't just drive into or out of it - it's a maze that you'd swear has a Minotaur somewhere. NEVER drive into Lugano.
(2.) SS340 looks like a road on the map. I even street viewed it. Nothing prepares you for its horrors. If I had a beater rental, no problem.

Just to prove we were there, here's a pic of the lake:



We turned around on SS340 and headed back for Lugano so we could get back on E35 towards Milan. Even though we were slightly smarter and experienced with the Maze, it still took about an hour just to get out of Lugano. It's not traffic, btw, it's a fecking maze.

Anyway, the next challenge was downtown Milan which, while 1% shy of insane, was kinda fun in retrospect. We were following trains on their tracks, driving in taxi/bus only lanes, driving in restricted car zones ... We actually turned onto Via Dante. We joked at the time about knowing we were in hell, and then later we read on a map about the "pedestrian only" road Via Dante! At one point the polizia were following us but they smartly turned away. Here are some of the roads and their challenges:

Stay to the right of trains!


Oops. That road doesn't go anywhere even though GPS says it does:


Taxis only, but what the feck, dive it anyway:


When you see this sign you're breaking the law:



Which must be why the Italians drive these:



Finally we arrived, but it required illegally parking the car for 15 minutes while I ran around on foot to map directions to get there - nobody and I mean NOBODY honked or said a thing:



The next day it was off to see the sites of Milan. Lots of people don't like it but I think it's one of the best cities in Europe to hang out in: Great scenery, great food, great art, and best of all great coffee - like blow-your-mind-zomg great coffee. We spent a few nights here.




The fancy Galleria Vittorio Emanuele




Dudes selling wooden bikes:


The shopping views in Milan are fantastic:





Time to head for Nice. We started our day, as always, with some fantastic European room service - just looking at that coffee pitcher makes me want to fly back. The pinky meat is smoked swordfish! Very ham-like but I guess it's popular in Italy. Great if you're trying to keep up your protein in Italy:



Time to fire up the M4 for travel to Nice. The Italians, btw, loved the car but especially loved the colors inside and out. Lots of super positive comments, pictures, and admirers


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      11-02-2014, 04:19 PM   #5
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 5

Nice and Monaco
Driving in Italy is just not fun. Even on the freeways, I'm not sure what it is, but neither of us enjoyed it. Great country, but not to drive. Also the Milan to Nice run was pretty disappointing. The idea of driving a convertible along the Italian Riviera sounded awesome, but the reality is an unending series of tunnels while driving next to semis. Nice itself was very heavy traffic, but compared to Milan was easy to zip in too.

Arrival!



We parked at a public secure ramp at the corner of Rue Du Congres and Prom Des Anglais. If you're brave enough to drive to the bottom you can get a nice cozy single spot:


The ramp was very nice, very clean, and there were plenty of spendy cars in it:





As you'd expect, sunsets on the Cote d'Azur are pretty awesome:






A must for any car lover is a day trip to Monaco. Getting there is pretty easy and you can take a taxi, bus, train, or helicopter! The taxi is about 1/2 the price of the helicopter (which is baller 7 min ride), the bus is $2 (1 hr), and the train is about $15 (20 minutes). We opted for the train:



Monaco itself is a pretty weird-to-navigate place with all kinds of fancy underground walkways you have to do your homework to find. The train - if you take the right exit - gets you to downtown pretty easily but it's a 15 minute underground walk. If you're heading towards the doors right off the train you're going the wrong way, but you get some nice pictures


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      11-02-2014, 04:20 PM   #6
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 6

The Prince's Car Collection
For any body interested in cars and/or car-related history, the Prince of Monaco's car collection is a must-see. I'll let the pics speak for themselves ... as noted earlier I did adjust the white balance in these pics but they are otherwise unadjusted:
































This is the hybrid car the prince used when he was recently married:
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      11-02-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 7

Evian and Belgium

From Nice, our next stop was Geneva. There are basically 3 ways you can get there:

(1.) Through Turin and the Italian alps - that was scratched off the list early

(2.) Via the Route Napoleon - Nice, Grasse, Castellane, Digne, etc

(3.) Loop west through Provence and back northeast towards Geneva - we selected this route for various reasons but basically it was the shortest that didn't require Italian freeways. I decided to save the Route Napoleon for another time and I don't regret it.


What we did do is drive around Lake Geneva as a replacement for our Lake Como drive that we bailed on. It was a beautiful drive and highly recommended - I got some great video I'll post later. In the mean time here are few pics from the ferry landing at Evian:






After Geneva it was on to Belgium and Ghent. It was a long drive but my goal was to drive shore to shore, so we went for it. Plus Belgium has a few specialty items you can only get there, from their original place of production, and Ghent is a great town for a day trip or even a few nights. I'm a huge Belgium fan






The best mustard in the World at Tierenteyn! You gotta like it spicy though or this stuff will kill you. Made in the backroom only there, no export due to pasteurization requirements, but it's ok for a few days in your luggage. I bought plenty.



The best shopping bag in the World - and you can get the real stuff, not the export stuff:



Ghent has an awesome cheese co-op, Het Hinkelspel, with all handcrafted cheeses and few other items. If you like craft cheese this is the place for you:

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      11-02-2014, 04:22 PM   #8
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 8

Rural Belgium Photoshoot
Rural Belgium gave me a little more time to snap some M4 pics - Unfortunately by this point the car had a few thousand Ks of dirt, bugs, and brake dust but I think it still looks pretty awesome:









A friend has an old Range Rover he uses for hay rides and a LoMax he's planning to rebuild one of these days:





















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      11-02-2014, 04:23 PM   #9
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 9

Hello Paris!



Parisians like their toiletry ... like this Auto-Bidet ... interesting ...




Anyway, on with the sight-seeing: Montmartre




Arc de Triomphe




A wedding at Madeleine







Musee d'Orsay -- I can't speak French so I didn't understand that sign in the foreground



Maxim's



Final shot of Paris:

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      11-02-2014, 04:24 PM   #10
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Oct 2014 ED PhotoBlog Part 10

Drop-off
I was ambivalent about drop-off - it was kinda nice to get rid of the worry but, of course, horribly to turn over the keys. Paris drop-off was super easy, as much as Munich if memory serves. There's a car wash right around the corner and since you're at the airport if you're flying out you can just head to the terminal. If you want to go back into the city TT Transit will get you a cab or you can take a train from the terminal. Uber is a great option too ... we used it Paris-CDG and it was great and cheaper than a Taxi.











All-in-all a fantastic program.
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      11-02-2014, 05:05 PM   #11
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Awesome! Great trip, and great pics!

I called it before...you got snagged in Mr. Accel Junky's delivery!



http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1044056
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      11-02-2014, 05:20 PM   #12
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I really enjoyed that whole post
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      11-02-2014, 05:48 PM   #13
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Great story and photos! It appears we were there at the same time.
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      11-02-2014, 06:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Drop-off
I was ambivalent about drop-off - it was kinda nice to get rid of the worry but, of course, horribly to turn over the keys. Paris drop-off was super easy, as much as Munich if memory serves. There's a car wash right around the corner and since you're at the airport if you're flying out you can just head to the terminal. If you want to go back into the city TT Transit will get you a cab or you can take a train from the terminal. Uber is a great option too ... we used it Paris-CDG and it was great and cheaper than a Taxi.

Great photos
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      11-02-2014, 06:29 PM   #15
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Great posts! I really appreciate those who take the time to document their ED trips like this. What was up with that cat? Lol
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      11-02-2014, 06:38 PM   #16
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In one word...Wow !
Saw also where you was in Belgium ,and that you like the Belgian chocolats ?
But you are not talking about the best beers in the world...The Belgian beers ?
BTW....Congrats with the ///M4 and THX for sharing the amazing pictures !
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      11-02-2014, 06:41 PM   #17
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Great posts! I really appreciate those who take the time to document their ED trips like this. What was up with that cat? Lol
Ha, it's a farm cat that supposedly doesn't like people but it kept hanging around the M4. It never tried to climb on it or sleep under it or anything, it would just sit by it and watch it. Even when I was taking pictures it would move around me, but just kept hanging around.
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      11-02-2014, 06:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Accel Junky View Post
Great story and photos! It appears we were there at the same time.
yeah, bummer we missed you! You delivered right after us, but we were already deep into our delivery when our specialist told us about you, and you started. I have some video when they turned on your turntables just cause it was cool to see 2 going at once
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      11-02-2014, 06:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium View Post
In one word...Wow !
Saw also where you was in Belgium ,and that you like the Belgian chocolats ?
But you are not talking about the best beers in the world...The Belgian beers ?
BTW....Congrats with the ///M4 and THX for sharing the amazing pictures !
A reservation at Brouwerij de Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren was on the list

Belgium is one of my favorite countries ... just wish I spoke Dutch.
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      11-02-2014, 07:00 PM   #20
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It was very enjoyable to browse through your pics. Great ED trip .
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      11-02-2014, 07:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
A reservation at Brouwerij de Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren was on the list

Belgium is one of my favorite countries ... just wish I spoke Dutch.
You are a very special person ,would love to have met you in person if I knew you were here...
BTW....In Belgium are 3 languages..
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      11-02-2014, 07:57 PM   #22
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very very sweet trip! thanks for posting it!!!
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