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      06-12-2016, 11:09 PM   #1
XsltAnalyst
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European Delivery Trip Special Report, 3900 kms, 18 days, Lots of Videos +Pix!

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Distance Traveled: 3915 KMs

CONTENTS:
  • Backstory
  • Day 1: (May 15, Sunday) - Fly to Munich
  • Days 2-3: Explore Munchen
  • Day 4: BMW Welt tour, Plant tour, Museum, Actual delivery
  • Day 5: Ulm, Germany. Going to the top of Tallest church in the world.
  • Day 6: Castles and Mountains near Füssen
  • Day 7: Blauburen historical downtown
  • Day 8: Drive south- east, arrive near Konigsee while driving thru Fern pass and Hahntennjoch pass
  • Day 9: Berchtesgaden Salt mine tour and lake Konigsee
  • Day 10: Big Day! Mountain Passes (Rossfeld panoramastraße, Glossglockner, Nockalmstraße)
  • Day 11: Julian Alps of Slovenia (Vrsic Pass, Wurzenpass), and Soca river
  • Day 12: Lake Garda and Sella Pass
  • Day 13: Innsbruck, Austria
  • Day 14: Mutters, Austria mountain biking
  • Day 15: Back to Munchen to get the car serviced and VMAX (sort of, till the speed limiter kicked in to curtail the fun)
  • Days 16-17-18: Nürburgring and around
  • Day 19: Drop off the car in Frankfurt and Fly back home

Youtube channel I created just for this trip:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSX...FlOSnhOremE5Xw

Youtube Playlist of the Main Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...bB0KdVPt55ut3K

Bonus Driving Footage Of the Alpine Passes
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...kIwH522mHdZM1g

More pix will be at http://nurbekproductions.blogspot.com , since it's a pain to upload all the pics here


Dedicated in loving memory of my father, who passed away summer of 2014.

This is going to be a long story, so if you're only interested in actual delivery, then skip to Day 4.

Anyway, my first BMW was this E34 that I got back in 2008. Before that, I had a nissan maxima which was unfortunately totaled after someone ran the red light.
So while searching for a replacement, I came upon this E34. From the moment I test drove the car, I knew why BMW had that special formula that made the car just feel right.


Anyway, I kept that E34 as a DD while I had various other bimmers that I played around with as a second car. The list includes another E34, E39, E30, E32, etc.

Obviously, it wasn't ideal to spend most of my hard earned money and some weekends working on my cars, but that's what I did while in college. My father sometimes would say that I should rather just get a new car instead of wasting my time and money like that, to which I would reply that once I pay off my student loans I would order a brand new one and we would pick it up from the factory. Besides, he knew that that's fixing up and modifying cars is what I liked doing so he didn't mind.

I had silverstone M3 as a desktop background for a few years that helped me picture that someday I would be high in the alps, driving around with my brand new car. Not the exact pic, but similar:


So fast forward few years after graduation, I paid off all my debt and started researching European delivery. My plan was to bring my father along and pick up the new car from Munchen. This was around Jan of 2014, and I was thinking of planning for a summer trip to Europe.

However, unfortunately, universe had alternate plans. Couple of months later, my father's health started to deteriorate and doctors had no clue. For 4 weeks, doctors couldn't properly diagnose while he was in unbearable pain and all they could do was pump him full of painkillers. After multiple ER visits, dozens of inpatient days, endless tests and we got the answer that we feared the most: cancer. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at it's final stages. But the doctors said that there is a good chance of survival if the treatment goes well.

Few months pass by and after endless chemo and other treatments, he was ready for his surgery. Despite the fact that the cancer has spread in more places than they originally thought, the surgery goes well and they discharge him home after some time. It looked like the worst is over, so with good intentions, I started talking with a local dealer discussing placing an order, so by the time the car is finished, my father would be back on his feet and I could take him to Germany.

However, not much time passes and one day during work, I get a phone call from my mom that I should come home. I drive home immediately as fast as I could and took my dad to ER for the last time. Once we get there, few hours later he's moved to ICU then we lose him not much after. It was the darkest moments for everyone in our family, but all the friends and relatives helped to get thru the funeral and visited us often.

When it rains it pours it seems. About 8 months later, one of those days while commuting to work, I get into an accident and total my beloved E34. But I marched on, kept fighting since family responsibilities were on my shoulder now, and that's probably what my dad would've wanted. Besides, I had my dreams that I needed to achieve, and things to take care of.

Anyway, here comes the summer of 2015, and I place an order for a European Delivery. However, the universe doesn't seem to agree with me again. My mother seem to develop some health issues couple of months before my trip. As per usual, doctors can't diagnose properly for few weeks. Even though my mother insists that I go get my car, I cancel my order and start praying to God that I don't want to lose my Mom too. Thankfully, doctors figure out the issue and she gets better after some treatments.
Since I've already taken off work for my planned trip (but cancelled the car), I went to Europe anyway to relax a bit and do some bucket list items. Got there late September of last year, Rented a 1 L VW polo from Frankfurt and drove around for 12 days. During those days:
  1. Visited Frankfurt International Auto Show
  2. Did 4 laps of the Nordshlife in a rented Ford Fiesta
  3. Reached top speed of my rental car on autobahn (185 KPH is all it could do)
  4. Visited Beautiful Jungfrau region and hiked swiss alps. Even helped couple of injured tourists on Eiger trail and met some people from Swiss Mountain Rescue Team
  5. Andermatt loop: Furka pass, Grimsell pass, etc
  6. Been to Octoberfest Munchen
  7. Visited Stuttgart MB museum


I came back home from that trip, feeling refreshed and a bit rested. Things start to get better from then.

2016 rolls in, and I think about placing an order for a car, thinking maybe 3rd time's the charm. I contact my sales advisor again, whom I've worked with last year and we get the ball rolling again.
By the way, shout out to Ben Allen from BMW of Annapolis in Maryland, he was really understanding when I had to cancel my order last year (due to family reasons). He was happy to assist me again this year to get the car that I wanted.

Anyway, that's the backstory, now here is the actual info about the trip. Many thanks for all those who posted trip reports and checklists, as well as bimmerpost and bimmerfest european delivery wiki and forums.

Pics from Sept 2015. With my tiny 1L rental VW. Who would've thought I'd be back there again with my own car in less than a year?!
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      06-12-2016, 11:20 PM   #2
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Day 1: Baltimore-Frankfurt-Munich

When searching for flights, I found out that the Condor Airlines has seasonal cheap flights to Frankfurt from Baltimore during summer months. This meant that I didn't have to drive far to other regional airports. Instead, I could have someone drop me off at the airport and save on parking.


So I booked a flight from Baltimore to Munich, which meant that I had to switch the planes when I got to Frankfurt.

However, on the day of departure (May 15), the Baltimore to Frankfurt part of the flight was delayed by about 2 hours and 45 mins . This meant that I had to make it to my connecting flight (Frankfurt- Munich) within 45 mins. Had to get thru x ray machines, passport control and run to my gate and somehow made it few minutes before they stopped boarding. This part of the trip was good, since the actual flight time from Frankfurt to Munich was only 35 minutes and Lufthansa has pretty good on board service.


Anyway, once I got to Munich, I had a SIXT driver waiting for me, in a brand new BMW 7 series. This taxi ride was provided for free by BMW, as a part of European Delivery package.


For the next two nights I stayed in a hotel near downtown and explored the city.
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      06-12-2016, 11:25 PM   #3
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Day 2: Exploring Munich

After resting the first day, I was ready to start exploring the Munich. The next day I took a tour of the city, which started at a central square in the city centre of Munich. We started from Marienplatz, watched the infamous Rathaus-Glockenspiel bells and dance. Then stopped at places like Peterskirche (St Peters Church), Victuals Market, Odensplatz and so on. Then I rented a bike, explored the city some more, and went all the way to Nymphenburg Palace.

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      06-12-2016, 11:32 PM   #4
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Day 3: Olympiapark, Munich

Today I moved to a closer hotel so that I would be close to Munchen Olympiapark and of course the BMW Welt (delivery center). Stayed at Leonardo Royal Hotel for a day. Rented a bicycle and biked down to the Olympiapark and took some night pictures of the area. Tomorrow is a big day, since I have an appointment to take a delivery of the car.

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      06-12-2016, 11:36 PM   #5
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Day 4: BMW Welt and BMW Museum

Today was the big day- I was taking delivery of my new car. However, my actual delivery appointment time wasn't until 14:30, so I used this time to explore the BMW Welt, ate at the premium lounge, visited the Museum next door and even did the factory tour.

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      06-12-2016, 11:39 PM   #6
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Day 4: Actual Delivery- Got my New Car!

Since I had a full day planned, I left the hotel at 8 am. Hotel was only 1.6 km from the BMW Welt so I got there quick. Once I got into the BMW welt, a person greeted me and showed me where to go. First, they took my luggage and gave me a ticket. Then I was pointed to a lift that takes to the premium lounge to do some paperwork. Once I got to the 3rd floor, we did the paperwork and I was given a card containing a 10 euro for a souvenir shop, and vouchers for 2 free safety vests and a engraved key-chain.
Once I ate some food at the premium lounge, I took some pictures of the cars within BMW Welt, then got the vests and the engraved key-chain. Did a quick visit to BMW museum across the street. Then did the factory tour at 11:45 am and got back around 2 pm. Had my scheduled delivery after that, so we walked down the steps and I saw my car for the first time. Then the car started rotating just like in the car shows.
Once we walked down to my car, we did the whole walk-around and explaining all the functions thing with the person who was handling my delivery. Once everything was complete, he took my picture and we said our goodbyes. Then I took 2 victory laps inside around the stage while all the tourists watched and exited the Welt.
Next destination: Ulm, Germany.

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      06-12-2016, 11:42 PM   #7
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Day 5: Ulm, Germany

Today I climbed the Ulm Minster- it's currently the tallest church in the world. It's height is 161.5 m (530 ft). To go up to the top, one must pay 5 euros and climb up 768 steps. On a clear day like today, the views were worth it.

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      06-12-2016, 11:47 PM   #8
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Day 6: castles and mountains near Füssen, Germany

Today we drove to Fussen Germany. There we parked the car and hiked up to see Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle (yellow one). Weather was really nice that day, so we hiked for a few more hours to the top of the mountain and came down with a cable car- tegelbergbahn.



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      06-12-2016, 11:47 PM   #9
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Congrats. Finally it's all happening for you. Sad to hear about your dad, but life goes on. I'm sure his looking over you now go have fun and make this trip one to remember.
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      06-12-2016, 11:51 PM   #10
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Day 7: Blaubeuren, Germany

We drove to a small historical downtown of Blaubeuren using some nice back roads and then ate some ice cream.
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      06-12-2016, 11:56 PM   #11
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Day 8: driving towards Berchtesgaden, Germany

Today I drove south-west towards Berchtesgaden, Germany while driving thru Hahntennjoch
and Fern Pass alpine roads. It was raining all day and it was even snowing at higher elevations in Hahntennjoch pass. It was barely 31F at the top but the road was only wet, otherwise I don't think it would've been safe to drive in snow with those summer tires.

Fern pas was ok, nothing to write home about. However, Hahntennjoch pass was something else.
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      06-12-2016, 11:58 PM   #12
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Congrats on the car! Great trip report and vids!
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      06-12-2016, 11:59 PM   #13
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Day 9: Lake Königssee

It was raining a lot during past couple of days so I decided to go on a tour to the Berchtesgaden salt mine since it was underground. Not a lot of pix from the salt mine since it wasn't allowed. They make you wear silly overalls so you can slide down the mine at zillion miles per hour.
After the salt mine tour, I walked around Lake Königssee when it stopped raining and took some pix

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      06-13-2016, 12:07 AM   #14
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Did you go to the Eagle's Nest?
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      06-13-2016, 12:09 AM   #15
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Day 10: BIG DAY! Alpine Mountain Passes

Yesterday I planned a route to visit some of the alpine passes. Today I took some pictures after checking out from my hotel near Lake Konigsee,then visited Rossfeld panoramastraße, Glossglockner and Nockalmstrasse alpine routes.
Rossfeld panoramastraße is within 20 minutes of driving from lake Konigsee. It is a toll road, but it costs only 8 euros for cars and is a very smooth and well maintained road.

Next, I drove another popular alpine pass, Glossglockner. This route costs 35 euros for cars and it had lots of traffic. It's a popular road with cyclists and motor bikers so there was a lot of traffic that day. Not to mention there were couple of road repair zones with crew working to repair the road.

After that, I headed to Nockalmstrasse. It was around 7pm so there was hardly any traffic. I think this might be the best mountain pass I have driven so far. The road surface was good, the road was wide and had clearly marked white lines and it had a mixture of tight switchbacks and long sweeping turns. Not to mention beautiful views.

After exiting the Nockalmstrasse pass, I drove for another 30 mins or so and found a place to stay for the night near Gnesau, Austria

Rossfeld Panoramastrasse


Glossglockner:


Nockalmstrasse, Best Driving Road from the trip

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      06-13-2016, 12:17 AM   #16
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Day 11: Julian Alps of Slovenia and crossing into Italy

Today I did the Gnesau, Austria- Wurzenpass (into Slovenia)- Kranjska Gora - Vrsic pass - Bovec - Trieste (Italy)- Verona (Italy) Route.
Julian alps in Slovenia are pretty, but the roads are narrow and poorly maintained. Wurzenpass and Vrsic pass probably more suited for dirt bike instead of a car.

Anyway, after doing the mountain passes I drove south along Soca river, then stopped in Trieste, Italy and spent the night near Verona.


Lake Ossiach (Austria) and Julian Alps of Slovenia



Wurzenpass and Vrsic Pass of Slovenia in Fast Dash cam Video

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      06-13-2016, 12:21 AM   #17
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Day 12: Lake Garda and Sella Pass in Italy

Today I drove on the coast of lake Garda and visited the Sella pass in Italian Dolomites. Stopped for an ice cream and took some pictures of the lake. Then, drove the Sella pass. At the top of the Sella pass, parked my car and hiked up the mountain for 20 mins to go up even hgher. After that, I headed north towards Innsbruck, Austria, where I stayed for a next few days.

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      06-13-2016, 12:25 AM   #18
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Day 13: Innsbruck, Austria

Today I did the sightseeing of the Innsbruck city on a tour bus and ate dinner at my hotel. The place I was staying, Hotel Sonnhof (Mutters, Austria) is a nice family run hotel that's nested near the mountains, about 800 meters above sea level.


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      06-13-2016, 12:30 AM   #19
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Day 14: Mountain Biking in Austrian Mountains

Today I rented a bicycle and biked around Muttereralmpark – Mutters/​Götzens area

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      06-13-2016, 12:37 AM   #20
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Fantastic pics! Looks like you had a really awesome trip. And your car's fantastic of course. I really love the look of SSII.

Also great to see you visited Ulm, because I live there
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      06-13-2016, 12:42 AM   #21
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Day 15: Getting the car serviced in Munich and taking it to VMAX

Today I had an appointment in Munich to get the car serviced for the first time. They changed the engine oil and the rear differential fluid. It only took about 90 minutes. While they serviced the car, I walked around the dealership showroom, bought some car care supplies and ate some food at the cafe.

Dealership Info:
BMW Niederlassung München, Frankfurter Ring 35, 80807 München, Germany
Phone:+49 89 353510

This place is less than 2 miles from BMW Welt.
When I was searching for a place to get the car serviced, few en route (from Innsbruck to Nurburg) dealerships I've called could only schedule me after 1-2 weeks, but I needed within few days since it was already overdue. I figured there should be a dealership near where I picked up the car, and I was right.
I called them on a Saturday, and they put me for an appointment on Monday afternoon. Super!

After I got my car back, I headed back to Ulm. Then washed the car and bought some food from a supermarket.


By the way, I was really regretting not bringing the rainx with me to treat the windows. It's been raining almost everyday and I hate untreated windows. Tried asking around and they didn't know what it was and kept pointing me towards washer fluid or window cleaner spray. Finally, after googling around, I found the ATU is the equivalent of autozone in Deutschland, and Rain Clear gel is the stuff I needed. There is a ATU store near Leonardo Royal Hotel in Munich btw.

So I applied that Rain Clear gel and had much improved visibility even in the downpour in my Nordschleife - Nürburgring laps

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      06-13-2016, 12:48 AM   #22
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Day 16: Nurburg, Germany

Today I drove northwest. I stopped at Hockenheimring race track first, then I headed towards Nürburg.

After getting to Nurburg, I quickly checked into my hotel (Hotel zur Burg), carried all my luggage into my room so that nothing would slide around in the car when I went to do a lap of Nürburgring Nordschleife. When I got there, there was an accident at the track and it was temporarily closed. Tourist drives were from 17:15- 19:30, and it was already around 19:00. However, about 20 mins before closing, they re-opened the track and I was able to do a one lap. After that, I went to the famous Restaurant Pistenklause and ate dinner.

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