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      04-07-2017, 02:13 AM   #1
M P
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Awesome European Delivery Adventure - Laguna Seca Blue M3 & 3 Tracks [All Done Now]

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And yes, I know this is VERY late in coming. Life intervened…

[This Post] Flight, Munich, Delivery
[Post 2] Munich to Baden-Baden to Nürburgring to Zandvoort
[Post 3] Zandvoort Track Day and Drive to Nürburg
[Post 4] Track Day at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
[Post 5] Break-In, France, & Castles
[Post 6] Susten & Klausen Passes, Füssen
[Post 7] Füssen to Munich to Paris
[Post 8] Disneyland, Paris, Redelivery & Why the Backseaters

This little adventure started in August 2015 when my son told me about the RS Touring 2016 Ultimate BMW European Delivery Tour. A previous post, My Journey to an Individual M3, details my ordering process from first thinking about ordering a 340 to ultimately ordering an individual M3. This post will be all about our European Delivery trip from May 17th through June 5th, 2016. And since I’m so late, the redelivery on July 26th.

Itinerary
May 17-20 – Flight over and Munich
May 21 – Delivery Day!
May 22 – Nürburgring
May 23 – Drive to Zandvoort
May 24 – Track Day at Circuit Park Zandvoort
May 25 – Drive to Nürburg & Break-in Service (Not!)
May 26 – Track Day at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
May 27 – Break-in Service & Nürburgring
May 28 – France Tour
May 29 – Castles
May 30 – Nürburg to Lucerne
May 31 – Lucerne to Fussen
June 1 – Castles to Munich
June 2 – Drop Off and Train to Paris
June 3-4 – Disneyland & Paris
June 5 – Flight Home
July 26 - Redelivery
May 17-20 – Flight over and Munich

The trip over was thankfully pretty uneventful, if a bit long. We had three separate flights, Seattle to San Jose to London to Munich. With about two hour layovers, it went pretty easy. We used miles for the flights and I chose this itinerary so we could fly on a 787. That was pretty cool. It was very quiet compared to other planes I’ve flown on. My wife commented that when she leaned against the side wall to rest, there wasn’t the engine drone you usually hear. We were in coach, but the plane was only about a quarter full, so we had a row to ourselves. Several other people were sacked out on multiple seats in empty rows.



Our flights left Seattle at 3:50PM on Tuesday and we arrived in Munich about 7:30PM Wednesday. I didn’t really sleep on the flights hoping to be able to go to sleep when we got to Munich, so I was pretty tired and didn’t even think about taking pictures of our Sixt driver and 7er he picked us up in. Unlike other drivers I’ve read about in other posts, our driver talked quite a bit. My wife was asking about Germany and Munich, the car, and recommendations for things we should see. We chatted for the entire ride to the hotel. The car was pretty nice and he showed us that it rode very well while traveling over 200kph on the Autobahn. We stayed at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Munich, and met up with our son and his wife there.

Thursday morning, we headed out to Dachau. It is a pretty sobering place when you think about what happened there. My wife’s grandfather served in WWII in the 42nd Rainbow Division, which helped liberate Dachau. It’s hard to imagine what he would have seen 71 years before.




Later that day, we went on a walking tour around the old town area of Munich. One thing I learned that I found really interesting was the story of why there are so many old buildings still standing after WWII bombing. The Nazis had photographed everything before it was destroyed. After the war, Munich decided to rebuild the old town using those photos rather than bulldoze it all and rebuild more modern like Frankfurt. It makes for a really nice city. After the tour, we climbed up the tower of St. Peter’s Church. The view was well worth the climb. We also visited the Asam Church, a Baroque church with an amazingly ornate interior.




My wife, son, and daughter in-law





The RS Touring European Delivery Tour was originally supposed to begin Friday with a VIP factory and museum tour, but the extremely limited number of M2 allocations available earlier this year made a bit of a mess of the whole tour. Around 20 people who had planned on ordering M2s dropped from the tour. That was well over half of those signed up for the full tour. As a result, the tour began Monday evening rather than Friday. We were left on our own for the factory & museum tours, hotels, and the delivery day activities.

Friday, we headed over to the Welt to sign the paperwork for the car and get the passes to the museum and factory tour I had previously scheduled. We visited the lounge for a bit of breakfast and headed over to the museum. Since photos weren’t allowed on the tour, I didn’t bother to bring my camera that day (sorry) as there are already lots of pictures of the Welt and museum posted here. The factory tour was really cool. I was amazed at how much stuff was crammed into such a small place in some areas. They take advantage of all three dimensions with cars and parts moving down the assembly lines as well as parts coming up through the floors and down out of the ceilings. It was really amazing to see all the automation. We saw several M4 engines and drivetrains move by, as well as a few nearly completed M4s near the end of the line. After the tour, we headed back to the museum to see the parts we didn’t have time for in the morning.

May 21 – Delivery Day!

I must admit I really didn’t have much trouble getting up on Saturday! We decided to walk to the Welt via Olympiapark. We arrived a couple hours before my delivery time and since I couldn’t wait, went to the second floor deck where you can see the delivery floor. Sure enough, my M3 was there! (Since I had signed the paperwork the previous day, I was able to confirm using the license plate.) It had been placed so that it was behind the elevators when looking from the VIP lounge, so it was nice to be able to see it a bit early.







We had breakfast as I very impatiently waited for my name to appear on the screen listing the upcoming deliveries. It was a very long 90 minutes! Finally, the time arrived and we were met by Stefan, our delivery specialist. He took us down in an elevator to a room with several alcoves with large touch-screen displays. He led us to one with my name on the screen and proceeded to go through a slick demonstration of the features of the M3. We then went back up the elevator and proceeded to the top of “the stairs”. It was really hard to not just run down them to my car! On the way down, Stefan mentioned there was a problem and the turntable my M3 was on wasn’t working, so it wasn’t slowly turning.  Finally, I was next to it and just walked around it to admire it. The Laguna Seca Blue was gorgeous! For the next hour, Stefan went over the controls and features, loaded my music, and attempted to get the European maps loaded. After getting an error message asking for an activation key with the first thumb drive he had, he went to pick up another, but had the same results. He apologized and said he would have to take the car downstairs to have the problem fixed. We went back upstairs to the VIP lounge. Stefan showed up a while later and said that the error message went away on its own as he was driving to the elevator. We went back downstairs and I put in my dashcam. Then it was time to finally drive it. I took a couple laps around then went outside.





























We parked in front of the Welt so I could apply some Opti-Seal to hopefully make cleaning the car a bit easier, especially the bugs. It was easy and only took about 10 minutes. Then moved out by the Welt sign for some more pictures.







We then departed the Welt for an afternoon drive to visit some sights and have a bit of fun with the new toy! We visited Andechs Monastery, Marienmünster in Ammersee, Mariae Himmelfahrt in Schongau, the Rottenbuch parish church, and the Pilgrimage Church of Wies. It was an easy first drive on some nice country roads, and the scenery was beautiful.





























Last edited by M P; 04-11-2017 at 12:31 AM.
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      04-07-2017, 02:14 AM   #2
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May 22 – Nürburgring

Driving the Nürburgring Nordschleife was definitely a bucket list kind of thing for my European Delivery. For much of the time before the trip though, it looked like it wasn’t going to be a possibility. The track was closed for public driving during the time we were to be in the area due to the 24-hour race. However, shortly before leaving to Europe, we found out the M-Tour group we were going to be meeting up with in Zandvoort was going to be spending the day there on Sunday. We were offered the chance to take a couple laps with James, a driver who’s raced in the 24-hour race. He would ride with us and help guide use around the track. Needless to say, my son and I jumped at the opportunity!

Instead of a nice leisurely day driving from Munich to Baden-Baden and doing some sightseeing, we headed straight to Baden-Baden to drop off our wives and then headed up to the ring. My son and I each drove a lap around the ring with excellent guidance from James on the line to drive, as well as where to brake and hit the gas. It was the perfect way to do the ring for the first time. After watching all those ring crash videos, and given that it was only the second day I had my car, I was a bit nervous and took it pretty easy (i.e. slow). I just wanted to make sure I didn’t end up on one of the ring videos! My son went a bit faster.

Unfortunately, we were in such a hurry to get up there and get on the track before it started to rain, we didn’t take any pictures. I’ve just got the one of us on the track, and the video from my dashcam. (Thanks to James, it’s almost a training video of how to drive the ring!)





After lunch, we headed to the Ring Garage in Kelberg and met up with the M-Tour group. There were several nice cars inside, including a couple Porsches. The tour photographers from iDriveEurope wanted to take some pictures on the old Südschleife (South Loop), so we headed out. Nature is slowly reclaiming the parts that are left. It made for some cool pictures. The trip to the ring did make for a long driving day, over 600 miles, but being able to drive the ring made it all worth it.






May 23 – Drive to Zandvoort

The drive from Baden-Baden to Zandvoort was a bit long, so we decided to break up the drive by stopping at several sites along the way. Our first stop was the Speyer Cathedral. It wasn’t ornate like some cathedrals, but still amazing.







After leaving Speyer, we headed north for a drive along the Rhine. Along the way, my M3 took its first boat ride on a ferry across the river.




There are many castles and ruins of castles on the hills along the river, and virtually every town had a large church.







One kind of unique castle was Pfalzgrafenstein, which sits on a small island in the middle of the river.




The next stop was Marksburg castle. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go on the tour, so just took a few pictures and headed out.








I saw one of the funnier signs of the trip when we stopped for lunch in Braubach, below Marksburg.



Next was Aachen Cathedral, which is amazingly ornate. While we were only able to spend about 45 minutes there, it was definitely worth the stop.

















We still had nearly 3 hours of driving to get to Hotel NH in Zandvoort. After checking into the hotel, we finally met up with the rest of the tour group for a nice BBQ dinner at Mangos Beach Bar.
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      04-07-2017, 02:14 AM   #3
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May 24 – Track Day at Circuit Park Zandvoort

After several rainy days, our first track day, while overcast, was thankfully dry. After an early breakfast, we headed to the track for our first official track day of the tour. We started off with a briefing explaining how the day would go.










We were split into four groups and would rotate through three sections of the track and drifting during the morning. Driving a small section of the track over and over with an instructor in the car made it much easier to learn each part of the track. The drifting was done using provided cars and was a blast! The instructors made it look easy, but it was a bit harder than it looked to keep the drifting going. Then it was time get on the track!





After lunch, we got to do laps around the entire track using what we learned in the morning. It was so much fun! We also took a break to take some pictures on the track.



One of my laps during the afternoon.



After the track time was completed, the M Tour group wanted to set up some white and blue M cars in the shape of the BMW Roundel and take an overhead shot using a drone. As my car was blue, I got to have it in the picture. (the roundel picture and a few other track pictures ended up a story about the M Tour in the August 2016 Roundel magazine.) The highlight was one of our instructors drifting around all the M’s in the roundel!







To finish out the day, we headed into Amsterdam for dinner. The last two pictures show some of the old buildings that were really leaning a lot!






That evening, I got the first bit of road rash. While driving into the hotel parking lot after getting gas, I scraped the left bottom of my front bumper. The scratches weren’t noticeable unless you got down and looked underneath the bumper, but it was still a bit annoying.

May 25 – Drive to Nürburg & Break-in Service (Not!)

After a few pictures at the entrance to Circuit Park Zandvoort, we headed back towards Germany.




I had scheduled the break-in service at Autohaus Rolf Horn in Euskirchen, so didn’t have time for sightseeing along the way. So, no pictures. We made it on time for the service appointment. Everything went fine and we were told it would take about two hours, so we walked towards the town center for lunch. About two hours later we got back to the dealer only to find out they hadn’t done the service. It turned out there was some mix-up and they hadn’t ordered one of the parts they needed to do the service. The soonest they could get the part would be Friday, so I made another appointment and would have to come back. We headed out to Kelberg, a couple miles south of Nürburg, where we would be staying the next five days. We were in two apartments in a house overlooking the town. It was very nice and had great parking! I thought I had taken a picture of the parking, but apparently not. Here's a shot from the dashcam showing the nice wide driveway all to myself.

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      04-07-2017, 02:15 AM   #4
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May 26 – Track Day at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

The track day at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was a highlight of the tour. The track is longer, wider, and much faster, and a lot more fun! The facility is huge compared to Zandvoort. The building with the garages along pit row is 3 stories tall and nearly 1000’ long. Our group had a large garage near the end of pit row.














We were sharing the track with the Pistenclub, and they brought a lot of very nice cars. Many arrived on or in trailers. Some trailers were multi-level with lifts in the back for the cars. These people were serious!









Before getting on the track, we headed to Pistenclub garage for the briefing on the track rules and the schedule for the day. We took some laps with instructors driving to show us the track and see the lines. After that, the fun began. We had several 30 to 40 minute sessions on the track. At first, our tour group was alternating with the Pistenclub group, but the last few sessions of the day we went out with them when street cars were allowed. I was able to take what I learned at Zandvoort and just have some fun with my M3.
















We also had a chance to get on the track for a couple group photo ops. We first set up at the starting position and then on the Eau Rouge.









My wife was even able to ride with me on our last session of the day. On this session I also learned something new about driving on race tracks. If you end up outside the line on the edge of the track, there are a lot of little bits of rubber that gets picked up on your tires. The stuff from the racing tires is a bit like chewing gum when hot, and I’d picked up enough that I started to feel a vibration in the steering wheel. I was wondering if there was something wrong with my car, so we headed into the pits. One of the instructors pointed out all the gunk on my tires. Apparently I wasn't driving fast enough like him to wear it off as his tires didn't have any of it. (They didn't have much tread left either! ) You could easily pick the rubber off and it was soft and pretty much felt like chewing gum on my warm tires. After cooling down though, it was as hard as the rest of the tire. Normal driving didn’t seem to wear the extra rubber hardly at all though. Thankfully, when we went to France a few days later, the roads were rough enough that it only took a couple hours to clean up my tires. I guess the bad roads there were good for something!




This video is from that session on the track. If crazy enough to watch to the end, you can hear me talking about the vibration before slowing down and heading into the pits.

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      04-07-2017, 02:16 AM   #5
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May 27 - Break-in Service & Nürburgring

Friday was the start of our time around Nürburgring and the upcoming 24-hour race. It was also the day we had originally planned to head to France since the 24-hour race wasn’t starting until the following day. Those plans went out the window with the fiasco a couple days before with the break-in service. Since there wasn’t any reason to mess up their day, I dropped off my wife, son, and daughter in-law at the Nürburgring and drove back to Euskirchen for the break-in service. Luckily, everything went great this time, other than having to waste 5-1/2 hours. When I got back to Nürburgring, I found out there was a bit of a problem. Our tour was supposed to have included tickets to the M Festival, but there was some sort of problem with the order and we weren’t able to get them. All we could get were normal race tickets. No catering, autocross, helicopter ride, or other festival activities. It was a major disappointment, but we made the best of it. We walked around the exhibits at the ring for a while, and shopped for souvenirs. My family had also walked around the pits and watched the track from the stands, but there wasn’t a lot happening that day. Since we weren’t going to have access to the M Festival areas and activities, we headed back to our room to plan some sightseeing for the next couple days we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.





May 28 – France Tour

For our day trip into France, we wanted to visit some WWI-related sites around Verdun. Our first stop was the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial located east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon (Meuse), France, 26 miles northwest of Verdun.




Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery Chapel.







We had also planned on visiting Fort Douaumont, the Douaumont Ossuary, and Fort de Vaux. Unfortunately, they were closed-off by the French military due to ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the battle of Verdun. So we instead visited the French and German trenches of the Saint-Mihiel Salient. The trenches were in remarkable shape considering they were 100 years old. The German trenches were in the best condition as they used a lot of concrete in their construction.










What surprised me the most was how close the opposing trenches were in some locations. In the picture below, in the foreground is the French trench and the railing in the background is the location of the German trench.



The roads in France were in poorest shape by far compared to others we drove on during the trip. The worst part was driving about 4 miles at about 4 miles per hour on a road that had just been resurfaced using crushed gravel on oil. The whole time rocks were bouncing off the wheel wells. Luckily, there weren’t any paint chips after that. About the only good thing to come out of the bad roads was that they finally wore off all the extra rubber my tires picked at Spa. Much less vibration and noise at highway speeds.

On the way back to Nürburg, we stopped in Trier, Germany to see Saint Peter's Cathedral and Porta Nigra (black gate), a Roman city gate dating from 180 AD.











Once back in Nürburg, we went to the ring to watch some of the race. We were near the end of the straightaway in the bleachers and it was pretty cool to see the brakes of the cars glowing red as they slowed down to take the corner.






May 29 – Castles

Since we couldn’t go to the M Festival, we spent the day visiting two nearby castles. The first was Eltz Castle near Wierschem. It’s a 12th-century medieval castle with towers and turrets on a high rock, nestled in the hills above the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier, Germany. It is still owned by a branch of the Eltz family, who lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations ago. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed inside other than in the treasury.








Only once was Eltz castle under siege, in 1331-1336. Some of the stone balls lobbed during the siege are sitting in a courtyard below the castle.




The second castle was the Reichsburg Cochem, another 12th-century castle in the town of Cochem on the banks of the Moselle. The castle was overrun by French troops in 1688 and lay in ruins until 1868, when it was bought by a Berlin businessman and reconstructed in the Gothic Revival style.













The design of this door lock supposedly made it a bit easier to get the key in the hole if you were a bit tipsy...







We didn't notice this railing on the way up. Each railing section was a long snake.

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      04-07-2017, 02:17 AM   #6
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May 30 – Nürburg to Lucerne

I wanted to get a picture of my car below the big nürburgring sign, but since the traffic was awful before and during the 24-hour race, I thought it would be a good idea to wait until the race was over and we headed out Monday morning. I was wrong…



The fog and road construction also messed up our drive to Lucerne a bit. Our planned route took us on the Schwarzwaldhochstraße, or "Black Forest High Road", south of Baden-Baden. For the first section, road construction shut down the north-bound lane, so driving was a bit slow. Then the fog pretty much killed the views. Finally, about midway along, road construction closed the south-bound lane forcing us to head back to the autobahn. It sounded like a good idea when planning the route.




We stopped Triberg in the southern Black Forest for a break and to purchase a Cuckoo clock. It’s very picturesque. We walked around town visiting many little shops and saw a lot of amazing clocks. We also walked up to the Triberger Waterfall.





We ended up ordering a hand-carved clock from Oli’s Schnitzstube. I read about the store before and liked the idea of a hand-made clock. While there, we watched Oli carve some trees for a new clock. Amazing skill and beautiful work. It was nice to see some real craftsmanship. Some clocks we saw at some other stores were pretty cheap looking.



We then headed to Lucerne. One thing I noticed is that the Swiss seem to like their tunnels. While driving around Zurich, it seemed like for about 20 miles, we spent as much time in a tunnel as on the surface. And it wasn’t just one or two long ones, there were many tunnels along the route, from a few hundred feet to several miles. This was a very common view.



We eventually arrived in Lucerne and the Art Deco Hotel Montana, where I had the best parking spot of the trip.



We were only spending one night here, so we headed out for dinner and a walk around the city. The Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) and Spreuerbrücke (Spreuer Bridge) were very cool. The covered bridges date back to the 14th and 16th centuries. Both bridges also feature some very interesting paintings up in the rafters.









After dinner, we headed up to the Lion Monument before heading back to our hotel.





May 31 – Lucerne to Füssen

Before heading out, we took one more walk along the lake shore to get breakfast and pick up some souvenir Swiss chocolates.





The reason for heading to Lucerne was to be able to drive Susten, Grimsel, and Furka passes. What I had read and watch about them online before the trip looked awesome. Unfortunately, we were about a week or two early for the opening of the passes for the season. Not to completely miss out, we drove as far up Susten pass as we could.







Here's a video of the drive up Susten Pass and back sped up 4x.



After leaving Susten Pass, we headed toward Füssen via Klausen pass.













Here's a video of the drive through Klausen Pass sped up 6x.



In Füssen, we stayed at the Hotel Sonne, a nice hotel in the middle of town with some interestingly decorated rooms. We were in the Via Claudia Fantasia, which was quite colorful! I also booked parking in the secure underground parking garage. It was a bit tight like many garages seem to be, but certainly easy and safe.



After checking in, we took a walk around town to see the sites and have dinner.



The rocks on top of each of these columns was spinning from the water pumped under them. They were pretty cool.




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      04-07-2017, 02:18 AM   #7
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June 1 – Castles to Munich

The main activity for the day was a visit to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles. We made reservations several weeks before, so we had specific times to visit each Castle. First up was Hohenschwangau.









That’s supposed to be Lugwig in the window…



Neuschwanstein castle





We then hiked up the hill to Neuschwanstein Castle. While waiting for our entry time, we headed farther up the hill towards Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge) for some views of the town and surrounding countryside. Unfortunately, the bridge was still closed due to renovations, so we could only go a short way up the trail.







Hohenschwangau and the town below




Mary’s Bridge from Newschwanstein



The “spot” from the castle. It’s by the tree in the lower right.



After the castle tours, we had some lunch and then headed to the “spot” for a picture.



German road signs are a bit binary. Things are on or off. For instance, when entering a town, there’s a sign with its name. When leaving, there’s a sign with the town name crossed out, since you are not in the town.




The national speed limit sign on the borders coming into Germany were kind of the same way. Unless otherwise posted, in a town is 50. Not in a town, 100. On an Autobahn, 130. So, you pretty much know what the speed limit is anywhere you are. That’s unlike in the US, where speed limits are a bit arbitrary sometimes and if there aren’t signs, you really don’t know what the speed limit is.



The most direct route towards Munich was closed for construction, so we had to head southeast through Austria before turning north to Munich. We stopped in Oberammergau, Germany for a break and a bit of sightseeing. The town has a long tradition of woodcarving and there were several shops with items ranging from small toys to large statues. No pictures allowed in the shops though. Did take one of this statue outside the Passion Play Theater.



On the way to Munich, I was finally able hit the speed limiter on the autobahn. There weren’t a lot a straight sections without traffic, but I hit 165 on the speedometer for a short time. My dashcam showed “only” 160, but regardless, it seemed REALLY fast!



We stayed at the Moxy Munich Airport on our last night in Germany. After checking in, we headed out for dinner. My wife hadn’t driven my M3 yet and wanted to drive it on the autobahn. We dropped off our son and daughter in-law at the restaurant and she headed out. As we were driving, she was asking about the HUD and the info displayed there. I happened to look over at the speedometer and told her she was currently going over 100 mph. She hadn’t realized she was going that fast as the M3 was so smooth! She eventually had some fun and got to 141 mph before we headed back to the restaurant for dinner. It was the last night with my car for a while.




June 2 – Drop Off and Train to Paris

The sad day was finally here and I had to give up my M3 for some time. I’d made a reservation for 8:30 am. It was a good thing, too. There were two people who had arrived before we did and tried to get served first when loginout opened, but because I had the first reservation, I was helped first. So make sure you make reservations! The mileage at drop-off was 3199. That was a lot of miles in 13 days. But they were fun miles!







Here’s a picture of the boo boo I got in Zandvoort. As you can see, the little air dam thing is also missing. It was just hanging by a bit of rubber, so I cut it off so it would flap around. Grrr! The mud is from the parking lot at Nurburgring. It was a grassy field and had deep ruts and mud several inches deep in places. The car was so muddy I had to find a car wash the next morning. I guess I missed some.





After completing the drop-off paperwork, we headed over to the airport to catch an S-Bahn train to the Munich Central Station. We picked up some food and boarded our first train, an ICE to Stuttgart. Taking a train in Europe is so easy. Arrive at the station, board the train, find your seats, and go. No waiting in lines or having to arrive way before departure. After arriving in Stuttgart, we boarded the TGV to Paris. The trains were fast, comfortable, and a pretty enjoyable way to travel between cities. They don't spend much time is some stations either. As I was walking to the front of the first train to take a picture, it departed and I almost missed it!




After arriving in Paris, buying the train tickets from Paris Gare de Est station to Disneyland was the hardest part of our travels that day. The instructions on exactly what to buy were confusing, but with a little help, we purchased tickets, found the train, and headed to Hotel Elysee Val D'Europe in Serris, France. It was a nice hotel only a short bus ride from Disneyland, and a fraction of the cost of Disney hotels.
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June 3-4 – Disneyland & Paris

Disneyland Paris was a bit of a disappointment for me. Many of the big rides were closed, apparently for refurbishment because of the upcoming 25th anniversary in 2017. However for real Disney fans, like my son and daughter in-law, it was still great!






My wife & I aren’t quite the Disney fanatics my son and daughter in-law are, so we decided to take the train into Paris the following day. Neither of us had ever been there before. It was an amazing place to walk around. So many old fancy buildings and monuments. The city itself was like a work of art. It was a nice day to stroll around a beautiful city. We exited at a train station right by the Arc de Triomphe.








Because the trip into Paris wasn’t really planned, we hadn’t made reservations for the Eiffel Tower. The wait for standbys was 2-3 hours just to get to the first level, without any guarantee to go higher. Since we didn’t want to spend our whole time here waiting in line, we decided to just look from the ground and then walk around to see more things.



The Seine was running very high while we were there. It was nearly to the bottom of the bridges and submerged the walkway along the banks. Many boats were stuck were they were tied as they could no longer pass under the bridges, so no river tours. (Some boats you would have swim to even get to!)






I was surprised how really big the Louvre is. Seeing it on the map is one thing, but actually seeing it is another. I knew it was several buildings, but the buildings are HUGE. Unfortunately, it was closed due to possible flooding.



Luckily we were able to go into Notre-Dame. It is amazing.





On the way back to the train station to head back to Disney, we came across a very colorful parade.





June 5 – Flight Home

Our trip to the airport ended up being quite the nerve-wracking adventure. The plan was to take the RER train to Disneyland, then the TGV high-speed train to the airport (only 10 minutes!). We went to the train station with plenty of time to spare, but it never arrived. After waiting for about 30 minutes, during which two trains to Disneyland should have arrived, an announcement was made that there was some sort of mechanical problem that would delay trains for an unknown time. We raced back to the hotel and had them call a taxi. That took another 15 minutes and we arrived at the Disneyland station with just a few minutes to catch the TGV train to the airport. As we were running to catch the train, we stopped to ask which track it was on and were told the train had been cancelled due to a work stoppage (strike)! After walking outside, we noticed the taxi that had driven us from the hotel. I ran to ask if he could take us to the airport and was told it would cost 120 euros. We didn’t have much choice if we were going to catch our plane, so loaded up the luggage, hopped in, and headed to the airport. The TGV would have taken 10 minutes, but the taxi took nearly an hour, so we wouldn’t be getting to the airport with much time to spare. But France wasn’t quite done with us yet… Just as we got to the airport, some guy in a personal car tried to go in the entrance for taxis and busses. The entrance had a gate, and the guy didn’t have the card to open it. It took several minutes for enough taxis and busses in the lane behind him to backup far enough for him to get out. Thankfully, we had arrived in time to catch our flight and the remaining trip home was completely uneventful.


The Wait and Redelivery

Then the waiting began again. In some respects, it was just as bad as expected, but in others not so much. Sometimes it was almost like the M3 was just a vacation rental and wasn’t really mine. Anyway, the wait ended up being about a month shorter than I was expecting. It got loaded on the ship a week after dropping it off in Munich. After spending 5 weeks on the ship, a week in the VPC to replace the front bumper I scraped in Zandvoort, it was loaded on the truck for the trip to Tacoma. I monitored the United Road several times a day and finally noticed it had been delivered! I immediately called my CA. He was off that day, but said he would check into it and get back with me in a couple hours. Forget that! I then called the dealership. I was told they would find out and call me right back. I got a call a few minutes later asking when I would like to pick it up. I asked "Is now good?" We set the time for late that afternoon. So on the afternoon of July 26th, just less than 8 weeks after dropping it off in Munich, I was able to pick up my M3.





When Doing It Again...

A European Delivery is the perfect way to get a car. I would do it again it a heartbeat. I would however drive a whole lot less and spend more time in fewer places. 3200 miles in two weeks was a bit too much. This trip was about the cars and track days, and that added a lot of driving. I’m glad we were able to do and see everything we did, but it was a whole lot of going and not much relaxing. I think 2 or 3 days at each stop would be a lot more enjoyable and not nearly as hurried. And a much better way to actually SEE Europe.


Why Backseat Passengers?

I realize from a couple comments to the first posts here I didn’t mention why my son and daughter in-law were riding around with us. It wasn’t only that we all thought it would be fun to go on the trip together. When he originally contacted me about the tour, it was because he wanted to do it with a European Delivery of an M2. As the tour dates approached, he ended up buying his airplane tickets before the cost went up if he waited for the last minute. We had both already paid for the tour and he was #1 & #2 at two dealers, so he expected to get one. But the very slow allocation release never got to either dealer in time. So, since tickets were bought, vacation planned, and rental cars were available at the tracks, they got to ride around in the back seat. Luckily the trunk on the M3 was big enough for all our luggage!

My son finally did get his M2 and did his own European Delivery in mid-October. He also did a Performance Center Delivery in late December.





Last edited by M P; 04-11-2017 at 12:34 AM.
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      04-07-2017, 05:56 AM   #9
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got here a little early looks like you have a lot more post reserved and ready in the Q. congrats on the new ride, great color choice and even better being able to share that moment and trip with your family makes it even that much better. Enjoy! ill check back later when the other post are up! ill have to tell my cousin who also lives in Seattle to be on the look out for you. He has my Grigio Medio M4 now.
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      04-07-2017, 06:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M P View Post
Itinerary
May 17-20 – Flight over and Munich
May 21 – Delivery Day!
May 22 – Nürburgring
May 23 – Drive to Zandvoort
May 24 – Track Day at Circuit Park Zandvoort
May 25 – Drive to Nürburg & 1200 Mile Service (Not!)
May 26 – Track Day at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
May 27 - 1200 Mile Service & Nürburgring
May 28 – France Tour
May 29 – Castles
May 30 – Nürburg to Lucerne
May 31 – Lucerne to Fussen
June 1 – Castles to Munich
June 2 – Drop Off and Train to Paris
June 3-4 – Disneyland & Paris
June 5 – Flight Home
July 26 - Redelivery
Thank you!

This was a great post
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      04-07-2017, 08:05 AM   #11
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dont forget to visit nordschwanstein castle!!! and do a mikes bikes bike tour!
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      04-07-2017, 09:34 AM   #12
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Great color! Love the blue stitching too!!!
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      04-07-2017, 10:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff@autocouture View Post
dont forget to visit nordschwanstein castle!!! and do a mikes bikes bike tour!
We did do the castle, it was amazing! Pics will be in one of the later posts. Didn't really have much time for a bike tour. Maybe next time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by INDVDL///M View Post
Great color! Love the blue stitching too!!!
Thanks, LSB has been my favorite since the E46 M3.
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      04-08-2017, 06:52 PM   #14
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Thanks for making the effort to post this. Gives me hope for a future trip of my own!
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      04-08-2017, 07:46 PM   #15
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Amazing write up and congratulations!
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      04-08-2017, 09:48 PM   #16
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Epic! Thank you for sharing!
Love the color
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      04-08-2017, 10:06 PM   #17
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Very nice!. Love the 513M's!
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      04-08-2017, 10:20 PM   #18
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Congrats on the new car and great choice on the color!
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      04-09-2017, 07:11 AM   #19
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Thanks for sharing. Had a blast. Was nice to have a fellow M3 on the trip among the sea of M2s (and the M4).
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      04-09-2017, 07:43 AM   #20
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Looks like an awesome trip. Congrats
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My Amazing European Delivery Story
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      04-09-2017, 12:28 PM   #21
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Congratulations! I've been waiting for another ED post...seems like you had a great time.
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      04-09-2017, 01:25 PM   #22
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Great write-up and awesome pictures! Def. bring back my memory of my last ED trip. About to start planning on next one.

Thanks for sharing.
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