04-03-2007, 08:55 AM
Leave gun. Take Canoli.
Join Date: Nov 2006
Mein Auto: 435, Grand Cherokee
Here is a link to the album with some pictures from my ED.
We left Ohio Thursday afternoon, stopping in Chicago enroute to Munich. We arrived in Munich an hour early due to a nice tailwind. Rolf picked us up at the airport. Thankfully I'd seen pictures of him on here as he was just sitting waiting for us. I said, "Hey, I think that's Rolf." As other have said, he is one of the nicest guys you'll meet. He drove us to the delivery center and sat and ate with us while we waited for Patricia to come with my paperwork. He got out a map and started showing us places to go while we were there. I definitely recommend him. Patricia did my delivery and was also very nice. I asked her about The Foot that none of us seemed to have a clue about. She told me that it symbolizes one of the Seven Wonders of the World. After all of the stuff inside, I pulled the car out in front for some more pictures.
We left the delivery center and drove over to our hotel, which was also very nice. We were there briefly before heading out to our 1:15 factory tour. The 2h tour was very interesting. Quite amazing to see how the cars come together. The automation is amazing.
We went back to our hotel and decided to walk down the street to find somewhere to eat. We happened upon a nice little shop where the very nice woman spoke no english, but we manages to get some delicous schnitzel. Later that night we asked at the desk if there was anything to do around the hotel. They pointed us back down the street we'd been on earlier that day saying there were a bunch of coffee shops. We ended up at a gas station for some pastries and coffee. Oh well. Gas stations are a little nicer over there.
Rolf had said that we could park in front the hotel and no one would bother the car. Admittedly I've never seen so many BMW's in one place as in Munich. We we're parked in front of the hotel and come out in the morning to discover that my front plate was bent on one side from someone backing into it. The car was still in front of us and the guy was coming out. I got a little agitated at the guy for backing into my 1 day old car. Thankfully he spoke english because it woudln't have been nearly as cathartic if he didn't understand me. In anycase, the plate was just slightly bent, but the car was perfectly fine. I guess thats one advantage of the front plate holder. A lot of people over there seem to park by feel though. After that the car always slept in the garage.
There were a few guys that we knew from some of the internet watch forums that lived up towards Heidelberg. They drove down to meet us for breakfast at CafeRoma and after that showed us around the city a little bit. We were going to eat at the Hofbrauhaus, where they told us that there were likely to be no actual Germans since its a big tourist attraction, but it was too busy, so we found another nice biergarten for lunch.
Later that night we took the u-bahn back downtown for dinner. As others have said, the u-bahn is amazingly easy to navigate. We ended up eating at a nice Italian place where they only spoke Italian to us. Apparently the language choices were Italian or German. My Italian isn't wonderful, but is at least better than my German. I felt a little more at home speaking Italian.
We left for Salzburg Sunday morning and made it in a little over an hour. We had great weather and the drive was beautiful. We were interested to see the Austrian border, but after getting into Salzburg and asking about the border they told us that they'd taken them down a few years back. We did stop for the vignette sticker and orange vest.
We didn't really have any solid plans for Salzburg and driving in were a little nervous that there wouldn't be much to do. The desk clerk at the hotel said it was just about a 25min walk down the river to downtown. The weather was a beautiful 50 degrees, so off we went. Salzburg was beautiful! And when you get up to the fortress, Festung Hohensalzburg, the views of the city are breathtaking!
That night we had dinner at a Austrian/Indian/Italian restaurant just down from out hotel. Interesting collection of cuisines, but it was very good. We'd planned to go out to Hangar 7, but after it started raining, we end up back in the hotel the rest of the night.
We got up and headed back towards Munich. It started snowing and there were a few times where I could barely see past the car in front of us. Overall, we didn't go to fast and had no problems driving though. In Munich it was a little warmer and sunny. We stopped at HARMS to do the paper work. We had a bit of difficulty figuring out exactly where to go in the big building there. No one else on here has mentioned any difficulties, so apparently its just us. Anyway, Thomas took care of the paper work in about 15 min. He didn't tell me his name initially, so I asked him if he was Thomas. He said yes and I told him that I'd heard a bunch about him via one of the BMW forums. He said, "Bimmerfest?" Apparently we're famous there.
After that we headed out towards Dachau only to discover that they are closed on Mondays. We shot a few pics outside and then endedup stopping at the BMW dealer by the plant. They have a nice gift shop there. I noticed all of their dealer license plate holders on the car with their dealer name and figured it'd be a cool thing to have to putmy euro plate in to mount in my garage here. So we asked and they gave us one.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped for dinner at Al Pacino's restaurant. We were excited to eat at Al's place. We asked the waiter if he owned it, so which he said yes. We asked if Al ever stops by, to which the waiter told us that Al Pacino is the owner and also the chef. Apparently not the Al Pacino of international movie fame.
We drove the car over to HARMS, dropped it off and then eventually manages to get back to the hotel via the bus and u-bahn.
Took the Lufthansa shuttle to the airport. It picks you up about a block from the hotel. On the plane and back home we went.
Overall, it was a wonderful trip! I can't thank everyone on this forum enough. I'd never have even known about the trip if it wasn't for Bimmerfest! Can't wait to do my next one. As others have said... There is no other way to buy a car!