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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:20 AM
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bimmerFUD bimmerFUD is offline
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Back from ED: Tour of Bavarian and Austrian Alps

We're back from our ED trip and it was fantastic! My wife and I picked up our 335xi on May 15 and logged 1117 miles, driving through Bavaria and Austria. Details below.

First off, I love the car. I am so glad I got the 6MT. My local dealer only had Steps to test drive, so I was buying the 6MT without trying it. I was very relieved to find I just love the 6MT, but keep in mind I've never owned an auto.

I had never driven in Germany, or much at all at very high speed, so the Autobaun was a new experience. On the Autobahn, because of traffic and my own comfort level, I cruised mostly at around 100 to 115 mph, with only a few spurts up to 130 mph (top speed, no performance tires). The car handles like a dream at these speeds and it's a damn shame I won't be able to do this back in the States.

But most of my driving was on 2-lane mountain roads. I do have a lot of experience driving on such roads and this car is simply a blast in this environment. I can't wait to get it on my local Rocky Mountain roads. On the other hand, as my first high-performance car, this car also really shows my weaknesses. I still have a lot to learn on how to optimally handle this car on switchbacks.

But to be able to pass on a steep grades is definitely a new experience. The cornering is also out of this world. I've never had to worry so much about keeping cargo securely fastened

In the posts below, I give some details about our actual trip. Sorry for the crappy photos; I'm not much of a photographer.
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ED May 2007 Report
My 335xi in the Alps

Last edited by bimmerFUD; 05-28-2007 at 07:05 AM. Reason: added another photo
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:25 AM
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Munich

May 13: Arrived in Munich, checked into Le Meridien. Fantastic hotel (expensive; used miles). I always forget how bad jet lag is, even though I travel overseas about twice per year. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I can't imagine driving your new BMW on the day you arrive. Give yourself at least one day to recover. Anyway, spent most of the day walking around Munich like a zombie, trying to stay awake. Ate a good dinner at Le Meridien.

May 14: Felt much better. Beautiful day and took a Munich city bus tour. Toured Schloss Nymphenburg (see Ludwig II's BMW below), which was fantastic. Make sure you check out the hunting lodge.

Drank beer at Hofbrauhaus.

Ate dinner at Nymphenburg Cafe (not affiliated with or adjacent to the Schloss; expensive). Fantastic dinner with incredible service. I highly recommend it.
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My 335xi in the Alps
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:27 AM
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Salzburg

May 15: Fully recovered from jet lag. First thing in the morning, took a cab to the Delivery Center and picked up the car. Great experience. Then drove to Salzburg. It was raining, so I kept the speeds under 100 mph. Off of A8, stopped at the border to get the Austrian Vignette and safety vest (forgot to get the D sticker, but it never was an issue).

We stayed at the Goldener Hirsch, which I recommend. It's in a great location. Valet parking. Ate a fantastic dinner there (expensive), including a Salzburger Nockerl for dessert.

Went to the Residenz, but the state rooms were closed. Toured its art gallery, which was unimpressive.

May 16: Toured Hohensalzburg, which is a must-see. You don't need to take the tram to get to it. Instead, work off all that food you've been eating by walking up the road.

Walked around Mirabell Palace. It was OK.

Then drove to Berchtesgaden. Got there too late to tour Eagle's Nest, but did go through Dokumentation Obersalzberg. Very good Nazi history; get the audio if you don't know German.

Back in Salzburg, ate dinner at Alt Salzburg (expensive). Simply fantastic and probably the best meal of the trip. I highly recommend this restaurant.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:27 AM
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Heiligenblut

May 17: Drove to Heiligenblut, which is on the southern end of the Grossglockner. On the way, had lunch in Zell am See; a bit touristy. The weather on the Grossglocker was horrible, with heavy fog and snow. On the pass I could only go about 5 mph

Heiligenblut is a very small, idyllic Austrian village. We stayed in the Hotel Heiligenblut, which was very nice with great traditional food. Parking covered (extra). In the small towns, we learned there's no point in eating anywhere else than the hotel. No more ``fine dining'' for the next few days, but the food was still very good.

May 18: Beautiful day and we started with a hike just outside of Heiligenblut, near the beautiful Goessnitz Wasserfalle. We bought a trail map (Wanderkarte) from a local store.

All the rain the day before was snow at high altitude, so once we had climbed about 1000m, the snow got too deep to continue (also a good excuse to wimp out and stop climbing). Incredibly beautiful. Hiking in the Alps is much different than the Rocky Mountains. The Alps are much steeper, greener, and the oxygen is thicker. No car wash is anywhere close to Heiligenblut, as the trailhead photo below shows.

After the hike, went back and drove the Grossglockner again. Great day to drive with gorgeous views, but then it was also fairly crowded.
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ED May 2007 Report
My 335xi in the Alps

Last edited by bimmerFUD; 05-28-2007 at 06:49 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:28 AM
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Finkenburg

May 19: Drove to Finkenburg via Lienz and Felbertauernstrasse. Absolutely stunning drive. We stopped on the way to hike up the Krimmler Wasserfalle. These waterfalls are very beautiful. If you can't do the entire walk up the falls (about 400m elevation gain), at least walk to the lower falls, which are easily accessible.

Finkenburg is in the Tuxtal. Tuxtal itself is beautiful, but a bit overwhelmed by the ski industry. We stayed at the Leonhard Stock Olympia Hotel. This is an impeccably clean hotel with great food, cooked by Leonhard's son, Thomas. Parking outdoors. Leonhard won the gold medal in downhill in 1980 at Lake Placid. His medal (and a load of other trophies) are on display at the hotel. It's an impressive sight. He's also a very nice guy, as is his son.

May 20: Went on the Berliner Hutte hike, in the valley south of Tuxtal. This hike is absolutely stunning, with incredible views of falls, glaciers, and incredibly steep peaks. One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on; the pictures below don't do it justice.
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ED May 2007 Report
My 335xi in the Alps

Last edited by bimmerFUD; 05-28-2007 at 07:28 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:28 AM
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Wenns

May 21: Drove to Wenns, which is in Pitztal. On the way we stopped and toured Schloss Ambras, near Innsbruck. Interesting and worth the visit, although my wife kept me in the portrait gallery until I thought I'd go insane. The Spanish Hall is beautiful (see below).

Wenns is another idyllic town. We stayed in Hotel Tschirgantblick, which was very clean with a fantastic view of the Pitztal from our balcony. Outdoor parking, but these are very small villages and I felt the car was perfectly safe.

May 22: We'd plan to hike near Wenns, but the weather was bad so we drove into Innsbruck. We toured the Hofburg, Hofkirche, and Dom St. Jakob. All are fantastic.

After we drove back to Wenns, I drove up the Kaunertal, which is the valley north of Pitztal. The weather was still pretty bad, but the drive was a lot of fun. It definitely contends with the Grossglockner it terms of thrills, with small sections of single track.

On the way back from Kaunertal, I went by way of Piller, instead of going all the way back to the Autobahn. It was the recommended route by my Garmin. The road was mostly a single-track. Wow! Very steep and oncoming traffic is a bit of a game of chicken. But the scenery was incredible.
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ED May 2007 Report
My 335xi in the Alps

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  #7  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:29 AM
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Garmisch and return

May 23: Drove to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, with a side trip to Schloss Neuschwanstein. Of course, this castle is a must-see.

In Garmisch, we stayed at the Hotel Bavaria. Outdoor parking. This hotel was a bit disappointing, although keep in mind it's only a 3-star. The food was good, but our bathroom had a mildew smell. The second night we ate dinner at Spago (Italian; moderately priced), which was excellent.

May 24: Planned to hike, but the weather looked bad in the morning. So we toured Schloss Linderhof. Very impressive and well worth a visit. We then drove up to Ottobeuren. The abbey here is absolutely spectacular; make sure you visit the museum and library.

May 25: Back to Munich. We first drove to Arabella Sheraton Airport to drop off our luggage (nice hotel if you've got an early flight the next morning). Then we dropped the car off at Harms. It was hard to leave it

We took a cab from Harms to the art museums. If you like art, the Alte Pinakothek is a must. Their audio guide is free and really great. I was less impressed with the Moderne, even though modern art is my favorite. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit the Neue.

Had dinner at the Ratskeller next to the Glockenspiel. Very good food in an awesome atmosphere. Then took the S-8 back to the airport and a short cab ride to the Arabella Sheraton.

May 26: Flew home. If flying Lufthansa economy class, at the Munich airport, go to the Lufthansa USA check-in counters. Make SURE you're in the right line. There were many lines and we realized we were in the wrong line too late (just said ``Economy Class'' with no ``USA'' designation). They'll process you in any line, but the other lines can move very slowly if someone in front of you has issues...each clerk is a separate line (!!!). In this case, Lufthansa could really learn something from the way U.S. carriers do check-in lines. Even though we arrived 2-1/2 hours early, we almost missed our flight. It didn't help that we left on one of the biggest Bavarian holiday weekends.
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Last edited by bimmerFUD; 05-28-2007 at 07:23 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:37 AM
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Welcome home, congrats on the new car. Love the "Pimp my Ride" carriage. In Vienna, at Schönbrunn Palace, they have a carriage museum with at least 30 royal carriages and sleighs just like that. It's good to be the King, eh! Keep the pics coming.

Erik
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2007, 08:01 AM
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Amazing trip!
Thanks for sharing!
Congratulation with your new car and excellent trip!
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2007, 08:08 AM
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Great writeup, fantastic photos. Very interesting to read. Wish you a lot of fun with your new BMW.
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:15 AM
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Great report. Looks like the perfect trip.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2007, 08:16 AM
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+1
Thanks for the trip narrative & photos.
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  #13  
Old 05-28-2007, 08:20 AM
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I've added a review of my experiences using the Garmin 370 on this trip:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=208517
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My 335xi in the Alps
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  #14  
Old 05-28-2007, 11:30 AM
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Fuel Shock?

What kind of fuel did the car require? What was the cost? Was there a differential between German and Austria? Did you notice where the more reasonable price were (on or off Autobahn); in larger cities; in small towns, along secondary roads? Was there much of a difference?

Sorry for all the questions, but I believe I read that it cost the equivalent of $140 to fill the tank (about 16 gallons)! Tell me that isn't true.
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAlI View Post
What kind of fuel did the car require? What was the cost? Was there a differential between German and Austria? Did you notice where the more reasonable price were (on or off Autobahn); in larger cities; in small towns, along secondary roads? Was there much of a difference?

Sorry for all the questions, but I believe I read that it cost the equivalent of $140 to fill the tank (about 16 gallons)! Tell me that isn't true.
It isn't true, but almost.

You can put 63 Liters (= 16.6 gal) into an 335i.

95 octane currently costs about 1.38 Euro per Liter, 98 octane about 1.44 Euro.

that is either 87 Euro (= 115 $) for 95 ROZ (="Super bleifrei") , or 91 Euro (= 120 $) for 98 octane (=Super plus).

In Austria it's about 15 to 20 cent cheaper (per liter).

Gas prices are the highest directly on the autobahn. If you leave the Autobahn (Nav will show you) it can be 3 to 5 cent cheaper.

I hope you will still enjoy your ED-trip...


(In Switzerland 1 liter of gas is only 1.05 Euro!)

(But that's the only thing that's cheaper in Switzerland. Hotels and restaurants are about 50% (fifty!) percent higher than in Germany/Austria.
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:05 PM
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There's more a "Euro shock" than a "Fuel shock." I didn't pay too much attention to the gas (or dinner) prices. I recall filling up one time cost 71 Euro, but the tank was 1/4 full. This was for Super, not Super Plus, which is what the Delivery Center recommended.

Unless you're driving all day every day, gas will be a small fraction of your expenses. Enjoy yourself.

BTW Alfred, your post implies Switzerland takes Euros. Is that right?
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  #17  
Old 05-28-2007, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerFUD View Post

BTW Alfred, your post implies Switzerland takes Euros. Is that right?
He is just stating a price for the sake of comparison in Euro. Naturally, the SF is the official currency in CH. But from my brief visits to CH it seems that places that encounter tourists are somewhat inclined to accept Euro, albeit at an unfavorable exchange rate.
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  #18  
Old 05-28-2007, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfred G View Post
But that's the only thing that's cheaper in Switzerland.
No, our VAT (Mehrwertsteuer) is much cheaper too.
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAlI View Post
Sorry for all the questions, but I believe I read that it cost the equivalent of $140 to fill the tank (about 16 gallons)! Tell me that isn't true.
Last May 100 Octane Shell V-Power was the approx of USD141


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Old 05-28-2007, 06:16 PM
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Loved the report and the photos. Always good to hear about someone having such a great time on their ED. Thanks!
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  #21  
Old 05-28-2007, 06:16 PM
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Congrats on the 335xi. There aren't many 335xi postings yet. We got the same last month, but only were able to drive it for 1 day due to delivery problems. I can't wait to get it home and keep trying it out locally. What did you think overall for an extended first trip?

Great report and pics. Thanks for posting.
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European Delivery Report - May 2007
European Delivery Photos - May 2007
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  #22  
Old 05-28-2007, 08:34 PM
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fszatko, are you asking what I thought about the trip, or the car? Overall, I'm very happy with the car.

One option that surprised me was Comfort Access. Initially I thought CA was a bit gimmicky, but I'm very glad I got it. It's very cool.

The only let down was highway wind noise is a tad more than I recalled from the test drives. I realize this car is no Lexus and in the end, the BMW is much better than my current Outback.

The trip was a great vacation. About the only thing I wish I had done is researched the hikes a bit more. The people we met were all very nice, even though our German is at best primitive. I think I did gain about 5 pounds. A German tossed salad consists mostly of dressing, with a few leaves of lettuce and shaved carrots added for texture

After reading your experience a few weeks ago, I was expecting the worse. But I was lucky to have everything work out.
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  #23  
Old 05-29-2007, 12:27 AM
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Alfred G Alfred G is offline
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Location: Oberpfaffelbachen
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,591
Mein Auto: E65 - 750i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerFUD View Post
BTW Alfred, your post implies Switzerland takes Euros. Is that right?
At least at gas stations it makes no difference if you pay with the credit card. Close to the border the gas stations usually post their prices in CHF + EUR (1,73 / 1,05)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jspira View Post
, albeit at an unfavorable exchange rate.
This is probably true if cash is required.
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  #24  
Old 05-29-2007, 06:59 AM
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fszatko fszatko is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 171
Mein Auto: 2007 335xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerFUD View Post
fszatko, are you asking what I thought about the trip, or the car? Overall, I'm very happy with the car..
Sorry. I see that my post was ambiguous. I was wondering what you thought of the 335xi since it sounds like you got to drive in some inclement weather. I was able to test the speed/peformance of mine in 1 day on the autobahn, but not much of the handling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerFUD View Post
After reading your experience a few weeks ago, I was expecting the worse. But I was lucky to have everything work out.
I know my experience sounded bad, but it really wasn't. Not having my car ready was NOT fun, but it in no way ruined the trip. We had an awesome time. I can't stop telling everyone about our trip and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Glad you had a great trip.
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European Delivery Report - May 2007
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  #25  
Old 05-29-2007, 07:53 AM
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dencoop dencoop is offline
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Location: 2351 Hylan Blvd Staten Island NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,740
Mein Auto: F01 Active Hybrid
Congrats on your new toy

Very nice report !!!
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