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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 06-17-2012, 04:18 PM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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Full Report, 4-17 June, Munich, Florence, Venice, Zell am See, Salzburg, Munich

We used quite a few great ideas from other posters and some of our experience from our first ED in 2006 for this trip. Wanted to make sure we spent a little more time in each town so we weren't just driving, unpacking, repacking, and driving. We ordered the Z4 in March and in late April we ordered the custom luggage set (240 euro shipped) from Rene with AeroStylez. Sadly, Rene failed to delivery the luggage in the tiime promised, so I had to buy a new bag the night before we flew out. As we sit now, I've disputed the purchase with PayPal. While he was good to deal with before the purchase, his post-purchase dealings leave much to be desired. So, sadly, we headed to get our car figuring we wouldn't be able to drive witht he top down between hotels (knowing the luggage wouldn't fit properly). Turned out not to be a big deal as it rained much of the time we were driving for the first 1/2 of our trip.

We arrived in a very rainy and windy Munich after a very easy customs entry in Frankfurt and short hop from their to Munich. Grabbed the S-bahn into town and then the U to the Grand Westin Arabellapark. Pricelined the hotel for $120. Nice place, and very easy access to the U-bahn. Just exit the train, up the stairs, keep going straight through the courtyard, the hang a right when you hit the sidewalk. The hotel is literally at the end of the T. However, this was not as nice as the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten Munich that we stayed at our last two nights ($210 a night), which is also walking distance to the MarienPlatz and a little quicker and simpler access to the Welt.

Woke up bright and early Monday to more rain and headed to the Welt for our 0800 appointment (delivery at 0915).
It's adjacent to the stop along the U3 (even shows the Welt on the U-bahn map), so you shouldn't worry about missing it. Head up the stairs, make a little left, cross the road and there it is. Just follow the sidewalk or building until you get to the 2nd set of doors. Don't go down their driveway as the BMW Welt/Museum with long arrow suggests.


Once inside, you'll immediately be greeted and shown the way to the elevator to the premium lounge (assuming it's after 0800). From there, you may catch a glimpse of your new toy down below.


Most of our cars were'nt out just yet, so it gave us plenty of time for free and tasty snacks and drinks. Meats, cheeses, danishes, yogurt, pretzels, all sorts of drinks, including beer (at 0800 and right before delivery???). Of course, you may be ready to immediately take delivery and have your snack afterwards or a after a bit of shopping in the gift store. They gave us a silver keychain and engraved it with up to 7 letters/digits of our choice and then 10E off any purchase.

We met Rolf for our delivery and did the little design center and simulator deal, which I would not bother with again and wished we didn't then either. But, if you're new to BMW, it might be worth the 15-20 minutes. Our Welt pics didn't come out very well at all, so here's a better shot of the vehicle. Alpine white with extended Kansus walnut interior. Apparently I'm standing quite a bit away from the Z. If I were as big as I look in the photo, I'd never fit in the car.


We did the victory lap and immediately programmed the NAV for Florence, Italy. Left the Welt and drove through Germany and Austria in the rain. Parked the car in a choice spot about 7pm Monday night in a nearly vacant Firenze Fiera underground parking area (about 20E a night). We picked up a few passengers along the way...


had a great 5 nights at the Hotel Brunelleschi, though we did have a bit of trouble with their WIFI on the 5th floor. Not a cheap place, >400E a night for a Jr Suite, but very clean, great breakfasts, quiet, and a great view of the Duomo which was about 75 seconds away. We had 2 really great dinners. Restarante Frescobaldi (Rick Steves' suggestion was very polite and great quality, but a little wine bar across from Pitti Plaza (Pitti Gola E Cantina) was amazing for a dinner and wine pairing.

After that we drove up to Venice for 2 nights, parked in the Tronchetto, which no longer takes credit cards at the exit both. You have to pay your parking fee in any of the many spots in the garage before you drive out. So, as you get off the boat, insert your parking ticket into the payment center, pay it, and then as you leave, just insert your ticket into the card reader at the gate. Spaces are tight, but not too bad. The areas are lettered and number and go from A-E with E being the closest to the boats and the toilets). Park, walk out through the exit past E, take a left which will lead you right into a large building. Then go right to the pathway between buildings and then left to the boat and where you can buy your boat taxi ticket. I think it was 14E for the two of us and about 40 minutes to San Marco Plaza. Parking was 18 or 20E a night. For us, Venice was neat to see, but two nights was a waste. Very touristy and crammed in like sardines. We stayed at BestWindows, which was big and clean, free WIFI, but the AC barely kept up and on the 4th floor with no lift.

Last edited by wdlfbio; 06-17-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2012, 04:58 PM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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From there we took the A27 north to the SS52 to E66 to Lienz, then the Grossglockner (107) to Zell am See. Here's a bit of video (3 minutes) just south of Sesto, Italy, along the SS52. Lovely road and several quaint little alpine towns along the way.



The Grossglockner was cold and rainy (as low as 34F at the top), but still 32E (toll) well spent. I'm sure the conditions were heavily responsible for there being about only 8 other cars seen during my entire drive over the pass. Absolutely stunning views, but watch out for goats along the road Had it been warm or at least dry, I would have turned around once I hit the end of it and did the whole thing the other way and back again.





Here's a short video of the south section.


And then heading down the north side.


We spent 2 nights in Zell am See, Hotel Pension Hubertus ($133 a night, Booking.com). The place was very clean, typically small, but really great breakfasts and very kind host who spoke great english. There's a little Irish pub in town owned by a husband/wife combo that was a bunch of fun. It was rainy both our days there, so the night was pretty dead. A chef from a nearby restaurant stopped by for a couple of Guinesses and made mention of a bacon cheeseburger, which I had literally told my wife I was craving about 4 hours earlier. So, he went back to his kitchen, and made me a phenomenal burger, delivered for 7E. I really wish the weather would have cooperated, because there were plenty of gondolas to ride up to the top of mountains and places along the lake to relax.

One thing we learned about in this area of Austria, no laundromats. Either pay the hotel to do your laundry or the dry cleaners. We didn't have time to drop off our clothes, so we had to wait to get to Salzburg for laundry.

From there we headed to Salzburg for two nights. En route, we stopped by Lake Konigsee and then The Eagle's Nest outside Berchtesgaden for the English tour that began at 1315 (50E per person). While it is possible to drive to the place yourself and then grab the bus for 14E or so, we found the English tour well worth the money. The views are simply spectacular and the whole thing points out the great arrogance of certain folks within the Nazi party for even attempting/considering, much less completing, this construction feat.


You can see Lake Konigsee in teh far background. I really wish I had the time and footwear to go for a short hike around this upper region. It just begged me to continue walking at each bend.


Last edited by wdlfbio; 06-17-2012 at 06:32 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2012, 05:30 PM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Salzburg ($125 a night on Priceline, WIFI another 18E a night I think). Reasonable sized rooms and clean. They have 30-minute parking on the side of the hotel just after you turn off the main drag past the front doors (at the corner of the road). By the time we got done in Berchtesgaden and into Salzburg, it was 7pm. We got "directions" to the local laundromat and walked that way. It's about 1 block north of the train station and just west. If you don't need to go there for laundry, stay away from that part of town. It's pretty trashy, though it was safe. We got two loads done for 13,50E in just over an hour.

The next day we toured Salzburg and the Fortress. Quite impressive and we appreciated the audio tour we got with the pass for the funicular to get up the hill (11E each).


And after the 2 nights there, we took the A8 into Munich. Not many places to really open her up and several traffic zones anyway. But, we got into town fairly early and checked into the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten Munich. Priceline $210 a night. Very nice place and close to everything. As you approach the hotel, they have room for you to pull right off the road and to the fornt steps. Then they'll gladly valet the car if you want them too. I tossed them the key and got the car back without any scratches. They also neglected to charge me for the valet (just one night). This was sitting right out front though, so I figured the Z was fine.

Notice the color of the plates? I believe all red plates are tourist, so possibly an ED?

At this point, it's Friday evening and we hadn't had the top down or really opened her up. So with some adivce from Kamdog, we headed north to Dingolfing early Saturday (had a 1000 drop-off appointment) for some spirited driving. We left the hotel at 0700 with the top down, but once we hit the unlimited speed region, we realized that 120 mph was just too much for the open cockpit, even with the Roadster Solutions plexiglass windscreen we installed while at the Welt. So, we pulled over in one of the SOS areas and closed the top. Got right back into what very little traffic there was and really had fun with the power of the N54 35is DCT combo.


After we both had our fun, and probably something we won't see for another 2 years or so, we made our way to the drop-off location. We came from the north, but there is also a coin-op and drive thru (never even considered taking the car through one of those) car wash just as you get to the airport boundary (left side of the road). You can't see the carwash, but it's there in the back. 1E for 3 minutes. We needed 15 minutes to get her clean. Stopped by an Obi (like an ace Hardware) and picked up a microfiber wash mitt for 5E as we left Dingolfing. After the wash, we followed the NAV to the address. You'll need to continue to the right turn just after you pass what is pictured here. You'll also see Terminalstrasse Mitte 20 (address #) on the road sign.


Once you make the right, continue for about 100 yards or so and the LogInOut office is on your right. You may notice several BMWs parked in front too We left both plates on, so we are just hoping that at least one of them is still there when we pick her up. I'll be calling the dealer in a couple of weeks to remind them I do not want them removing either plate and especially not to install the state-side front plate mounting bracket.

Last edited by wdlfbio; 06-17-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2012, 08:59 AM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Nice report - thans for sharing, and congratulations on your very nice Z. I strongly considered the Z for my latest acquisition, and may gravitate there again in a couple of years.
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My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2012, 09:46 AM
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Nice report - thans for sharing, and congratulations on your very nice Z. I strongly considered the Z for my latest acquisition, and may gravitate there again in a couple of years.
+1! Congratulations!!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:49 AM
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Gluhwein Gluhwein is online now
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Nice report and evidently a very nice trip as well. I don't ever recall seeing such a sunny day in Salzburg, and I've probably been there twenty times. You were extremely fortunate!

And is there any place in the world more beautiful than Berchtesgaden? Not in my book.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:53 AM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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Originally Posted by Gluhwein View Post
And is there any place in the world more beautiful than Berchtesgaden? Not in my book.
I prefer warm sandy beaches and margaritas. As far as land-locked areas, that whole alpine area is absolutely amazing, natural and made features alike.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:44 PM
tonmonde tonmonde is offline
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cool report! and awesome ride
Konigsee is beautiful, i agree i'd love to go back with a proper pair of hiking boots.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:50 AM
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neve1064 neve1064 is online now
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I'm thankful you posted your experience with Renee. We fly out on August 5th, roughly 6 weeks away. If you ordered your bags in late April, that was about 6 weeks out before you left. I guess I need to look for another option. It's too bad because those bags look like a practical solution.

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:17 PM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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Yep. Should have been plenty of time. He did say they had problems on their end with shipping initially. But by 10 May, "everything is fine now". Obviously not. Shipping via DHL was 80euro (ouch), but we could have paid more for FedEx and earlier delivery. But, when he says, 10-13 days, I think he's being unfairly optimistic. There I another company making fitted luggage, but it's not hard sided and doesn't appear to have rollers. No way is my wife trekking through airports and cobblestone carrying luggage. Might be an option or you though.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:45 PM
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neve1064 neve1064 is online now
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I was wondering what camera / holder combo you used to take the driving video and how many miles in total you drove. I'm trying to ascertain how much it will cost to drive our Z4 while over there... Do you know how much your fuel costs were or average mileage you achieved?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-22-2012, 09:10 PM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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Neve-

I can try to get our fuel bill, but I paid no attention to fuel. I was there to drive and have as much fun doing it. Trying to drive at the engine's optimal economy was not even close to what I did. The 'is' exhaust sounds so sexy. Not quite as nice as the M3 (by a long shot), but so much better than the AE Performance Exhaust on the 335xi. We did 1848 km, which is 1148 miles. Yeah, it's under the 1,200 for the break-in period. It's my car, I'll drive it how I want

I did try to pick fuel stops that were fairly priced, but also bought the super ultimate octane (top octane). I think we were about $400 into fuel, But I couldn't guess the number of gallons or our MPG. All in all, the fuel costs are minimal. I think there are many better ways to save cash.

If going into Austria, bring your own orange vests and save $5-7 each. Eat outside the city centers to save $$$. Stay outside the big towns and you can save tons too. But trying to drive economically just seems contrary to the whole reason for doin the ED in the first place. At least to me

The camera is the GoPro HD with the big suction mount. http://gopro.com/wp-content/uploads/...uctionCup1.jpg I know I paid no more than $30 shipped. I've had the thing on sureing autoX runs and my buddy has his on his boat in some pretty rough ocean conditions. Neither have came loose. These things are like glue.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:40 AM
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neve1064 neve1064 is online now
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Wdlfbio,

Thank you for answering. I would assume your trip was 70/30 highway/city driving. So I was just curious about what that type of driving brought you economy wise. What I really needed to know was if I need to budget over $1000 for fuel. Thanks again. Great report.

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Old 06-23-2012, 01:36 PM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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Munich to Florence was all Autobahn/autostrada (6-7 hours). Florence to Venice was 2 hours on back roads and 1-ish on the Autosrtrada. Venice to Salzburg was pretty much all alpine roads except for the bit leaving Venice (about 7 hours, if you exclude the time we stayed in Zell am See). Salzburg to Munich was Autobahn (under 2 hours I think). The little speed trip to Dingolfing from Munich was obviously Autobahn and fuel economy on that 140 km trip was very wonderfully horrible I wish we drove enough to blow $1k on fuel. You're going to have lots of fun.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:33 AM
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Thanks! Btw, I wrote to Rene and he said it is indeed to late to order the bags and get them in time for on time delivery. Did you get your bags yet? Will you ever? If so, can you give me the dimensions or would you be interested in selling them? I don't have access to a Z4 for trying out our current luggage in the trunk. Thank you, in advance.

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Old 06-27-2012, 12:07 PM
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BickUW89 BickUW89 is offline
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Great report!
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:29 AM
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TeeZee TeeZee is offline
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Please tell us you removed the windscreen before dropoff
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:28 PM
wdlfbio wdlfbio is offline
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Ooops. Didn't even think about that. The clear plexiglass just disappears. I guess I'll find out if it is still there in another 4 weeks.
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