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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 05-29-2007, 11:07 PM
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AHart AHart is offline
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Mein Auto: 07 E93 335i
ED summary, in chapters

Since I can't seem to find time to write an entire summary, I will break it down to chapters. First, I need to thank Irv for making this car buying experience the least complicated and least stressful auto purchase I have ever done. I have thanked myself countless times for buying through someone who truly knows the ED process. Next, I must thank Beewang for the navigation disk loaner. Without that disk, I might still be lost in the Italian countryside. Finally, all the information, help, tips and support from all the folks here contributed to a wonderful experience. Thanks to all who contribute here.

Day 1

We left Denver on Lufthansa's new nonstop service direct to Munich, on the 2 4 1 program. That deal did save us a few hundred bucks, but dont be fooled into thinking that deal is half price. The service on Lufthansa was the best, but in the cattle-car section, they really pack you in. The full impact of the lack of space came to light when I couldn't place my Warsteiner long neck on my tray table with the seat in front of me reclined!

Day 2

We arrived in Munich right on time, and met Rolf right where he said he would be. Against the conventional wisdom, I chose to go directly to pick up the car, rather than to decompress for a day or two. No delayed gratification for me; I wanted to drive the new car ASAP. Unfortunately, Rolf had two other clients, whose plane had been significantly delayed. Despite his best efforts, he could not squeeze all the luggage into his 3er touring, so the other couple graciously agreed to wait until Rolf could deliver us to the Freimann Center. He was a wealth of information and recommendations for the entire drive, and we followed most of his suggestions.
After waiting almost precisely the 45 minutes we were told we would wait, our name was called and we met a vrey pleasant lady, whose name flew by me without registering in mymemory bank. As it turned out, this was her first day on the job, and we were her first delivery. Although she had to ask for assistance a few times, she was very knowledgeable about the car, and demonstrated most of its features to us. Unfortunately, by the time we were ready to leave, it was pouring rain, so we had to leave with the top of our new convertible up. Oh well, the first test would be to verify that the hard top won't leak in hard rain!
After driving out to Graching to complete the drop off paperwork with Thomas (in case we did not return by his closing time on our return date) we followed Rolf's suggestion for a short trip, out to Andechs, a quaint little town a ways away, that also has great beer! The drive was a good mix of autobahn and country road. After a nice lunch, we returned to check into the Munich Marriott. We were not offered the 48 euro special that has been written about on other threads, but this was a very comfortable hotel nevertheless, and the Priceline deal made is a great value.

Day 3

After a quick breakfast at the bakery down the street, we embarked on our drive to Venice. The pounding rain continued, so our journey out of Munich in rain and traffic wasn't the optimal start, but soon improved. Following Rolf's recommendation, we went through Garmisch, and then changed the navigation to "avoid highways" up through Innsbuck and the Brenner Pass. The countryside was absolutely spectacular! Driving under the bridges on which the Autobahn travels up through the Brenner Pass gave us some incredible views of some civil engineering wonders. After a pizza lunch in Brenner, we continued the LONG downslope out of the Brenner Pass, and on to Venice. We parked our new baby in the Tronchetto parking lot, with only mild trepidation about abandoning it so soon. After a vaporetto ride to the Accademia bridge, we found our hotel, which was located directly adjacent to the bridge. That turned out to be a great location, as we could walk to nearly everywhere we wanted to go, and could also catch a boat to go where we wouldn't walk.
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2011 335i convertible, deep sea blue/oyster.

ED delivery 9/22/10; drop off 10/5/10

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  #2  
Old 05-29-2007, 11:19 PM
Northcar Northcar is offline
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Thanks for the intro. Anxiously awaiting your reporting of the stay in Venice and accompanying photos.
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2007, 11:29 PM
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Asteroid Asteroid is offline
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Thanks for the report. Seems like cattle class on Lufthansa elicits a good share of complaints. I guess I won't look forward to that 11 hour part of the trip.
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2007, 01:27 AM
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AHart AHart is offline
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Day 4
The hotel serves breakfast in room, so we watched life on the Grand Canal unfold as we got going in the mornings. After some strong coffee, we walked to San Marco Square. The line to get up in the tower wasn't too long, so we ascended up to get a good view. Also went through the cathedral. Wow, the ornate detail on both the exterior and interior was amazing. We shuffled along with the hords of people...spent some time hanging along the waterfront, and declined to wait in the line for the palace. Wandered up through the city, and found a back canal to hang our feet over as we ate lunch and watched the gondolas float by.

Day 5

More wandering around town, exploring the meandering streets and canals; went up to the Rialto bridge and adjacent tourist areas; waled back down to the Accademia Gallery.
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2011 335i convertible, deep sea blue/oyster.

ED delivery 9/22/10; drop off 10/5/10

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  #5  
Old 05-30-2007, 11:36 PM
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AHart AHart is offline
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Location: Redlands, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 07 E93 335i
Day 6

I was glad to return to the car and find it safe and sound where we parked it in the Tronchetto parking garage. I was even happier to get out on an open road, on our way to Montalcino, south of Siena. The acceleration of this car, even at high speed in sixth gear, istruly amazing. Without any effort we were going well inexcess of the speed limit for the Autostrada. Although there is a limit, we never saw any sign of any law enforcement efforts.

We chose Agriturismo La Crociona, outside of Montalcino, as our base from where to explore the hill towns ot Tuscany. Our hosts operated a thriving vineyard and winery, and also produced their own olive oil. Their Brunello wine was claimed to be one of the best of the region. Although they did not have a restaurant, the neighboring agriturismo just down the dirt road had an outstanding selection of both food and wine.

Day 7

Our destination for this day was the City of Siena, about 25 mi from our apartment. After finding a spot to park, which wasn't an easy process, we headed for Il Campo, the city's central piazza, and hub of activity. A climb up the clock tower gave us a spectacular view of the city, and a good spot to photograph many of the city's landmarks, including the Duomo. We also toured the Museo in the town hall, had our lunch in Il Campo and then headed off to tour the Duomo. What an incredibly ornate cathedral! I was surprised that they allowed photography inside, as long as you didn't use flash, so we got some good pictures of the incredibly detailed ornamentation. After a gelato break, we travelled on to the hill town of San Gimignano. Our drive from Siena took us through the town of Poggibonsi, which is the one place where our otherwise reliable navigation system failed us. The navigation "lady" wanted us to turn down the wrong way of a one way street, and when we turned in the other direction, wanted us to circle around and send us down the same wrong way. We eventually found the right road, but on the return trip, the navigation again failed us, this time later in the evening.Although crowded, San Gimignano, with its many medieval towers, could really give you the feeling of what it must have been like to live in the 15th century!

Our drive back to Montalcino in the evening gave us a chance to test out the heated seats, as it got quite cool with the top down. But with the bun warmers warming one side, and the heater warming the other, we were very comfortable!
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2011 335i convertible, deep sea blue/oyster.

ED delivery 9/22/10; drop off 10/5/10

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  #6  
Old 05-31-2007, 08:04 AM
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