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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 07-21-2012, 02:40 PM
Neutron145 Neutron145 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 59
Mein Auto: 2012 335i
Neutron145 335 ED Report

I found Bimmerfest while researching the topic of European Delivery of a new BMW in December, and have been a regular visitor ever since. I have gotten an incredible amount of information from all of you, and for that I am truly grateful. Adrian Avila in Atlanta helped me put the deal together. He has been great to work with, and I would highly recommend him. I used BMW's suggested travel agency (Courtyard) to help with the arrangements, as they were able to extend the Lufthansa 2 for 1 deal to the family. This made the fare a little cheaper than the typical summer fares with other carriers. Unfortunately, this deal is no longer available. I would not necessarily recommend this agency otherwise. I found that they took FOREVER to get back to me. Their excuse would be that they were working with last minute arrangements for others. Several times, I would send them a reminder email 3 weeks after the initial email before getting a response. I let them put the hotel itinerary together, but then I ended up making some changes due to some of the information here on the posts, the Wiki, and TripAdvisor. I would suggest that you follow the suggestions of the others here, and you will be fine.

My trip began on June 25, with Lufthansa from Houston to Prague. We had a 75 minute layover for our connection. Though our flight arrived on time, the connection ended up in another terminal. After a run through the tunnels of Frankfurt Airport, and a last minute gate change, we made it to the plane as it started boarding. We arrived in Prague around noon, and took a cab to our hotel. I was initially going to take my new BMW from Munich to Prague, but I got intimidated by the idea of driving in the Czech Republic. We stayed at the Iron Gate Hotel in the middle of town. It is a very nice hotel, with large rooms (3 levels) in a great location. Unfortunately, it is in a tiny dead end back street. With this, and the trains running all over, I probably would have needed a sedative if I was driving it.


We really enjoyed Prague, and were impressed with the Prague Castle tour.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=7645&pictureid=28941

After 2 days, the jet lag had worn off. We took a train from Prague to Munich. There is a direct train each morning called the "Franz Kafka." It takes about 5 1/2 hours, and very comfortable. I found an efare on the Czech Railway site that was a lot cheaper than the one on DB or RailEurope. I was also able to print the tickets from home. The one interesting thing is that the train reverses direction after a stop about halfway through. We thought that we were headed back to Prague for sure! No one else seemed to be freaking out, so we went with it rather than jumping for it.

We arrived in Munich on a warm June 28th, and made our way to the Munich Marriott. It is a very good hotel, as documented by many festers. They have a "BMW Abholer ("collector") Package, that includes a welcome drink, a plate of desserts, free breakfast each morning, and free garage parking.:thumb up: The staff was VERY helpful throughout our stay there. The subway is a short walk from the hotel, so we caught the train 6 stops to the city center, and made our visit to the Hofbrauhaus. They had a big screen set up in the garden for the Euro2012 game between Germany and Spain. We had a great time.


Tomorrow: The big day!
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2012, 03:36 PM
Neutron145 Neutron145 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Mein Auto: 2012 335i
It was raining the morning that I had my appointment at the Welt, so we took a cab for the short distance there. We were shown the way to the Premium Lounge, and went through the paperwork quickly. There was a line of dark grey packets on the counter behind the representative. We never got one. I assume that they were for locals doing delivery, but I forgot to ask. After grabbing a danish and drink in the Lounge, our representative, Ulrika called us and took us to do the interactive demonstration. After that, we went out to the famous staircase, with my new 335i in full view. Toward the end of showing all the details, Ulrika notice a small set of fingerprints on the inside of the door handle. She told me that she wanted to have it taken down to be cleaned, so I did two laps around the lobby while she turned the turntable around. I parked it back where it was, and we went off to the factory tour.




The factory tour was amazing. My family loved it. I would like to thank those that posted the YouTube links to the factory tour video earlier this week. Its great to have those since we could not video or take pictures there. After the tour, we shopped at the BMW store, and went over to the Museum (the sun was out by the time we went to the factory tour).

The next day, we returned to the Munich city center to tour the Victuelmarket. While there, we ate at the Pschorr biergarten. I would recommend this. The portions were ample, the taste was good, and the beer was great.:beer chug:

That evening, we walked from the hotel to a local biergarten that I heard about here, Zum Brunnwart. I think that we may have been the only non locals there. The food and beer there were great.
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2012, 04:36 PM
Neutron145 Neutron145 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 335i
On July 1st, we made our way to Fussen. We stopped at the Tegelberg Luge. It is very close to town. You can see Neuschwanstein from the luge. We loved it.



We stayed at the Hotel Sommer. It is located on the lake in Fussen. It has an indoor/outdoor pool, bikes, and a spa. The rooms are nice and spacious, and it includes a very large breakfast buffet. It is not mentioned on the wiki, but I found it on TripAdvisor, and am glad that I did.


We toured both castles after checking in to the hotel. As we finished the tour of Neuschwanstein, the clouds opened up with a torrential downpour. We purchased the ponchos, and trudged down the hill. I did not get the castle photo op due to the rain.

The next morning, we made our way along the Alpinestrasse toward Salzburg. The clouds were low early on, so the views were not as majestic as they could have been. Fortunately, the cloud broke when we got to Linderhof palace. I am SOOOO glad that we took the detour to go to it. We LOVED it.

We got back on the Alpinestrasse after that. This is where the Navigator showed us its chops. The route markers are close to nonexistent. We had maps from this forum in hand. As we came to one town on the map, my wife would put in the next one. I loved how well the navigation system worked for us. Having it on the heads up display was also nice. The car handled amazingly well, and I had a big grin on my face the entire time. The kids in the back cried uncle about halfway through, however, so we got on the Autobahn for the rest of the way. The traffic was not bad, so I was able to open it up.

We stayed in the Hotel Sacher in Salzburg. The hotel is very nice, and was a great jumping point for our tours. We walked through town, and went up to the Hohensalburg fortress. I think that it worth the funicular ride up. The exhibits are good, and the view of the town are great.


The next day, we took the Panorama "Sound of Music" tour. They make stops at the lake near where the back of the Trappe house was filmed, a park where the gazebo was moved (and renovated), and the church where the wedding scene was filmed. There were a couple of other drive by locations. Overall, I thought that it was a pretty good tour (on a large bus). It was not "amazing," but I a glad that we did it. On the way to the church, we did pass the headquarters for Red Bull. I did not know that it was created by someone from that area.

The next day, we headed for Vienna. We stayed at "The Ring" hotel close to the center of town. We could see the Opera house from our window.


We had an "extraordinary" room, which was very large, clean, and quiet (even though it is on the ring road). We walked the town the first day, and went to Schonnbrun palace the next. The tour of Schonnbrun palace was well worth the effort. They also have a zoo (for an extra cost). It was quite nice. They had a rainforest area, with an enclosed room that my son and I went through. While there, could barely make out something moving past us. I asked my son to face me, and literally took a "shot in the dark." I was quite happy with the result of my effort.


On July 5th, I needed to wash the car for its return. Most of the staff at the Ring Hotel had trouble with english. The valet offered to wash the car, but I could just tell that he was going to brush wash it. I quickly declined, and did it myself. The place I went was out of the way. I would recommend the one listed in the wiki if you are turning in the car in Vienna. Fellow fester JPT did a good job of documenting the drop off location. I met him and his wife there as I was dropping my car off. We shared a cab back to the center of town. Talking with them, and other Bimmerfest members at the Welt, reinforced the fact that this is such a great community.

Interestingly enough, after I dropped off my car, the Sirius Ap on my iPhone started playing music. I was able to use it later that day, and the next day at the Vienna airport. Getting reception there was a total surprise.

July 6 was an interesting day for air travel in the area. Apparently, the computers went down in Munich, which shut down the airport, and rain delayed a lot of the flights out of Vienna. They kept telling us that we might not be able to get out on our connection to Frankfurt, as they have a night time noise curfew. Fortunately, we made it out. I had made a reservation at the Hilton Frankfurt Airport hotel. It is a nice hotel, but it has only been open for 6 months. It has several things that still need to work out. There is an angular pillar just past a turn in the hall way that is not well marked. It nearly clotheslined my 9 year old son. The best thing about the hotel was that it was a quick hallway to the main checkin for Lufthansa at the Frankfurt Airport. We were on the plane with no problems for the flight home.

At this point I am still researching the WW shipping site, and keep getting "No Records Found." How disconcerting. I look forward to the day that I can track my boat to the States.

Again, thanks to all those who made my adventure so great!
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2012, 06:50 PM
zeezz zeezz is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2012 328i Sedan
Great write up! and color choice as well
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2012, 11:04 AM
mwagner1's Avatar
mwagner1 mwagner1 is offline
ICH LIEBE BMW!!!!
Location: Vereinigten Staaten
 
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Mein Auto: it has four wheels
Cool writeup and a WOW for the bat picture!!! Great looking car and what a great mom & dad to take their kids on such a neat trip!!!

Cheers,
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2012, 11:24 AM
jpt jpt is offline
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Location: Glendale, CA
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 32
Mein Auto: 2012 E92 328i
Finding your car

Hey Neutron145 great trip report!

Email Autoservice Wien with your VIN and they'll find your car.

Here's the response I got after my request was forwarded by Autoservice Wien to BLG:


Your car is booked for vessel Mignon CD230, scheduled for departure 30.07.2012 with approx. arrival at port Hueneme 23.08.2012.
Please feel free to contact us in case of further questions.
Have a great day.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / With kind regards

BLG CarShipping GmbH & Co. KG

i. A.
ExportDepartment

______________________________________

Grauwallring 2
27580 Bremerhaven
Deutschland/Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 471 / 48295 - 676
Fax: +49 (0) 471 / 48295 - 688
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2012, 08:31 PM
Neutron145 Neutron145 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 59
Mein Auto: 2012 335i
Thanks, JPT! I will send Autoservice a note. BTW, you did a great job with the photoblog of the drop off site.
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2012, 04:29 AM
Neutron145 Neutron145 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 59
Mein Auto: 2012 335i
I got a quick reply from BLG car shipping (that was so easy). I will be on Fidelio, with arrival in Brunswick Aug 20. We will be getting our cars about the same time
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2012, 08:47 AM
MonkeyCMonkeyDo MonkeyCMonkeyDo is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 335i
that bat picture is quite the picture. What camera did you use to take it and what format is the original? If you want to shoot me a PM and then send me the original image I can improve it substantially. It just needs some "darkroom" work done to it. As a professional photographer and designer, I would be happy to help make it a show stopper if you would like.


Great write-up by the way. I cant wait until the end of September when I get to have that grin myself
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2012, 11:10 AM
DrivenByF30 DrivenByF30 is offline
1st time 'Fester in 2012!
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 200
Mein Auto: '96 E36 silver 328i MT 4d
congratulations !!! Great vacation experience with your family ! and you get a brand new car in the process !
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Luxury F30 335i 6MT, ED : 4/12/12
Drop-off: 4/24/12, Re-Delivery : 7/10/12
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