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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 10-16-2012, 06:31 PM
Peteinnj Peteinnj is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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Mein Auto: '13 335i Xdrive M Sport
Trip Report: Germany/Austria/Italy '13 335i xDrive Msport

First off I would like to thank all of the guys and gals who contribute to the Bimmerfest forums and wiki. The wealth of information on this site is an invaluable tool for planning trips like this. Without Bimmerfest I would have been completely lost. Second, I would also like to thank Marlen Gafanovich@ Tenafly,NJ BMW for giving us such a hassle and trouble free purchasing experience. If you guys are in the tri state area looking to buy a BMW Marlen's the way to go.

To make this thread useful to future ED 'festers I have organized all the pictures by location and will give a short review of the hotels we used for each major stop.

10 Days, 4 Countries, 1500 Miles, One high speed run to 155mph and a lap at Nurburgring


Short Video of Driving Highlights


A Map of our route:
Map

Munich, Germany
We took a red eye from Newark,NJ to Munich and arrived a day ahead of delivery early in the morning. The first stop was the hotel:

Taxis at the airport
Airport Taxi

Getting close to the hotel
Munchen Highway Sign

After we dropped off the luggage our first destination was Marienplatz via Munich's SBahn subway system.

Subway stop
Subway Sign

At first the subway maps are a bit overwhelming (this is coming from a seasoned NYC subway vet) but once you get the hang of it it's really straight forward. The trains are clean and run like clockwork, they put US metro systems to shame. We bought a 24 hr pass for (2-5 people) and it was only 20 euros, not a bad deal.

Subway Map

Subway Stop

Once we reached Marienplatz we snapped a few pics of the old town hall and had our first meal.

Marienplatz

The chicken dumpling soup, pretzel and bratwurst were quite delicious.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

Bratwurst

After lunch we explored the surrounding area a bit and wandered around for a few blocks. Unfortunately, given it was a Sunday the majority of places were closed.

Munchen Churches

Munchen Cafe

With our options being pretty limited we decided to get a taste of Oktoberfest and headed to the park via the U Bahn.

Oktoberfest Sign

Oktoberfest ended up being quite an experience. We had the chance to visit a few "beer tents" and it was great to see people of all ages having a good time and singing German songs. Being that it was the second day of Oktoberfest the tents were full and it was just about impossible to get a seat and a beer. So we ended up just taking in the sights and even managed to watch a parade through the park grounds.

Beer tent
Beer_Tent_outside

Inside view of a beer tent
Beer_Tent

Oktoberfest Building

Oktoberfest Parade
Oktoberfest March

A rare sighting of the Polizei during our trip
IMG_2513

Delivery Day

Woke up early the next day for a 9am check in at the Welt. The building itself is quite the architectural masterpiece and symbolic to all the attention BMW puts into design.

BMW Headquarters
BMW Headquarters

BMW Welt
Welt Front

Inside the Welt
Interior Welt

Welt Stairs

Welt Ceiling

Once inside you are kind of taken a back by the the gravity of the whole situation. With the adrenalin pumping at 110% I felt like a kid in the candy store and didn't know what to do next. Fortunately, BMW has the whole check in process planned to a T and within minutes we were signing our paperwork and hanging out in the premium lounge.

Customer Lounge
Welt Premium Lounge

The lounge was great and we were able to grab a decent breakfast before delivery. After we finished our meal we walked around to take pictures of the interior of the Welt and browsed the shop downstairs. Once the clock struck 10:25 we made our way to the client meeting point upstairs to meet our client advisor Nicole. I would like to mention we were lucky enough to experience delivery during Oktoberfest which meant all of the CAs were dressed in drindls and lederhosens. It made the whole experience just a little bit more authentic.

There She Is!
Welt Turntable Rear

Welt Me Tiff and Car

TiffandNicole

Nicole did the standard introduction of the car before going over the basic features of our new F30. Since I was semi familiar with the idrive system I let the Mrs go through most of the briefing while I tried to snap some pictures of the car. Unfortunately we were in a bit of a rush since we also wanted to attend the 11:30am English factory tour. So I mounted our Go Pro camera and did a quick victory lap before parking the car and joining the tour. Once the tour was over we headed back to the Welt to buy souvenirs and grabbed a quick lunch in the lounge.

Leaving the Welt
Welt Exit

Next stop was a gas station to fuel up for our trip to Salzburg Austria. We left Munich and drove the tail end of the Alpanstrabe route which had some great scenic and twisty roads.

Munich Hotel: Innside Premium Hotel Munchen Parkstadt Schwabing
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...h_Bavaria.html

Liked
- Relatively close to the airport
- Modern decor in lobby and rooms
- Short taxi ride to the Welt

Didn't Like
- Room was pretty small
- Open concept bathroom
- No restaurants or things to do within walking distance from the hotel
- A bit of a hike to the metro stop

Last edited by Peteinnj; 12-05-2012 at 06:55 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2012, 06:32 PM
Peteinnj Peteinnj is offline
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Salzburg, Austria

We got to Salzburg pretty late and checked into out hotel.
Hotel Bristol

Once we dropped off our baggage we walked across the river and headed into town for dinner. After reading a few reviews on trip advisor we decided to try Sternbrau. The restaurant is almost 600 years old and supposedly Mozart himself spent a lot of time there.

Sternbrau
Sternbrauj

Kaltenhauser

PorkSteak

After dinner we wandered the streets of Salzburg for a bit before heading back to the hotel for some sleep.

TheDirector

Austria Church

Woke up the next morning and had a great breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards we decided to walk to the city center for a day of exploration. Salzburg has a serene and peaceful feel to it, while wandering the streets you can hear people playing live music. The town cemetery right below the cliffs was also worth a look and leads you right to the sky car up to the town fortress.

Locks on a Salzburg Bridge
Locksonbridge

More Pretzels
Pretzel

View of Salzburg from the fortress
Salzburg

Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
After lunch we left Salzburg and headed south towards Venice via Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

Our car still clean and waiting for us in front of the hotel
Caronstreet

It took us a little over two hours to reach the Grossglockner's entrance. While waiting at the gate we got lucky and had an Audi prototype pull up behind us. It appeared to be some sort of Audi Q7 variant(RSQ7?)with really wide fender flares. I pulled over in an attempt to capture it on my forward facing Go Pro camera. As soon as I did the guys in the Q7 rocketed past us to avoid being caught on film.

After leaving the gate we went through numerous switchbacks up the mountains stopping along the way to take a few pictures. The driving enjoyment was dampened a bit by slow moving traffic but overall it was an amazing experience to drive on these roads.

A View From the Road
The Hills

Another
GrossGlockner1

Portion of Grossglockner High Alpine Road
TheRoadDown

We finally reached the summit where we ran into the Audi Q7 prototype again along with an additional one. Guessing the new one was some sort of A8L variant doing high altitude performance testing.

Audi prototypes
AudiPrototype

With such an amazing background I had to snap a few more pics of the car near the summit (8,000ft)

BMWGrossglockner2

BMWGrossglocknerSide

BMWGrossglockner5

After I was done cheesing out with the camera we proceeded down the backside of Grossglockner. Unfortunately the Mrs got a bit sick from all the continuous switchbacks but we made it down just fine. Once on the valley floor I topped off with more petrol and we continued onto Venice,Italy.

Our route to Italy took us through some more interesting alpine passes with blind corners and super narrow switchbacks. Unfortunately, it started to get dark and a blinding rain storm rolled in making driving extremely difficult. Looking back it was probably not such a great idea to tackle these roads at night and if I were to do it again I would have probably stayed the night near Grossglockner before pushing on to Venice.

Either way we made it to Italy and hit our first autostrada allowing us to drive with a bit more speed. It took us another two hours before we made it to the Tronchetto where we parked the car for two nights. Since it was late (around 10pm) I was concerned about finding a way into Venice. We eventually managed to find the water taxi (Vaporetta) stop and took a boat to central Venice. Once we got to the hotel we were a bit let down to find all the nearby restaurants were closed. So we had to resort to a vending machine for our first Venice dinner.

Salzburg Hotel: Hotel Bristol http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...rian_Alps.html

Liked
- Large nicely appointed bedroom and bathroom
- Friendly and accommodating staff
- Small balcony overlooking the street
- Close to the city center

Didn't Like
- Valet parking required
- Possible overnight ghostly encounter

Last edited by Peteinnj; 10-18-2012 at 07:11 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2012, 06:33 PM
Peteinnj Peteinnj is offline
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Venice, Italy

The next couple of days involved a lot of wandering around the beautiful streets of Venice. The city itself defies logic in many ways with its narrow streets and water filled alley ways. It is definitely a sight to behold and I suspect not replicated anywhere else in the world.

Before the trip we were warned about the tourist trap restaurants with mediocre food. I am sad to report that all of our dining experiences in Venice seem to have fallen into this category. We even made sure to visit highly rated places from Trip Advisor.

Food aside Venice is an amazing city with endless opportunities to wander and discover great things. I think we walked at least five to six miles the first day we were there. Here are some shots from our exploring:

Grand Canal
GrandCanal

Alleyway
Venicestreets

Shops
Alleyway

Waterway at night
NightCanal

San Marco Square
SanMarco2

Venice Hotel: Best Western Saint Elena
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...ce_Veneto.html

Liked
- Modern and trendy rooms, felt like someones condo rather than a hotel room
- Away from the touristy areas of Venice
- Great included breakfast
- Water taxi stop is two blocks from the hotel

Didn't Like
- A bit of a trek to get to the main part of Venice
- Cleaning staff entered the room without knocking...oops

Lake Como, Italy

We woke up early on day 5 and grabbed a water taxi and train (people mover) back to the Tronchetto garage. Picked up the car which was nice and safe in its tiny parking spot and started the three hour drive to Lake Como. The autostradas we took were similar to the autobahns in Germany so we were able to cruise at a pretty decent clip. A heads up though, there is a general speed limit of 130km/hr on unmarked sections. Unfortunately, I did not know this and thought they were unrestricted. So I am bracing myself for some Italian "speed tax" envelopes in the near future. Also had a close call with a tire sitting in the left lane while cruising at 100+ mph. The variable steering and great brakes on the 335 paid off dividends there.

Once we got to Lake Como I started to see why people say that it is a bit tight on some of the lake roads. I tip my hat to all those crazy bus drivers who drive on these roads on a daily basis. No idea how they do it. Let's just say that I used the top view and front side view cameras quite frequently to navigate the really tight spots.

We got to the hotel safely and parked our car in the garage and had a satisfying dinner at a restaurant down the street. The meal put both of us in a bit of a food coma so we decided to relax and turn in a little early.

The next day we woke up and took the water ferry for a day at Belaggio. Lake Como itself is gorgeous, if there was a heaven on earth it would be here. I have never been to a place so serene and calming.

OntheLake

LakeView

LakeSun

Belaggio was an interesting place with some amazing views of the lake right outside of town (Worth the hike up the hill).

BellagioCliff

We also had our best meal in Italy at Trattoria San Giacomo.

Lunch

Lake Como Hotel: Albergo Lenno
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._Lombardy.html

Liked
- Nice and safe parking garage (You have to reserve a spot)
- Room with a lake view and large balcony
- Awesome breakfast outdoor patio
- Ferry stop right in front of the hotel

Didn't Like
- The 1980's feel in the hotel room
- Strange shower / standing jacuzzi hybrid
- Uncomfortable bed

Black Forest (Fieldberg/Baden Baden)

The next morning we headed back to Germany to travel along the famous Black Forest Spa Route via Switzerland. The drive took about four hours and the roads (B500) starting in Waldshut and to our hotel in Freiburg were a blast to drive.

Lots of Green
BlackForest

Had a refuel stop at an interesting gas station called Neubauer which I can honestly say is the nicest gas station I have ever visited. You can't beat a station that is clean, modern and also happens to sells race modified Porsches!

GasStation

We got to our hotel right before dark but had a little difficulty finding it as it looked like a normal house.

Bierhausle

I have never really done the whole bed and breakfast thing but we had the best experience staying at Landhotel Bierhaeusle. The owners Alex and Thomas were extremely warm and friendly and made us feel right at home. We had dinner at the restaurant and I can say without a doubt it was the best meal of the trip. The pork steak that Thomas cooked up (He was a former gourmet chef) was something I would have expected at a Michelin star restaurant in NYC and not at a quaint B&B in middle of the black forest!

PorkSteak

The following morning they had the same table setup for breakfast complete with two dressed up hard boiled eggs.

Egg

Upon departure Alex and Thomas asked to take a picture with us in front of our car. Thomas was intrigued by the US spec car and the whole concept of Euro delivery. They requested that we send them a picture of the car once it was stateside with US plates. We will apparently be making it to Bierhaeusle's wall of guest pictures in the near future. I thought it was quite a nice gesture!

If any of you 'Festers plan on driving through the Black Forest I HIGHLY recommend staying a night at Bierhaeusle!

After leaving the hotel we finished the rest of the Black Forest B500 route and gave the car its first bath outside of Triberg.

FirstCarWash

Baden Baden was our next destination for a day of European spas which I'll be honest isn't something I would usually be into. Being stuck in a really hot room with naked strangers isn't exactly my cup of tea. However, the thermal spring baths were really nice to relax in and the overall experience itself was certainly memorable.

Feldberg Hotel: Landhotel Bierhaeusle
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...rttemberg.html

Liked
- Excellent personal customer service from Alex and Thomas
- Amazing food
- Comfortable beds
- Great location right off of the B500 Black Forest route

Disliked
- Nothing

Baden Baden Hotel:Aqua Aurelia Suitenhotel
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...rttemberg.html

Liked
- Large super modern rooms
- Large safe parking garage
- Steps away from the main shops and resteraunts of Baden Baden
- Half a block away from the famous spas

Disliked
- The air conditioning didn't work well

Nurburgring

I wanted to get to the track as quickly as possible so we had an early start. The drive from Baden Baden was a hair over three hours and I was fortunate enough to hit the end of our car's break in period en route. This left me excited at the thought of really opening her up once we got on the track. These ambitions were dampened a bit when we pulled off the autobahn and into the Nurburg exit and our first sight was a smashed up 911 sitting on the back of a flat bed. An obvious victim of the unforgiving roads of Nurburgring. Very sobering.

Filling up at the petrol station right outside the track entrance felt like being in a pit lane at a racetrack. There was a line of race kitted Porsches and M3s all waiting to fuel up their thirsty cars, very cool to see. We gassed up and headed to the info center to check the operating hours and pick up a ring card.

Infocenter

NurburgringStreet

We must have picked a pretty busy day to drive on the track as there was a good amount traffic at the entrance. We waited in line like everyone else and once up to the gate we swiped our ring card and off we went. At the time I felt pretty confident that I knew the track since I literally spent months memorizing it on Forza Motorsport 4. Oh boy, let me tell you this assumption was thrown out the window after I drove pass the first corner. Nothing could have prepared me for the G forces experienced in some of the corners and descents the track is famous for. There were times I had difficulty maintaining grip on the steering wheel! It was the most exhilarating and intense driving experience I have ever had in my life.

If I could do it over again I probably would have rented one of those ring cars and done a few laps to get a good feel of the track before taking it on with my own car. I think it would have made the experience that much better. Either way I had a ton of fun driving it and I will be sure to visit the ring again at some point in my life!

A few shots taken by photographers at the track
Turn

Turn2

Turn3

Wurzburg

After our Nurburgring experience we headed to our hotel in Wurzburg. The drive was around three hours and we managed to squeeze in a late dinner at one of the bars downtown. The next day we visited the Residenz palace which was right behind our hotel. The surrounding gardens and building were a sight to behold. We also decided to take a tour of the inside and saw some of the most amazing architectural details I have ever seen. It still boggles my mind how people were able to build things like that so long ago. Unfortunately, they do not allow cameras inside so I was unable to take any pictures.

Wurzburg Residenz
Residenz

Surrounding Gardens
WurzburgFall

ResideceGarden

Wurzburg Hotel: Novotel Wuerzburg

Liked
- Located near the town center
- Parking Garage
- Good breakfast

Disliked
- Felt like any old business hotel

Drop off

After out Residenz tour we reluctantly got into our car and headed to the Munich international airport for drop off. On the way down I managed to find a stretch of unrestricted autobahn to reach the car's speed limiter at 155mph. The resulting bug grave yard can be seen here:

BugPlate

The drop off process was very straight forward and we sadly said goodbye to our beloved car.
ByeBye

The whole Euro delivery experience was nothing short of amazing. It will definitely be a trip we will cherish for the rest of our lives. Until the next one comes along I will be patiently counting down the days/months/years until our next adventure!

THE END

Last edited by Peteinnj; 10-16-2012 at 07:08 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2012, 06:57 PM
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mdsbuc mdsbuc is offline
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Thanks for the awesome report! I love the crisp photos depicting the beautiful locals of your trip, the mouth watering foods you enjoyed, and your gorgeous new EBII MSport F30 3 series bimmer. Fantastic!

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Old 10-16-2012, 07:07 PM
slyfox51 slyfox51 is offline
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Hey thats my wife and I sitting behind your wife in the lounge picture! Glad your experience went well also, although I wish I could have tested the speed limiter on the autobahn.

Have you heard yet if your car is on a boat? I dropped off in Paris on 10/01 and no news yet.

Nice pics!
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:25 PM
jlukja jlukja is offline
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Very nice report. The pictures look fantastic.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:53 PM
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The trip looks awesome. Congrats!

Ps. Technically superior pics. Composition, light, post processing. What equipment?
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:20 PM
zeezz zeezz is offline
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Excellent photos, and congrats on the car!
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:24 PM
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Excellent photos, and congrats on the car!
+1!
Congratulation!
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:51 PM
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Glad you guys had an excellent trip. Enjoyed your selection of stops and phenomenal photo's. I'm a shutterbug myself and your lighting, composition, color, etc. are the tops.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:51 PM
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sno_duc sno_duc is online now
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Originally Posted by dandanio View Post
The trip looks awesome. Congrats!

Ps. Technically superior pics. Composition, light, post processing. What equipment?
+1
looks more like 35mm using a slow slide film.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:26 AM
pawarrant pawarrant is offline
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Great photos and report! I stayed at the Albergo Lenno last month and also found the shower was odd.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:51 AM
Peteinnj Peteinnj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyfox51 View Post
Hey thats my wife and I sitting behind your wife in the lounge picture! Glad your experience went well also, although I wish I could have tested the speed limiter on the autobahn.

Have you heard yet if your car is on a boat? I dropped off in Paris on 10/01 and no news yet.

Nice pics!
Hi Sly, I thought about you guys when I pulled that pic off my camera. Again, a shame we didn't know you guys were 'festers!

I dropped my car off at the Munich Airport on 10/3 and it is still not showing up on manifests either, I think it may take a while.

Last edited by Peteinnj; 10-17-2012 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:54 AM
Peteinnj Peteinnj is offline
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Originally Posted by dandanio View Post
The trip looks awesome. Congrats!

Ps. Technically superior pics. Composition, light, post processing. What equipment?
Thanks! I used a Canon 50D DSLR with a combo of lenses Tamron 28-75 / Canon 70-200L / Sigma 30mm

Minor post processing (Color correction/Sharpening) was done in GIMP (Open source graphics program)
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:57 AM
Peteinnj Peteinnj is offline
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Originally Posted by 640GC View Post
Glad you guys had an excellent trip. Enjoyed your selection of stops and phenomenal photo's. I'm a shutterbug myself and your lighting, composition, color, etc. are the tops.
Thanks! To be honest I was a bit disappointed on how the 50D performed in slightly dim to darker situations. The high ISO noise is inexcusable! Hopefully I will have a better camera body for the next one!
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:57 AM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Great report ! Thanks for posting. You've whetted my appetite for our next ED
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:43 AM
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What an excellent report! She's a beaut, just like mine! Glad you had a fantastic time.

Also, excellent pics. Especially dig the Grossglockner shots.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:16 AM
mmjrjr mmjrjr is offline
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Fantastic write up...great pics...helpful reviews. Congrats on a great trip!

I'm leaving in 21 days to get my EB 335xi.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:39 AM
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Good looking photos
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:51 AM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Thanks for the nice report and pics. Thank goodness for the trackside photogs at the Nordschliefe, or we'd never have had even a glimpse of the writer's face. Shame on you for not sharing the happy photo at pick-up. We wanted to see TWO happy faces in that photo.

Your Lago di Como pictures brought back some great memories. And you were blessed with the clearest weather there I've ever seen. Stunning!

And congratulations on your discerning choice of exterior color.
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My 2014 ED trip report: Born Yesterday - 3rd ED off to a (mostly) flawless start
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=793345


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

Last edited by boothguy; 12-11-2012 at 11:34 PM.
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  #21  
Old 10-17-2012, 02:13 PM
MonkeyCMonkeyDo MonkeyCMonkeyDo is offline
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It may have issues in low light but the shot of the car with your wife behind slightly looking back at the top of the peak is an absolutely stunning pic! I mean really fantastic. I dont think a 5d MKIII would have taken anything better.

Great report. What a trip, right?

Now starts the waiting.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:37 PM
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Gluhwein Gluhwein is offline
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Fabulous post. I only wish there were more. Any chance we'll get to see the videos? I too was a bit reluctant to stay at B&Bs, but it is now our preferred way to travel.

I see you're from NJ; who was your dealer?
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  #23  
Old 10-17-2012, 03:09 PM
ciboM5 ciboM5 is offline
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Awesome! Well done across the board...pics, write-up, itinerary, and of course the car
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  #24  
Old 10-17-2012, 03:25 PM
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AggieKnight AggieKnight is offline
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Awesome trip report.

As Dandandio and others have said, great pictures.

You guys are really setting the bar for my trip report next month (delivery in 37 days!!!!!!!)
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Yield, I can has picture?
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  #25  
Old 10-17-2012, 07:07 PM
Peteinnj Peteinnj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluhwein View Post
Fabulous post. I only wish there were more. Any chance we'll get to see the videos? I too was a bit reluctant to stay at B&Bs, but it is now our preferred way to travel.

I see you're from NJ; who was your dealer?
Working on the video next, will probably take a couple of weeks though. Once I am done I will post up for sure.

I used Tenafly BMW for my ED, ask for Marlen!
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