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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:30 AM
knkums knkums is offline
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June, 2013 ED - Request for comments on accommodation/Road Trip

Hi All:
I am planning for a early june, 2013 ED. It would be a 5 series. My plan is to spend about a week in Europe after taking the delivery.. we are a family of 4, with kids aged 10 and 5. I am looking for suggestion on accommodations and tips doing the below road trip.

Day 1: Arrive at Frankfurt (Stopover place)
take ICE to Munich.
Stay in a Munich hotel
Day 2: Take deliverySpend the day in BMW Welt; factory tour, museum etc.

Day 2: 5pm: Drive to Paris

Day 2 night: Arrive at Paris (maybe past midnight?)
Planning to stay outside the Paris city for the entire stay. preferably within 30-45min of public transit travel time to Paris. To get accommodation with Kitchen and ample parking. Is this a good idea? Any pointers for finding nice acco. is appreciated.
Day 3 - 5: Paris daily day trips from the base.

Day 5: 5pm: Drive to London

Day 5: night Arrive at London..
Planning to stay outside the London city for the entire stay. preferably within 30-45min of public transit travel time to London. To get accommodation with Kitchen and ample parking..Is this a good idea? Any pointers for finding nice acco. is appreciated.
Day 6 - 8: London daily day trip from the base.

Day 8 5pm: Drive to Frankfurt.

Day 9: Leave Frankfurt.

Last edited by knkums; 01-03-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:44 AM
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Do an open jaw into munich out of london.
Driving London to Frankfurt is a bad idea. I would drop the car off in Paris and take the Eurostar to london. There is decent regional train service in the UK and around Paris for day trips. then fly home via London.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:53 AM
knkums knkums is offline
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Thanks 3ismagic..

Frankfurt is a stopover in my san francisco to chennai (india) trip.. Stopping over at frankfurt is more economical than the open jaw option.. May I ask why driving from london to frankfurt is not a good idea?

thanks..
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:57 AM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Sounds like you're hitting some major cities. Nothing wrong with that, but most people who do ED prefer to drive to the small towns so they can see the local sights and take advantage of their "free" rental car. In other words, to see the local sights under normal conditions, you wold have to rent a car. But since you already have a car......

To answer your question, one thing you might want to do is get a Rick Steve's book for the areas you are interested in and check his suggestions for places to stay. Of course, others may reply with suggestions.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:54 AM
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London & Paris will be lost on the children. Driving on the "wrong" side of the road could present some problems in a new to you car, what could go wrong? Stay on the continent short driving days and some things to interest the children seems to make more sense. Drop the car off in Franffurt, very convenient.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2013, 12:38 PM
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I've done a few ED's that ended in London when there was still a Harms drop-off office there. Some of our best ED memories are of Scotland in the 540 and Ireland in the M5 - BUT - I travel to UK several times a year for business and am very comfortable driving on the left in a RHD car; driving in UK in a LHD car took some getting used to UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO PARK DON'T DRIVE INTO THE CENTER OF LONDON.

I've taken my kids to London many times and they always enjoyed it, even when they were small.

If you go ahead with your plan I suggest staying West or NW near Slough or Oxford and commuting into London. There are also some nice areas in Kent that might fill your needs - Westerham or Seven Oaks come to mind. I've driven from Swanley in Kent to Bad Homburg (near Frankfurt) more times than i can count; it actually is a nice drive if you take two days.

dk
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Last edited by dkreidel; 01-03-2013 at 12:42 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2013, 03:39 PM
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I would scrap this idea and hit the countryside, OR, drop the car off in Paris to be shipped home and do the rest on trains. And stay in the center of Paris and London.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:22 PM
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I'm just some bloke on the internet so please take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

I think you are underestimating the distances, the impact of the travel fatigue/jetlag and how much you will be able to experience/enjoy in each location.

You could spend a week in London or Paris, so the 36 hrs you are planning to spend in each is going to be rushed and stressful. You mixing them with 20-something hours of driving, plus traversing the Chunnel twice and driving into and around two of the most congested cities in Europe. And you are doing this bookended by a 14 hour+ flight.

Doesn't sound like much fun, man.

I'd encourage you to start over from scratch, or ditch the car early and use the Euro Rail to get around. If you go Euro Rail, I'd still drop either London or Paris. Doesn't seem like enough time to do both.

Again, just my 2 cents. Look forward to hearing how your experience goes.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:03 PM
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My fear of driving in Paris (I lived in Versailles for a period of time) is eclipsed only by my fear of driving in London. +1 on taking Eurostar. In my life, I had never been in a car that touched another one, and the one and only time driving with my French host, we made contact no less than 7 times, many times at a good clip. And that's in the 'burbs. As mentioned above, it's also a long drive, and the adrenaline of German derestricted zones will turn into headaches and eyestrain from the speed cameras and tollbooths in France. They hit you every 10-20km it seemed. If you take an Adderall, however, it would be more than feasible.

If you're hell-bent on driving your car in the Republique, stay well outside the periphery. The Marriott villa style property near EuroDisney (Val d'Europe) has a ton of parking, is an easy shot into Paris on the RER-A, and American-sized kitchens and beds.

You'll also have to get headlight masks to drive in the UK. If the cops there are anything like in France and Germany, they'll pull you over relatively often to check that the aiming on your headlights has been reversed.

All being said, I am pretty strong anti-rail and anti-intra EU flight. But you're also looking to do a hell of a lot in a short time. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:05 PM
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I agree with AggieKnight.
Why not fly into Frankfurt.
Ride the ICE to Paris and spend a week there.
Then ride the ICE to Munich. Pick up car.
Leisurely drive to Frankfurt and drop off car.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sno_duc View Post
I agree with AggieKnight.
Why not fly into Frankfurt.
Ride the ICE to Paris and spend a week there.
Then ride the ICE to Munich. Pick up car.
Leisurely drive to Frankfurt and drop off car.
This is a good idea! The OP seems to, however, have a different type of journey in mind and one I might have embarked on 20 years ago. Driving a large LHD e39 540 through Scotland and Wales seems kind of crazy too, but it was one of our best ED's.

There is a lot of wisdom and good advice in this thread. I wonder how old the OP is?

dk
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:30 PM
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Trinitony Trinitony is offline
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Paris and London are two (of several) European cities that I would not choose for a driving vacation. These are two great cities to visit but a car is a handicap. Your three days of driving will be long ones and includung your Frankfurt/Munich train trip (after an 11 to 12 hour flight) you will be spending 7+ hours each of four of your eight days in Europe in cars or trains. Certainly it could be less expensive for four people to drive than to take a train or plane. But some of the savings will be lost on ferry/tunnel fares, expensive gasolene and commuting into these cities.

I agree with others who have responded to your thread that it would be better to focus on small towns that are more car friendly. You might consider either Bavaria or small towns on the way to a BMW drop off point, preferrably Frankfurt. Keep the drives short and spend most of your day sightseeing or in playgrounds. That way you will have fewer requests of "when is lunch" and "are we there yet" and "can we go home now". Yes, I too have driven with kids (four in my case) around Europe but in five weeks we only spent a few days in big cities.

If you decide you want to stick with your plan of driving to Paris and London I would stay on the east side of Paris and the south or southeast side of London. Neither city is much fun to drive through or around. Your plan to stay 30-45 minutes outside these cities will put you in commuter rail territory. This is good for train service but the choice of hotels may be limited as they are mostly dormitory towns. I would expect more B&Bs (perhaps with kitchens) and pubs with rooms than what we think of as hotels.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:46 PM
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What just about everybody said from SkyWalkerBeth on down. I started to compose a reply earlier but after I basically said that you were crazy for trying to accomplish all of this in the limited time you have, including driving in Paris and London, and then back to Frankfurt, and particularly with a 5 and 10 year old, I decided that others could say it more diplomatically.

For the time you have, stick to Germany and Austria for a more involving immersion in German/Austrian culture. Save London for another trip, and save Paris for another trip for just you and your wife. I wouldn't spend less than a week in either of these two cities, all you're going to get is the Cliff Notes version. You might as well just watch it on Rick Steves.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2013, 01:06 PM
knkums knkums is offline
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Some details about me.. I am 39 years old..
Wow..valuable advices.. Thank you all..It really helps a lot in understanding..
I will centainly revisit the plan and either scrap off London & Paris or use Trains..

Thank you all....
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2013, 06:18 PM
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skywalkerbeth skywalkerbeth is offline
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You are going there to get your car, and have fun with it in Europe for stories later. You will only have it for 7 days. Stick close to home. I'd visit Bavaria and parts of Austria and leave it at that. Lots and lots and lots of beautiful things to see there. Drive back to Munich when you are done, drop it off ONE DAY EARLY (not the day of your flight) and spend the last night in Munich and fly home.
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:19 PM
fishskis fishskis is offline
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I agree with most of the posters above; you really need to rethink your whole trip.

Regarding staying outside of Paris and London, so you can have comfortable accommodation with a kitchenette, forgive me, but this makes zero sense. Have you ever been to London or Paris? You should absolutely stay in the city center(s). Period. If you want a kitchen in Paris, there are many apartments that can be rented. Personally, I think local food is a huge part of the experience of traveling, particularly in Paris, though I understand traveling with kids can change things.

London and Paris (my favorite) are two of the greatest cities in the world; to stay IN them and to walk around and to be a part of them is the point. Why bother going if you are going to get a place in the suburbs and spend your time on trains and buses and at home cooking in your kitchen?

I would suggest five days or a week in Germany/ Austria enjoying your car and small towns, then drop the car and go to Paris and/or London. (Or drop the car in Paris when you get there).

Also, driving in England has always scared me, particularly driving a car not meant for British roads (right hand steering wheel etc.). Personally, I would not want to take my new BMW there; but of course that is a subjective decision. Whatever you decide, driving in London is particularly hairy, and most people are not thrilled about driving in Paris, though, I do not have a big problem with it.

Good luck.

Last edited by fishskis; 01-07-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:39 AM
gesoffen gesoffen is offline
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I agree with others and suggest you save London/Paris for a trip that doesn't involve ED. They aren't car friendly (in fact, they are the opposite) but are directly accessible from major airports and public transit so are a perfect option for a short vacation in the future.

If/when you do decide to visit these (and other) big cities, consider the total costs when choosing lodging. If you're staying out in the suburbs for bigger/cheaper rooms, you'll find that spend quite a bit of money (and a lot of valuable time) "commuting" in to see the sights. By the time you compare costs to staying in the heart of these cities, the convenience far out weighs the minor cost differences. Also, unless you have very unique dietary needs/concerns, a kitchenette is not much of an advantage on such a short trip. You'll have to buy enough supplies to make it usable and carry those supplies around. For longer trips in a given location, a kitchen has its advantages.

Stick to Austria/Bavaria/Switzerland for your short ED duration. There are plenty of attractive sites to see outside the big cities to still make it a memorable vacation.
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Last edited by gesoffen; 01-07-2013 at 04:53 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:14 PM
EmmaL EmmaL is offline
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Hello.
I agree in staying out of London and Paris in your case.
I'm Kind of new to the community and I'm also planning for a trip like this and this is actually really helping me a lot. I will be staying in London for about 5 days.
I would like to know if you guys have any suggestions for a serviced apartment in London? Preferably around Victoria area? I found one that looks nice http://www.boutiquelondonlets.com, but I would like to get some thoughts about this. Have any of you tried to staying here or have any other suggestions?

Thanks!
Emma
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  #19  
Old 02-15-2013, 02:14 AM
AKBimmerFan AKBimmerFan is offline
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I'm just finishing up my first ED today. I spent 2 days in Paris about 10 days ago and would not recommend staying anywhere near the city. I stayed at Sofitel La Defense in the business district and took the metro in every day. They had secure Valet parking for I think 25 Euros a day. I would try to arrive at night, after 7, to avoid most of the crazy congestion there.

As a side note. Make sure you have plenty of Euros for the French toll roads. They are expensive and don't seem to except American cards or money and I had a very heated, non-understandable conversation via microphone with a French toll lady when my card wouldn't work and it ended with a animated "Bye! Bye!" and the gate went up, lights flashed and buzzers went off and I drove on. I might be getting a ticket in the mail from that one, I'll update my ED review post if such things happen.
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  #20  
Old 02-15-2013, 08:51 AM
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Looks like it is unanimous, it was one of the worst plans I have seen from the get go. Knkums, kudos to you for accepting constructive criticism. Now bring us another proposal after some research so we can dissect it again.
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  #21  
Old 02-15-2013, 10:32 AM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
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We may have scared him away. His last post was the one above on 1/4 and he hasn't had any activity in almost a month.
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  #22  
Old 02-15-2013, 12:59 PM
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We may have scared him away. His last post was the one above on 1/4 and he hasn't had any activity in almost a month.
Nah, it's just a normal human reaction (at any age) to learn from YOUR mistakes, never from other people's mistakes. That's how we end up dealing with problems here that Europe solved quite some years ago (congested traffic and traffic deaths, for example)
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:28 PM
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He went back to the drawing board.
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2013, 09:32 PM
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What amazes me about this thread is the long-time members who responded. It's like a who's who of Bimmerfest E.D.
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