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European Delivery
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  #26  
Old 01-12-2013, 03:35 AM
neurom neurom is offline
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Relax, a random chain smoking italian dude will not drive your car outside of the Italy dropoffs, the Swiss only hire their own random dudes. Seriously, it applies only to Italy.
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  #27  
Old 01-12-2013, 09:11 AM
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Phew!
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  #28  
Old 01-21-2013, 05:56 AM
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I'm still trying to sort out where to spend extra time if I cut out Milan and Nice.

I can't extend the visits to each of Salzburg, Vienna, Krakow, and Prague by a day...but I can extend some by a day. Krakow and Prague? Prague and Nurburg? Hard to know fi you've never been there. Another option would be to spend a night somewhere in/around the black forest after Nurburgring.

I dunno...
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  #29  
Old 01-22-2013, 03:48 AM
gesoffen gesoffen is online now
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Jtuds - as you're probably realizing, most of the seasoned ED'ers/European Travelers here on the fest tend to have a more relaxed pace. Yes there are a few "Griswold's" here that just want to visit as many places as possible just to get their own picture of the famous cites but for the most part, people here tend to want to spend time at local cafe's/gasthauses/biergartens and soak up the atmosphere. I prefer the slower pace of travel myself as you definitely feel more relaxed and you notice much more of the subtle differences in culture that makes every place unique.

One other consideration for you: many of your original destinations are relatively accessible via direct flight or rail/air connections from the US (Vienna, Prague, Milan, etc). Consider saving some of those for a non ED related vacation(s) where you can fly in, explore and train/fly on to another easily accessible city. Not to mention, many of these cities are a headache with a car (traffic, parking, one way/ped only zones, Environmental zones, etc). I suggest focusing on smaller, of the beaten path points of interest that are more car friendly. Consider narrowing your "must-do" list down to 3 or 4 points of interest and then populate the time in between with points of interest along the way. Also, consider having most of these days as unscheduled (e.g. no specific hotel reservations) to allow you the freedom to explore more in one area or move on sooner.

For example: You mentioned Krakow as a must see due to family history. Upon departing Munich, you could take a southerly path and visit Cesky Krumlov or Ceske Budejovice on the way to split travel time. There are several smaller points of interest on a more central or northerly route too.

All that said, it doesn't sound like you are a novice when it comes to Europe. So if you know your own ideal pace and level of interest in what most typical European cities have to offer, have fun! Most here will still be jealous of your vacation, especially as we're sitting behind our computer keyboards.
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  #30  
Old 01-22-2013, 04:54 AM
pharding pharding is offline
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Those are all great cities that merit more time than a "drive by". Prague alone merits 3 or days and you will not have seen all of the great sites. Sending a few hours in each city is a waste of time. Besides you will return again to do BMW European Delivery.
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  #31  
Old 01-22-2013, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pharding View Post
Those are all great cities that merit more time than a "drive by". Prague alone merits 3 or days and you will not have seen all of the great sites. Sending a few hours in each city is a waste of time. Besides you will return again to do BMW European Delivery.
I'm not planning on spending a few hours anywhere...i will be at least a full day in each city except I just don't know what all these great sites are aside from the ones I already know about.

The question I am trying to answer is: Do I want to just go and see the main attractions I know about then move on, or do I want to have time to see the main attractions as well as find out about and explore other things that will peak my interest that I don't already know about....

I'll try to explain what I mean:

Salzburg - I want to see that castle on the hill
Vienna - no idea, my wife is a psychiatrist and wants to go there because of Freud
Krakow - Au*****z, and looking around at the Old Town
Prague - castle, charles bridge, that old clock
Nurburgring - it's obvious
Zurich - no idea...mountains and scenery I guess
Milan - that really old mall where I know I won't be able to afford anything, and my wife wants to go to Italy so I'm throwing her a bone
Nice - views along the Riviera

These are all the things I know about in the places we are going to visit. I absolutely know there will be things I will see and say "man I really want to go check that out but I don't have time" ...I just wish I knew what those things will be ahead of time so I'd be able to plan this trip better. What's killing me is that you just don't know till you get there....

If it were up to me, I'd cut out Milan and Nice entirely...but the wife...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gesoffen View Post
All that said, it doesn't sound like you are a novice when it comes to Europe. So if you know your own ideal pace and level of interest in what most typical European cities have to offer, have fun! Most here will still be jealous of your vacation, especially as we're sitting behind our computer keyboards.

Hey thanks for the input. I do see where you are coming from. I prefer slow travel too, but I always let my "gotta do everything right now" urges get the better of me. If I could do it my way, I'd fly to Munich one way with a backpack and no itinerary and come home when I ran out of money...but Bimmers require jobs and employers like scheduled vacations.

One thing I have been considering is not really booking hotels and just having a return date set...it will be pricier, but at least I'd never feel rushed...

Last edited by jtuds; 01-22-2013 at 08:12 AM.
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  #32  
Old 01-22-2013, 08:19 AM
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sno_duc sno_duc is offline
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Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
I just don't know what all these great sites are aside form the ones I already know about.
Vienna - no idea, my wife is a psychiatrist and wants to go there because of Freud
First thing to do is ride the "Ringstrasse Tram", Vienna use to be a walled city, when the wall came down it was turned into a broad ring shaped street, alot of important churches and government buildings line it.

St. Stephens cathedral, take the english speaking tour, if time allows tour the catacombs.

Hapsburg palace, this is at least a full day.

Spend a couple of hours at one of the numerous coffee houses.

Ride the ferris wheel. (rent a copy of the movie "The Third Man")


I know I failed to mention other must do's, this is just a short off the top of my head list.
Vienna can keep you busy for a solid week, and you'll still have things you wish you would have done.
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  #33  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:29 AM
pharding pharding is offline
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The best way to identify great sites in any city is to start with the Green Michelin Guides. I have been to Europe 10 times and i have never been disappointed with anything that they gave an "Outstanding" rating. Half the fun of doing a European vacation is doing the research and developing the itinerary.

As much as I enjoy driving a new BMW, which I can do in the US, my preference is spend more time walking, enjoying, and understanding a great city. I want to develop an understanding of the people, place, and culture. It takes days to do that and it is quite enjoyable.
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Last edited by pharding; 01-22-2013 at 09:34 AM.
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  #34  
Old 01-22-2013, 01:37 PM
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jtuds: "One thing I have been considering is not really booking hotels and just having a return date set...it will be pricier, but at least I'd never feel rushed..."

In May you should be able to "wing it" without much risk. You still need to have a basic plan and an idea of what alternatives appeal to you. If not you might find that the day before your flight home that you have to do Krakow to Nice in one day. We usually try to make our European trips in the off season and make only the first and last nights' hotel reservations before we leave. But we do have an overall plan and if we stay an extra day or two here we reduce our time in one or more places later in the trip.

I would like to add my name to those that have said that Zurich is just another big city with very little charm. I definitely would not spend two nights there. Instead I would go to the Bernese Oberland and go up the Jungfraujoch if the weather is good. If the weather is expected to be bad skip the Jungfraujoch and the BO and head on down to Lake Como. Stay in Lenno or Bellagio (Bellagio is a somewhat nervewracking drive) and enjoy the sights/towns around the lake on the ferry. Lake Como is beautiful and Bellagio has some small (expensive) shops that might meet your wife's shopping needs. If not, then spend the morning in Milan on your way to Nice.

Nice and the Cote d'Azur are neat places to explore. If your wife could not find what she wanted in Bellagio or Milan you can go to Monte Carlo. The shopping and the sights in Monaco are worth a stop. The Villa Ephrussi in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is worth a relaxing several hours, the view from Eze Village of the Mediterranean is spectacular and often the view on the beaches of St Tropez can be spectacular too. So, while you are throwing your wife a bone you may find that you are enjoying your self too. Also the weather in May on the Cote d'Azur should be in the mid 60s to mid 70s (F), quite pleasant for sightseeing.
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  #35  
Old 01-22-2013, 02:07 PM
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One thing I have been considering is not really booking hotels and just having a return date set...it will be pricier, but at least I'd never feel rushed...
I have a friend that picked up a 135i in September 2011 and did exactly that. He had no itinerary (and no Nav!). He said every night he would open up a map an look for some interesting roads. Then he would figure out where he wanted to go based on the roads and just head out, stopping when he found something interesting or got hungry. In the late afternoon he would look for a hotel and spend the night there. He made it back to Munich the day before his return flight.

On my first trip to Germany in 1989 (which was way before the Internet) I just had some maps of Germany and Switzerland, some suggestions of places to visit, things to see, and roads to drive from friends. I flew into Frankfurt to meet my girlfriend at the time after her business trip ended and we just drove in a big crounter-clockwise route through Germany and Switzerland, visiting Neuschwanstein, Liechtenstein, Zurich, Heidelberg, Rothenbuerg, etc. We would get a room in whatever town we stopped in for dinner each night. We stayed at several places where no one spoke English. I had a great time, her probably not as much, she was way too structured. We spent a few days in London o the return and that suited her better. We broke up after that trip, but it wasn't primarily because of the trip.
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  #36  
Old 01-22-2013, 05:47 PM
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I did something similar in Italy a couple of years ago. I arrived in Rome and followed the good weather.
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  #37  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by milepig View Post
Here's my suggestion. It primarily combines the trips to Italy/Austria into a single loop while giving time in Florence rather than Milan and also gets you to Venice.

Day 1-3 - as described
Day 4 - delivery then overnight in or just south of Munich (driving after your day at the Welt either means you'll be really tired or you'll need to skip part of the experience, which would be a shame)
Day 5 - drive to Florence - we made an early start and got there by late afternoon
day 6 - in Florence
Day 7 - drive to Venice
Day 8 - in Venice
Day 9 - drive to Salzburg (you'll have to to poke around in the afternoon)
Day 10 - morning in Salzburg, then drive to Vienna
Day 11 - in Vienna
Day 12 - drive to Krakow
Day 13 - in Krakow
Day 14 - drive to Prague
Day 15 - in Prague
Day 16 - Drive to Nurmburg
Day 17 - Nurmburg, then drive to Munich
Day 18 - Drop can and fly home.
I read all thread and come back to this post - milepig - Great Job!
Many great advises! At the end - you have to choose what is good for you and your wife.
re-read all posts again, behind each post a BIG experience and willingness to help YOU made right decisions and answer all your questions.
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  #38  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:15 AM
jtuds jtuds is offline
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I am hopign that a May delivery will mean I get the summer performance tires with my M sport package...if that is the case, is early-mid May going to be OK for driving through places like Berchtresgaden and San Bernardino?
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  #39  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:03 AM
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I am hopign that a May delivery will mean I get the summer performance tires with my M sport package...if that is the case, is early-mid May going to be OK for driving through places like Berchtresgaden and San Bernardino?
The tires installed on your car have nothing to do with the time of the year. Summer tires are installed even on many cars delivered in the winter - which is why people doing ED at that time of year often need to have rented winter tires installed before they take delivery.
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  #40  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:36 AM
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...is early-mid May going to be OK for driving through places like Berchtresgaden and San Bernardino?
We drove the Alpenstrasse from Berchtesgaden to Fussen in mid-May. There was some snow on the side of the road and we saw the snowflake on the dash but no snow on the road, although we did see some rain.
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  #41  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:32 PM
gesoffen gesoffen is online now
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Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
I am hopign that a May delivery will mean I get the summer performance tires with my M sport package...if that is the case, is early-mid May going to be OK for driving through places like Berchtresgaden and San Bernardino?
If you're getting M-Sport, you're getting performance tires. In all likely hood you will be fine in Berchtesgaden. San Bernardino pass is iffy as some of the higher elevations (other passes) may still have snow or may even be closed until June. However, the San Bernardino pass has the option of the tunnel (not as scenic obviously).

For that time of year, winter tire rental doesn't make sense especially if you can vary your itinerary to suit weather or you're not 100% fixed on higher altitude destinations.
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  #42  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gesoffen View Post
If you're getting M-Sport, you're getting performance tires. In all likely hood you will be fine in Berchtesgaden. San Bernardino pass is iffy as some of the higher elevations (other passes) may still have snow or may even be closed until June. However, the San Bernardino pass has the option of the tunnel (not as scenic obviously).

For that time of year, winter tire rental doesn't make sense especially if you can vary your itinerary to suit weather or you're not 100% fixed on higher altitude destinations.
Ok cool. I'll have to check the conditions of the high elevations while I am there and make the call
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  #43  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:54 PM
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This schedule is going to make you anxious, good thing your wife is a shrink.
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  #44  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:04 PM
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This schedule is going to make you anxious, good thing your wife is a shrink.
I am gonna be anxious either way. One one hand, I'll be anxious thinking about that fact that I'm driving 5 hours again in a day and a half after I arrive somewhere. On the other hand, if I'm in a city I'm ready to leave but have to stay because the hotel is booked, I'll be anxious thinking about all the other stuff I could be seeing but am not seeing. There's no perfect way to do this...I am trying to convince myself to forget about the San Bernardino Pass.

Pretty sure we've already axed Nice. I might suggest scrapping Vienna as well
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  #45  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:21 AM
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Booked 2 nights at Hotel Am Tiergarten today as a placeholder after I found out that Hotel An Der Nordschleife is already full. Tiergarten is pricier by like 24 Euros, but I can cancel with no charges up to 14 days from arrival.

Also, it looks like you can walk to the castle pretty much from the hotel so after a couple morning laps if we want to take a break and walk around, we can.

Itinerary-wise, it looks like driving to Poland is out. The wife found cheap flights from Vienna to Krakow so we're thinking of a Vienna dropoff and a flight to Krakow to end the ttrip, then home from there.

We'll do the whole trip in the opposite direction. If I can get San Bernardino out of my head, then the Milan leg might be axed as well....

we want to go to italy next year anyway...so Milan could be part of that trip....but the San Barnardino Pass is one of the best driving roads in the world so I kinda want to do it.

Last edited by jtuds; 01-25-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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  #46  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:38 PM
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I'd ask what type of overall pace do you want. Do you want to take it slow and relaxed or fit as much as you can in? Do you take lots of photos?

I'd also point you away from Zurich. I was planning on going there but as people say, it's 'just a big city' so I opted to go to Lucerne for lunch and a few photos then I'm heading over to Mulhouse France. If I had more time I'd absolutely go to Jungfraujoch without question. I hear a lot of Germany Cieties are 90% the same, over and over, but Jungfraujoch is more foreign and unique. Very different views than anywhere else you'll likely see.

For Nurburgring, check the schedules that were posted this week. I had to move my entire trip back 5 days due to it being closed for 8 days, I think you're fine but check. They're also doing training and A license testing in May, if you have just over a thousand Euros to spend you could actually get the license which could be a fun experience.

Last edited by edx1; 01-25-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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  #47  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:04 PM
jtuds jtuds is offline
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Originally Posted by edx1 View Post
I'd ask what type of overall pace do you want. Do you want to take it slow and relaxed or fit as much as you can in? Do you take lots of photos?

I'd also point you away from Zurich. I was planning on going there but as people say, it's 'just a big city' so I opted to go to Lucerne for lunch and a few photos then I'm heading over to Mulhouse France. If I had more time I'd absolutely go to Jungfraujoch without question. I hear a lot of Germany Cieties are 90% the same, over and over, but Jungfraujoch is more foreign and unique. Very different views than anywhere else you'll likely see.

For Nurburgring, check the schedules that were posted this week. I had to move my entire trip back 5 days due to it being closed for 8 days, I think you're fine but check. They're also doing training and A license testing in May, if you have just over a thousand Euros to spend you could actually get the license which could be a fun experience.
My options for the Ring were May 8 or May 10 and 11....we decided we'd have a better chance May 8 because it is a thursday...even though it is a german holiday I do not believe it is a UK/netherlands/belgium holiday so maybe fewer people will be there.

I am starting to think about skipping zurich as well or maybe just going for 1 night.

My boss said the same thing about germany and czech...you see the unique architecture and the town centers and it's really impressive, but everywhere you go have that. Luckily for us, we are not going to multiple places in Germany or Czech...we will be seeing a couple major cities and moving on.....

Gonna be a touch call on Zurich....
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  #48  
Old 02-03-2013, 09:07 AM
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Booked flights there and back today. Flying into Munich, home from Krakow. Dropoff in Vienna. Flying from Vienna to Krakow is way pricier when it should be for a 55 minute flight but whatever...
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  #49  
Old 02-03-2013, 10:26 AM
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I would highly recommend using the viamichelin.com site to plan your route, as it gives you options of fastest/shortest/sightseeing routes to your destination, with realistic drive times, based on our experience doing ED to Salzburg/Grossglockner/Venice/Tuscany/Lake Como/Davos/Reutte/Munich trip in 2007. It also helps by letting you check interesting places along the route, and to plan accommodations.

I also echo the comments of those who suggest you avoid big cities with your car - Milan in particular would be a nightmare to park.

As I am planning a Sept ED of 4 series coupe with possible drop off in Nice, please post the response you get from BMW Canada ED Coordinator.
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  #50  
Old 02-05-2013, 05:05 PM
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Booked a night at the Hilton in Innsbruck today for our first night after delivery. 109 Euros. Not the best price but for a Hilton it's pretty good. Another 15.5 Euros for parking. Could have stayed 5 miles outside the city and got free parking at a best western for $97 CDN but with the cost of parking in Innsbruck and considering the convenience of walking out the hotel and being right there, I decided to pay the premium.

We'll spend an afternoon/evening and breakfast in Innsbruck then head south toward Italy.
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