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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 10-02-2004, 01:53 PM
Phase1 Phase1 is offline
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Newbie's E60 ED Journal (long)

Many thanks to all those on the ED forum, esp. beewang, whose posted advice and comments have been invaluable in the planning and execution of my first ED experience (& my first BMW). Here is a summary of my trip.

Sept. 26 – Arrived into Munich after an overnight flight on US Airways. Departure from Philadelphia was delayed by nearly 2 hours because of mechanical problems. Adding to that, my checked luggage (this is folded into a longer business trip) is the second-to-last to emerge onto the baggage carousel, but at least it arrived. By 1 pm, the Lufthansa airport shuttle (thanks bimmerfest) is easy to find and relatively empty. Just to check, I ask the driver if this is the bus going to “downtown” and he confirms it is. The ride from the airport is surprising in that every other car seems to be a M-B and there are lots of Audi’s and many Volvo’s to be seen. There were more than a few Mazda’s, Toyota’s, Hyundai’s and even a Chevy Blazer on the road to Munich. But BMW’s were fairly uncommon within the airport or on the highways; many of those were unbadged.

From other bimmerfest posters, I know that I’m supposed to get off at the first stop (Nordfriedhof). From the bus, I can see the Munich Marriott appear then disappear as we drive onto local streets within Munich. The bus finally stops at the Hauptbahnhof, the train station at the city center. Oops, I’ve definitely gone too far. I politely ask the driver “Nordfriedhof?” He responds, “You said ‘downtown’”. So lesson for other ED newbiesmake sure you tell the driver you want to go to Nordfriedhof if you are staying at the Marriott or Renaissance. The driver will not automatically stop there on the way in from the airport unless he knows that is a desired stop. The driver will always stop at Nordfriedhof on his/her way from Munich to the airport to pick up passengers. In my case, the driver cheerfully offered to drop me off if I would wait 15 minutes until he was scheduled to leave from Hauptbahnhof. That gave me a chance to get acquainted briefly with downtown. Back on the road, he drops me off and it is indeed a short 2+ block walk to the Munich Marriott (thanks again bimmerfest).

That evening, I head back to the downtown area via the U-bahn (subway) for some sightseeing, dinner of local Bavarian favorites, and Oktoberfest. Not knowing what to expect, it went beyond my wildest imaginations. I have never seen nor could have conceived of so many thousands of people standing up on chairs and tables singing, carousing, and drinking huge 1-liter mugs of beer. Inside the beer “tents” there was no place to sit, so I wandered through several of the tents to get a flavor of the festivities and the people. Some were more raucous than others, but all could easily meet criteria for Animal House. I was grateful that I didn’t get doused with beer during my wanderings. Afterwards, I learned that Oktoberfest is expected to attract more than 6 million visitors who will consume about 61,000 hectoliters of beer. My only advice is that you have to see it to believe it.

Sept. 27 – I took the hotel shuttle bus (17 Euros) to the nearby Friemann ED Center. I wanted to arrive close to the 8:30 am opening time, but even arriving at 8:45 am, there were already three other customers waiting ahead of me. The gracious staff took my name, ED confirmation letter, and passport and told me it would be an hour for their processing. I was directed to the upstairs bistro for a pleasant breakfast. After almost exactly one hour, I was called to meet Miklas Gunther who steered me through remaining paperwork and provided some advice about driving to my destination. When I asked about the break-in period, he tried to anticipate one of my questions by emphasizing that I should keep to below 4000 rpm, but I had already read that (thanks bimmerfest). What I wanted to know was whether it was verboten to use the cruise control during the break-in period. H responded that I should try not to, but that I might consider it on the Swiss highway since the speed limit is strictly enforced. He did note that this was only the second time he’s been asked this question. He then took me to see the car (Pic 1), installed the Nav DVD noting that I had the correct one for EU (thanks bimmerfest) and even tried to program in my hotel in Geneva as the destination (Pic 2). Unfortunately, the address that I had wasn’t recognized and I soon learned one deficiency of the BMW system vs. others. One cannot search out a destination by category (e.g. hotel, restaurant) or name. The NAV ideally wants to match for the street address, so I just used Geneva as my target. I asked Miklas how I might ensure that the ED license plates would remain in the car after arrival into the US since it was my understanding that Switzerland requires both front and back plates to remain on the car at drop-off. After brief thought, he very kindly gave me an expired ED plate so that I would have one to bring home even if my mounted ones didn’t make it. After some photos, I was on my way; total time at the ED Center was 90 minutes.

I quickly learned how good the Nav is when the very pleasant female voice instructed me of upcoming turns and forks in the road. As others have noted, the grammar structure of the Nav is a bit odd in that it states, “Take the next on the left.” It really shined at traffic circles in that it would state, “At the next circle, take the second exit.” It worked flawlessly. I was so intent on following the directions that I forgot to stop off at a local dealer to buy rear red reflectors for the rear bumper. Soon, I was out of Munich and onto the A96 going towards Austria. This being my first driving experience in Germany, I was rather paranoid about staying in the right lane and constantly peering in my rearview mirror. My comfort level with the speeds gradually increased and soon I was running comfortably at 80 mph (of course) in the right lane. A few Porsches, M-Bs, and BMWs blew by me at 110-130 mph or so it easily seemed. It made for good theater, but I didn’t join them except for a brief run in the triple digits just to say I did so. The handling was rock-solid at that speed. I played around with the I-Drive for the NAV, CD/radio, and trip computer. It was straightforward and I was able to become reasonably facile with it while driving at 80 mph so I don’t know what all the complaints are about.

Nearing the Austrian border on A96/A14, there was a station off to the side of the road where the highway use stickers could be purchased. I was surprised to be able to buy stickers for both Austria (10-day, 7.60 Euros) and Switzerland (1-year, 26 Euros). Nearing lunchtime, I purposely deviated from the Nav directions and headed into the town of Bregenz, Austria along the shores of Lake Constance (Pic 3). The Nav simply recalculated the directions as I went. After lunch of weinerschnitzel, I continued onto Switzerland.

At the Swiss border, I was asked to pull aside where the guard checked my passport (no one ever checked for my international driving permit nor my highway stickers during the entire trip). Soon I was on the A1 traveling east to west across almost the entire width of Switzerland. I was warned about the attention to speed limits by Swiss colleagues and told to be careful about driving above 70 mph. While the flow of traffic did seem to run at 70-75 mph in the eastern regions of Switzerland through Zurich, things sped up and soon I was running comfortably at 80 mph again. There weren’t the left lane flyers as in Germany, but an occasional car passed me at modestly higher speeds. I reached Geneva just before 7 pm. All told, I had driven 380 miles and averaged 23.7 mpg according to the trip computer (yes, I know others have noted it overestimates gas mileage). That evening, the Nav once again was spot on in directing me into town to a restaurant which did have a street address match.

Sept. 28 – I dropped off the car at Harms next to the Geneva airport in the morning. This took about an hour to do. Most of this was paperwork, but it also included a quick visual inspection for damage (thankfully none). The only thing required from me was the packet of papers given to me at the Freimann ED Center. They actually didn’t check my identification (passport or drivers license), but then again I was dropping off and not picking up. Because I was still more attached to my actual ED plates than the extra that Miklas had given me, I asked the agent if I could leave a note in the car asking that my plates be left in the trunk. I was shocked when she said that I could take off the front plate since others on bimmerfest had noted this was not permitted in Switzerland. So after all the papers were signed and I provided one (of 3) keys, the agent left me alone to take the plate off. Because BMW puts plastic caps over the mounting screws, it took me a while to figure out how to do it. I kept waiting for the Swiss police to arrest me for suspicious behavior in an open parking lot, but it never happened and I happily walked away with my original ED bug-covered license plate along with my road triangle and first-aid kit.

Sept. 29 – As luck would have it, I was staying at a hotel (for my business meeting) just a short walk away from the Harms office, so I went back to see when the car would be taken away. On this day, the car had simply been moved to a more secure parking lot about 100 yards away from where I had left it (Pics 4 & 5).

Sept. 30 – It’s gone, presumably on its way by truck to Antwerp. Now the countdown to US delivery begins.

Once again, I couldn’t have done any of this without all of the great posts on bimmerfest and for the help provided by beewang . All in all, this was a great experience. In retrospect I now wish that I would have spent more days on the road before drop-off, but maybe that will be the goal for a future ED which I would definitely do again.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2004, 02:55 PM
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wheel-man wheel-man is offline
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great post and great car... thanks for taking the time to share you experience with us all.

cheers.
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2004, 07:03 PM
schreck schreck is offline
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Thumbs up



Thanks for sharing you experience !
It would be awesome if you shared more pictures from delivery, etc with us .
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2004, 09:17 PM
Chagahan Chagahan is offline
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Hi What is ED confirmation letter ? WHen do you get that (relative to pick up) ?

Last edited by beewang; 10-04-2004 at 07:49 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2004, 06:09 PM
Phase1 Phase1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schreck
Thanks for sharing you experience !
It would be awesome if you shared more pictures from delivery, etc with us .
Schreck, sorry my big regret is that I spent so much time behind the wheel and not enough time behind the shutter taking more pixx. I'm still kicking myself for not taking a photo of a lipstick red 5-series with police/emergency lights mounted on its roof that was parked next to mine in the ED Center garage. Someone was picking it up as well at the same time. Now that's an incentive for being a trooper! Can you imagine seeing a 5-series squadcar here in the states??
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2004, 06:15 PM
Big Pete Big Pete is offline
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Thanks for the detailed posting. I'll certainly use much of the info you provided. Great pics!! A few questions:
1. What is the name of the dealer from which you intended to buy the rear bumper red reflectors?
2. Did you bring the NAV DVD with you or get it in Munich?

Enjoy the car
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2004, 06:17 PM
Phase1 Phase1 is offline
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ED confirmation letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chagahan
Hi What is ED confirmation letter ? WHen do you get that (relative to pick up) ?
The letter is part of the ED Welcome Packet that is sent by BMW to you around 2-3 wks prior to scheduled Munich p/u. Mine was delayed for a variety of reasons and arrived only 1 wk before my p/u date (I was starting to sweat). This packet also contains an EU mapbook, directions to the Freimann ED Center, the food voucher, and the fabled Rainbow Lightpen that others have commented on. The aforementioned letter contains: your purchase order # (but not the VIN); options specs; date of delivery; name/address of your dealer.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2004, 06:25 PM
Phase1 Phase1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pete
Thanks for the detailed posting. I'll certainly use much of the info you provided. Great pics!! A few questions:
1. What is the name of the dealer from which you intended to buy the rear bumper red reflectors?
2. Did you bring the NAV DVD with you or get it in Munich?

Enjoy the car
Big Pete,
1. Didn't have one in mind. I was going to ask the ED Center folks to direct me to the nearest dealer in Munich. Others on this board have (I think) said there is one that is less than 10 minutes drive from the ED Center.
2. I brought the NAV DVD with me. The ED Welcome Packet that was sent to me gave a telephone number where one can order a new disk for (I think) $120 or so. Since I only needed the EU DVD for two days, I didn't think it worthwhile to buy one so I followed suggestions from beewang's sticky on this forum on short-term use options.
Best of luck.
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2004, 07:53 PM
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beewang beewang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase1
Big Pete,
1. Didn't have one in mind. I was going to ask the ED Center folks to direct me to the nearest dealer in Munich. Others on this board have (I think) said there is one that is less than 10 minutes drive from the ED Center.
2. I brought the NAV DVD with me. The ED Welcome Packet that was sent to me gave a telephone number where one can order a new disk for (I think) $120 or so. Since I only needed the EU DVD for two days, I didn't think it worthwhile to buy one so I followed suggestions from beewang's sticky on this forum on short-term use options.
Best of luck.
Hey Peter!! Welcom back!! I hope you had as much fun as we are So the Nav disk Worked for ya??

cheers,

b(i)ee(r)wang
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2004, 09:59 PM
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woody underwood woody underwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase1
Schreck, sorry my big regret is that I spent so much time behind the wheel and not enough time behind the shutter taking more pixx. I'm still kicking myself for not taking a photo of a lipstick red 5-series with police/emergency lights mounted on its roof that was parked next to mine in the ED Center garage. Someone was picking it up as well at the same time. Now that's an incentive for being a trooper! Can you imagine seeing a 5-series squadcar here in the states??
I heard BMW actually gave some to a state somewhere here in the US and they declined.
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2004, 05:51 AM
Phase1 Phase1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beewang
Hey Peter!! Welcom back!! I hope you had as much fun as we are So the Nav disk Worked for ya??

cheers,
b(i)ee(r)wang
bee - absolutely. the disk was bloody FANTASTIC! Overall, my trip was a blast, but reading your daily missives, my experience seems like waiting for a delayed flight twiddling my thumbs compared with yours, beerman. Keep the updates coming.
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2004, 11:55 AM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pete
Thanks for the detailed posting. I'll certainly use much of the info you provided. Great pics!! A few questions:
1. What is the name of the dealer from which you intended to buy the rear bumper red reflectors?
2. Did you bring the NAV DVD with you or get it in Munich?

Enjoy the car
Here's a link with info on the dealer close by that I used to install my aux in. It was like 10 minutes away.

Munich Dealer
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2004, 12:01 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody underwood
I heard BMW actually gave some to a state somewhere here in the US and they declined.
I think they did donate a few e34 M5s to the SOuth Carolina state police after they opened the factory there. From what others have said, they were actually put to use-- but I think they may have since been retired. I would bet that many states/police depts would be resistant to the idea of BMW squad cars because of perception issues (taxpayers would think their money was being wasted). Funny how its not a problem in other parts of the world (and not just germany-- England, South Africa, Sweden also use BMW police cars).
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