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Don't be a left lane hog
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I was in Munich today picking this up. I think it's really hard to capture the carbonstructure cloth in pictures as it shows more white than the eye sees (at least my eyes). I ordered the cloth seats without seeing or touching in real life. My delivery guy admitted that it was the first time he saw it too! :) Staff at Welt is superb, everyone we spoke to was very nice and knowledgeable. And helpful too, as they helped me set up the service appointment in Italy.

I got the bottle and the book as gifts for being a loyal customer.


I ordered a stripper except for one option only (give me a ping Vasily, one ping only please). In this day of more autonomous features and innovations, I want to be able to still screw up and be on the wrong gear sometimes and miss some shifts once in a while (it's Ok, I leased :p). And yes, those are the tires from ED Winter tires.


In the mountains now. Tomorrow, Italy.
 

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Cloth seats are less hot in the summer, potentially safer in a collision because the increased friction makes it harder to slide off the seat (I didn't believe it until I saw a TV interview), and less cold in winter. I wish it were standard, ha ha.

The one option wasn't automatic transmission!
A Bimmerfest user near me has a 320i with only two options, sports package and metallic paint. I can't think of fewer unless one wants a white car.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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For those who used the navigation, I'm seeming to be having trouble with routing. I see options for Fast, Efficient, and Short but somehow it doesn't pick the "right" way. For example, from Garmish-Partenkirchen south to Italy, it took me on the opposite side of the valley from the Autobahn. I was going through little villages in Austria and I could see the Autobahn on the other side. That was fun for a while but I also need to get somewhere sometimes. Avoid freeway and tolls are not checked. The only function that is on that I might check off is "learn". Maybe it thinks I like to go on smaller roads :dunno:
 

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The ED version of the Nav that is in the USB stick is very limited in features. It does not even keep the "Last Destinations" once the car is shut off. It can be frustrating so try to enjoy your trip regardless. :)

For those who used the navigation, I'm seeming to be having trouble with routing. I see options for Fast, Efficient, and Short but somehow it doesn't pick the "right" way. For example, from Garmish-Partenkirchen south to Italy, it took me on the opposite side of the valley from the Autobahn. I was going through little villages in Austria and I could see the Autobahn on the other side. That was fun for a while but I also need to get somewhere sometimes. Avoid freeway and tolls are not checked. The only function that is on that I might check off is "learn". Maybe it thinks I like to go on smaller roads :dunno:
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #7
The ED version of the Nav that is in the USB stick is very limited in features. It does not even keep the "Last Destinations" once the car is shut off. It can be frustrating so try to enjoy your trip regardless. :)
I noticed the Last Destination right off. Since I'd read how others had reported that the navigation had been flawless I wondered if I was doing something wrong.

We're deep in Italy now and I'd forgotten that many gas stations are unattended on Sunday. :mad: While I was fairly certain we'd be OK once we got on the Autostrada, I got a little nervous because I had enough for 70 km and we needed to go another 40 km before we got on and then who knows how long before the first rest stop. Anyway, I tried the first unattended kiosk but no English instructions and it wouldn't take my debit or credit card. Both cards have chips but instructions I think were requiring a PIN but I couldn't get it to take them.
Further along I found an Agip station that worked with my credit card. Different machine with English instructions.

We were in San Marino when we saw this beauty. Also, the Ferrari and Abarth museum (in San Marino) is closed for a few months, if you were planning to go.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys, I'm in MUC now having dropped off the car couple of hours ago and waiting for the flight home.
More details and photos later but as a teaser: car was in 5 countries including one where they drive on the wrong side, took 4 ferry rides, and it only rained on us 2 days.
Boarding calls.
 

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More details and photos later but as a teaser: car was in 5 countries including one where they drive on the wrong side, took 4 ferry rides, and it only rained on us 2 days.
Boarding calls.
OK. Wrong side of road and only two days of rain. I know the answer to the teaser - You only spent two days in England. Right?
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #10
OK. Wrong side of road and only two days of rain. I know the answer to the teaser - You only spent two days in England. Right?
Close! Malta is a former British colony so they speak English, have red phone booths, and drive on the wrong side.
They have a very interesting history with occupation or domination by Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St John, French, and the British until they granted independence in 1964. More later on Malta.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Spy shot of BMW Future model

BMW Future model price higher than new Ferrari. :)
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Waypoint on the way south

The main focus of our trip was Southern Italy so I chose a couple of cities along the way that seemed interesting to make stops. It's how we ended up in San Marino. In retrospect, it turned out to be not that interesting. We arrived after the sun had set, so the introduction to this micro-state was a seemingly endless chain of brightly lit malls and stores. Traffic here is relatively heavy as you're driving in Italian countryside and suddenly you cross into San Marino which (according to wikipedia) is the only country with more cars than people. Shopping is big here and many are attracted by the duty-free shops. After you pass the shopping areas you really start going uphill, and you climb and wind your way up for a while until you get to the old town. Our hotel was almost at the top in a limited traffic zone, closed to car traffic at certain hours.

Photos:
1) This was on the way to San Marino. The photos I'd seen of Comacchio were full of people. One of the benefits of traveling in the low season. Comacchio is like a poor man's Venice.
2) Treponti (Three Bridges) a landmark in Comacchio.
3) Hotel parking. I got a "special" spot as I could not make a turn into their regular lot. The tires started slipping and the hotel guy didn't want me to start fishtailing so he directed me to another spot where I didn't have to turn. LOL
4) Palazzo Pubblico in San Marino.
5) One of the towers at the top of Monte Titano in San Marino. Theres a drop of several hundred feet on the other side of the wall. Maybe the fortifications explain why the country was never conquered.
6) Seems like a boondogle, if they're paying for this.
7) Before Comacchio, we made a quick stop in Ferrara, a Renaissance city. I took this picture of Este Castle with my phone and Google Photos' algorithm somehow selected to process with its special effects. Ferrara old town was very pleasant, and full of students from the university nearby.
 

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You took your ED car to Malta? Molto cool!

You should have driven through Vatican City for a 6th country, but that is tough to do without permission. I did Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Italy in one day once. Not sure what the one day record is for countries. Should have gone to San Marino for 6. Now we just need someone to go to Cyprus or the Faroe Islands.

More pics please.
 

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Looks good! I really like the look of those cloth seats from pics. Are you saying you like them even better now that you've seen them?

Which option? Carbon trim? Now that I have a rear view camera, I surprisingly really like it. That and the HUD is kinda neat too. If I ever get an M3, I might have to spring for an executive package. Even with that one package though, a great value for a car with that many features. Particularly compared to a fully loaded 335.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
We made another quick overnight stop in Termoli. It's a beach resort town on the Adriatic Coast and there's a very cute old town inside the old fortification walls. We couldn't find a nice coastal road, something like California Highway 1, so we stayed with the Autostrada for most of the way. On the Autostrada there are warning signs that there's a speed control system called Tutor. From what I've read, it captures your vehicle information when you pass under the clearly marked Tutor gates, and it calculates your average speed between these gates, which may be spaced 10 to 25 km apart. The usual speed limit in the Autostrada is 130kph but seems like many cars were going well over, ask me how I know :angel:. Maybe they know when or which Tutor gates are active.

1) Beach in Termoli, I think the snow covered mountains are the Apennines.
2) Detail of the Cathedral of Termoli.
3) We're more than half way down the boot and winter tires are still required. As I recall it was cold (for me) in the mid 40s F but nowhere close to freezing when I took this pic.
4) This was the only successful refuel without attendant. Not sure what was different at other kiosk machines that I tried since they had the Visa/MasterCard logos (but instructions only in Italian). All other times I fueled when there was an attendant or cashier present.
5) This was off the Autostrada. Prices on Autostrada are generally higher. This is about $5.60/gallon if you take $1 = 1 Euro. Unleaded is SenzaPb and 95 octane but they calculate the octane differently (roughly equivalent to 91 in US). Gas is cheaper in Austria and Germany (in the 1.30's range vs. 1.49 here) so fill up before you get into Italy.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Matera

We made a base in Matera in the Basilicata region, which in the instep of the boot. Some of the old parts of Matera are considered UNESCO World Heritage sites, in part because of the authenticity and preservation. The natural caves were occupied by humans dating back to 2,000 years. Mel Gibson made the movie The Passion of the Christ here. The old town looks like a nativity scene.

1) Panorama
2) Cathedral, effects by Google Photos
3) Church of San Pietro Caveoso
4) The hotel is in the old town in restricted traffic zone and no parking on site.
5) Our room is in a cave. In the 1950s, this was the shame of Italy as families lived in these caves with no running water, sewage, or heat. They often lived together with their livestock animals. In a documentary we saw, the government evicted these families and moved them to new housing nearby. In a few short years many of the relocated families had left their new homes and moved away because there were no economic opportunities here.
6) The cave had to remain "original" so we were told that to install heat and plumbing they had to carefully replace any stone that was moved.
7) Cool Church Santa Maria de Idris
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
To get ideas about places to visit, we downloaded some podcasts from Rick Steves' site. There are 3 or 4 related to southern Italy, and 3-4 more specifically about Sicily. I must have listened to each one like 4 times because we would play them on some of the long drives, but my wife would invariably fall asleep and want to replay them for what she missed.

1) Took a drive to Alberobello, about 1 hr away. This is where the trullo (plural trulli) structures are most abundant. In the old days, the outer walls were stones stacked without mortar in the shape of a cylinder and it topped with a cone shaped roof. Possible origin is that in the old days, landlords were taxed based on whether their lands were settled. So when the taxman came to inspect, the structures could be taken down quickly. Buildings? which buildings are you talking about :dunno:
2) Also checked out Ostuni. This is the cathedral. The old town is all inside the fortification walls and is a pedestrian zone. It was in this town where after I started the car and it was making the usual engine sounds a guy walking by called out "Che bella macchina. Auguri." Which translates to: Nice car, congrats or Nice car, best wishes.
3) Ostuni is very reminiscent of the Pueblos Blancos in southern Spain.
4) Another similarity to Spain is the schedule. They close for a couple hours for a siesta. This is not only restaurants, but all kinds of businesses including banks. This was very typical for southern Italy and Sicily.
5) A couple of times the hotel valet returned the car this way. I guess the seatbelt chime must get really annoying :rofl:
 

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Next Sept is my family surname 1000 yr union in Naples Italy, I'm planning our next ED, Plan on driving down from Slovenia to Croatia, then take the over night ferry to Beri Italy. Haven't decided what is happening from here yet.
 
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