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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #1
We are currently in Strasbourg. We drove here directly from Munich after dropping off one car at Harms. In the Autobahn, we had lots of traffic, speed limits (100 or 120 kph), and construction, all of which prevented us from trying to really try high speed driving.

Some pics:

1) We flew in on flydba from Paris. The flight attendants wear all-Puma outfits.
2) Obligatory delivery center shot.
3) Sebastian (at the wheel of the 330i) helped with our delivery.
4) Strasbourg in the rain earlier today.

I'm gonna try to get some sleep, although it might be difficult as France just beat Spain 3-1, and people in the bar across the street are chanting, people are running in the street screaming, and some people are honking their horns.
 

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Nice pics! Crazy PUMA shoes :lmao:
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sigrid, Rolf's referral, picked us up at MUC in her 7 series taxi. She said that she hits 220 kph routinely, though traffic and speed limits yesterday prevented her from going over 160 kph. We got the the delivery center at about noon, eat some lunch, and at about 1:15 pm, Sebastien showed up with paperwork. We were driving out of the delivery center by about 2:30.

A big thanks to Beewang for the nav disk.

Bonus shots of Paris, where we stayed for a week before going to Munich.

1) Paris at night
2) Notre Dame
3) We found this Gustav Klimt painting at the Musee d'Orsay. If his other work was worth $135 million, by association would this one be worth at least $13.5 million?

Edit: I forgot to add that the crazy French are still honking their horns. I couldn't sleep so I made this post.
 

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Beemin' in my Bimmer ;-)
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Congrats! Love the pic from Strasbourg. Would love to see more from there if you have them. :thumbup:
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #6
More pics

Since it was raining in Strasbourg, we decided to take a drive to Colmar, about 1 hr south. Colmar is like a compact old-town of Strasbourg. It's very nice but is overrun by tourists. This area of Alsace produces wines, and there is a wine route (Route du Vin) that links wineries between these 2 cities. The autoroutes we have driven on so far have been very well maintained and the drivers stay on the right except to pass. Also, no tolls yet.:thumbup:

1) This part of old town Strasbourg is called Petit France, with canals and medieval buildings.
2) Cathedral is in the background to the right. Strasbourg has a mix of college students and bureaucrats working for the EU.
3) Medieval buildings are well preserved in Colmar.
4) Lady Liberty in one of the traffic circles on the way into Colmar. Not sure if this is the model for the one in New York. The sculptor Bertholdi, who did the one in NY, is from Colmar.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #7
The car has been great so far. Wife loves the Comfort Access. Navigation works well, though it has its limititations, especially in old parts of town. Sometimes it does not know that it's a pedestrian-only street or limited to buses and taxis. Parking has been ~15E a day for selfpark. Sometimes it's hard to find a good spot as all the spaces I've seen here are sized like compact spaces in USA. Gas is ~$6.75/gallon for 98 octane.

We're meeting friends in Belgium later today and will post more pics when we get to Normandy.
 

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Powder Days
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Great Pics.

Glad you have flexible travel plans since that'a always part of the reward of a trip to Europe for me. Discovering things like the Statue is always nice. There is another model of the Statue of Liberty on an island on the Seine in Paris. If you got one while you were in Paris, you could have a matched set of pictures to have a trio with the original in the middle. ;)

Enjoy the rest of the trip and where can I get some of those wild Puma's?

Cheers
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #9
Our trip in Normandy included stays in Rouen and Bayeux. When we checked in the hotels there, I often asked if they had internet or wi-fi (pronounced wee-fee in French). Most of the time the answer was yes, but you had to buy a prepaid card from French telecoms SFR or Orange, which operate the wireless networks. We found that service was spotty and being the cheap bastige that I am, we often decided to forgo internet. When we did pay, it was something like 6 Euros for 1 hr or 15E for 3 hrs. By the way, if you must have internet to get email, McDonald’s has wi-fi and I think it was 0.34 E per minute.

We visited the war museum in Caen (Le Memorial de Caen). One section had some first-hand accounts from soldiers that fought on D-Day. Some of the accounts were taken from letters they sent to their families. A German soldier described how he just kept shooting at American soldiers landing on the beach, inflicting heavy losses, and incredibly how the ones who survived this, had to run through another gauntlet of fire once they reached the rampart. An American soldier recounted how he remained in the water, fell unconscious, and got washed ashore. Upon regaining consciousness he grabbed a weapon from one of the fallen comrades and forged ahead. He later found out that in his group of 1000 men there had been 800 casualties. A powerful reminder that war is hell.

1. Claude Monet painted it a few times (Rouen cathedral)
2. The English burned a French heroine in Rouen.
3. You can cross the Seine on one of several bridges, but we saw a couple of these ferries and decided to take one. Our guidebook said it was like 1.90 Euros, but the ferry guy said no charge.
4. We had lunch in Honfleur. I think Monet painted this too.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Brittany is the farthest west that we went. Something nice about Brittany: no tolls. We stayed in Dinan. St Malo is much more popular, it has a beach. St Malo seems like it was rebuilt after the war as many of the buildings have a fairly uniform look, so it's not as quaint as Dinan.

1. Le Mont Saint Michel is part of Normandy, but just barely.
2. In Dinan we ate at this restaurant where you cook your meats on a hot stone. That is duck meat (canard), very lean compared to duck in USA. This place made very good crepes too.
3. Don't know how to pronounce this. To me it tasted like a palmier, but much denser and good. You can get it in natural or apple flavor.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #11
The American Military Cemetery overlooks Omaha beach. While we were there, at 2pm the bells played God Bless America, God Save the Queen, and a tune I did not recognize. Maybe it was a Canadian song, as they were one of the 3 countries making landings on D-Day.

1. Over 9,000 Latin crosses and Stars of David. There are 4 women buried here. We saw one of them, she was with the Red Cross. Also buried here is Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. a brigadier general and former president's son, who had twice been denied in his request to land with his men. He landed in Utah Beach with the first waves of troops.

2. Translation of a letter from the French president expressing gratitude to US servicemen. How times have changed.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Some random trivial matters.

In Brittany, we noticed a few cars with British plates, including a E63 M6. We also saw a car with plates from GBJ, do you know where that is? They were from Jersey! There are 2 islands just off the coast of Brittany that are part of the UK: Jersey and Guernsey. These islands are much closer to France than they are to Great Britain.

At the American Cemetery, we saw a car that had USA European Union plates. I don't know, were they fake? Or do US military in Europe get these plates?:dunno:

Most and least paid for gas: 1.42 E/liter in Strasbourg, and 1.31 at a Carrefour shopping center. Carrefour is a chain of hypermarkets, they are similar to Wal-marts.

Number of E90's seen once we left Germany: 5 (and I may be double counting one) in 10 days worth of driving in France and Belgium. I find it curious that we saw more E60s (most were 520d or 530d) and X5's than E90s.

When we were inputing addresses into the navigation, it was sometimes frustrating that the street name or city did not appear right away. We had to play around with hypens because for example: Rue Fauburg St. Germain could be Rue Fauburg Saint-Germain, or Rue Fauburg-Saint-Germain. Remember it get worse because often street names in French can be 4, 5 or more words long. Also if your destination is Mont Saint Michel, you won't find it with any combination of hyphens. The full name is Le Mont Saint-Michel.

Our Belgian friends were surprised that our car had a manual transmission as they know that the majority of US cars are automatic. He said that the trend in Europe was more people were getting automatics, including him.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #13
Paris dropoff details

This forum has been great as I knew what to expect at the Delivery Center and also at Garching. And as most people drop off the car there, details are well documented. I remember someone describing the ramp at the end of the industrial park, etc.

I did not find much about Paris dropoffs in the forums. I did not have problems finding TT Car but I have to say that the pdf map in the bmwusa site for Paris CDG is a little misleading. You have to take the CDG exit (exit 6, I think) from the A1 autoroute and go a couple of miles before you get to the T3 exit. Also the right turn after the traffic circle, it seems like you're turning the wrong way into a one way street. This is true, except that the first 15 feet of that road is 2-way so you can turn right again into the TT Car lot. Also, do not expect any building or structures, the offices are 2 or 3 trailers in the parking lot. TT Car also handles drop-offs for Volvo, but it seemed to me that the bulk of their business was the Europe by Car (Peugots) for which there was a sign. The lot is fenced off in a few sections. Park your car near the other BMWs and walk in to the closest trailer. We had to wait for one person before us. But once our turn came, it took less than 10 minutes. They make a copy of your passport, go out to inspect for damage and record the mileage, then print out a Car Delivery Receipt form (sign 3 copies, keep 1), and Condition Report form (sign 2 copies, keep 1). They will get one of the vans to take you to the terminal or give you directions to walk to the RER train if you're going back to Paris.

As requested, I emailed them to make an appointment about 10 days before drop-off. I did not get a reply. I called them about 1 week before and made the appointment. When we got there they didn't ask whether we had an appointment. Maybe they just need to know how many people are dropping off that day.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #14
Drive in Paris or not

I remember several threads advising people not to drive in Paris. I don't think it's that bad, but if you're not used to driving in tight quarters with people cutting in front of you from both sides and cutters cutting in front of cutters and so on, then maybe park the car and walk. Or take the Metro.

Also, the times we were on the Peripherique (ring road) around Paris, the traffic was congested and we got delayed 30 to 45 minutes. I think that you have to take the Peripherique to get to the A1 which takes you to CDG. There may be another way but we following the car's navigation.


This is a shot from above the Arc d'Triomphe, notice that there are no lanes marked.
 

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Powder Days
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Nice report. I always have wanted to get to Mount Saint Michel (with or without hyphens). I wonder if Dinan the BMW performance Guru is from Dinan France.

Did you get the pics of the Staute of Liberty on the island in the Seine? :dunno:

Cheers
 

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John Firestone
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Asteroid said:
At the American Cemetery, we saw a car that had USA European Union plates. I don't know, were they fake? Or do US military in Europe get these plates?:dunno:
They are probably U.S. military. They switched to a European-style plate a few years back to try to be less noticed.
 

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Thanks for the pics. I've been to most of the places you mentioned, and it is a great reminder of how much fun it was. When I did ED 3 years ago, the Paris dropoff was near the Arc d'Triomphe on Avenue Foch. I remember carefully planning my route so that I would not have to take my new bimmer around that insane roundabout.
 

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John Firestone
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What I found much more insane (or likely to make one insane) was trying to find a parking space in Paris. :)
 
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