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Itinerary critique, advice, tips?

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We are less than 60 days away from departing for our ED trip and would like to share our intinerary and open it up for any critiques, advice and tips for those who've been there and back to tell about it. :p

Jan 6:
Fly from SFO to Munich

Jan 7:
Arrive MUC 5pm, need to schedule Rolf for pickup. Staying at a studio apartment next to Nymphenburg Palace.

Jan 8:
See Munich (Which must sees are open on Sunday?) :dunno:

Jan 9:
BMW tour and museum after lunch and then pick up 535iGT @ 350pm. What are chances we can get an earlier slot if we check in earlier? (We originally had a 9am pick up but it may be too early esp since we will have a jet lagged 3yr old). After the delivery we will head over to Neuschwanstein for overnight stay at Schlossrestaurant.

Jan 10:
Neuschwanstein Castle Tour, drive by Hohenschwangau castle. Then drive to Strasbourg for overnight stay. I haven't found a hotel yet for our stay. Any recommendations with good parking and either city center or outside with good transit to city center? :dunno:

Jan 11:
See Strasbourg. Drive to Reims. Any recommendations with good parking and either city center or outside with good transit to city center? :dunno:

Jan 12:
See Reims. Drive to Paris.

Jan 13 to 17:
See Paris. We will be staying at Disneyland Paris Resort since it is the little one's birthday (includes breakfast, parking, and tickets for our entire stay). Probably will only go to the Theme Park for a couple of days and take the train to Paris sites (get the Paris Visite pass) and explore outside Paris with the GT.

Jan 17:
Fly back from CDG to SFO 1pm on the 17th. What time would be the perfect drop off time before a 1pm flight? Should I get my family situated at the airport before hand then drop off the GT or is there an *efficient* shuttle to the airport from the dropoff? :dunno:

Jan 17 to ???????:
Excruciating wait for redelivery. :thumbdwn: :bawling:

Thanks again in advance for anything anyone can add.

-mycabrandz
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
A few Q:
  • What car and which tires?
  • You do realize these are some of the shortest days of the year without much daylight?
  • What is the back-up plan in case of snow?
Also, read up on the Stau, the delays that are quite common on the A8 around Stuttgart.

Strasbourg doesn't have any 5-star luxury hotels that I remember, but there are lots of 4-star options. As for Riems, Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Rheims) is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Reims and quite impressive. But I liked the tours of the champagne caves better. At least one has a small train your child might like.
535i GT with all-season tires. I've posed this question before for a January ED and I've come to the conclusion based on feedback that all-seasons are not optimal but adequate. Adequate being that I have to be more mindful of weather conditions and have alternate travel arrangements/prepared to stay in when necessary.

What car and which tires?
You do realize these are some of the shortest days of the year without much daylight?
We've only been to Europe once and that was in June so I have no point of reference for January weather conditions except for searching historical data online. Unfortunately a January ED is the only timed option otherwise we would have to wait another year or so. Knowing this, my goal is to pick up the car/get to experience ED and wife's goal is to spend more time in Paris (Louvre/D'Orsay). If both of these happen at minimum and do it safely, the in-between destinations can be touch and go.

What is the back-up plan in case of snow?
Best case scenario: Wait it out until conditions permit forward travel and skip destinations based on time lost.
Worse case scenario (severe snowstorm affecting all our travel destinations for the duration of the trip): we'll drop off early in Munich and go straight to Paris by train.

Also, read up on the Stau, the delays that are quite common on the A8 around Stuttgart.
Would you say Stau on the A8 near Stuttgart is worse than Bay Area rush hour traffic? :mad:

Strasbourg doesn't have any 5-star luxury hotels that I remember, but there are lots of 4-star options. As for Riems, Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Rheims) is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Reims and quite impressive. But I liked the tours of the champagne caves better. At least one has a small train your child might like.
Thanks for the info. :thumbup:
Put on a very warm jacket and go to the canal that runs along the North and South Auffahrtsalle to the east of the Nymphenburg Palace and go Bowling! They should be out in force if the water is frozen...otherwise grab some bread and feed the swans!

Or head into town and go to the Deutsches Museum. Pick between the Island Museum on the Isar or go to the transport Museum by the Theresienwiese!
Jan 7:
Arrive MUC 5pm, need to schedule Rolf for pickup. Staying at a studio apartment next to Nymphenburg Palace.

Jan 8:
See Munich (Which must sees are open on Sunday?) :dunno:
Ja, quite possibly.
Would you say Stau on the A8 near Stuttgart is worse than Bay Area rush hour traffic? :mad:
I was in the area in November several years ago. Two episodes from that trip might provide useful info:

(a) After being a guest lecturer in Sachsen-Anhalt, I flew from Leipzig to Stuttgart. A former student picked me up at Stuttgart airport to drive me to his family's house in Karlsruhe. We were stuck in a mid-day Stau around Stuttgart that was worse than most of what we see here in the Bay Area. Possibly it is that there were no good alternate routes, where here I know how to switch over to I-280 or I-580 in key places.

(b) We took a day trip to Strasbourg. My former student's father "suggested" we not take the S-class, so we went in the VW (a Jetta, I think). Even so, the underground central parking near the cathedral was VERY tight. IIRC, the 535GT is actually built on the 7-series platform. It will seem very large in smaller French cities. (I have not driven in Riems, but Strasbourg has lots of narrow streets.)
535i GT with all-season tires. ...

Would you say Stau on the A8 near Stuttgart is worse than Bay Area rush hour traffic? :mad:
@Challenge64: Great suggestions! Will definitely keep those in mind. Thanks!

@ b-y: (a) Yikes. I'll be sure to make a stop before we get to that stretch of the A8. I was thinking a straight 3.5 hr drive. If it gets that bad we might just overnight around Stuttgart and drive by Strasbourg the following day. Go with the flow as they say i guess.

(b) Thanks for the tip. Can't i just take 2 spots? :) I'm glad i ordered the top and side view cams. Will try to stay outside the city and take the transit. Hopefully city perimeter accomodations/parking spaces are more spacious and paranoid new bmw owner friendly.
We stayed at Cour de Corbeau in Strasbourg. It was an amazing hotel, and the service was top notch, it was a bit tricky to find and ended up letting them valet our car, I had a chance to see where they parked it as we needed to retrieve some stuff from the car over night, and they took good care of us, nothing but walls on either side. It was within walking distance to the cathedral and all the restraints and shops you could ever want. Highly recommend it.

TJ
As for Stuttgart, we stayed there as well. Booked a hotel on price line Maritim Hotel Stuttgart, it was cheap, nice and clean, and had a nice empty parking garage. Traffic in Stuttgart was bad, but nothing nearly as bad as I have experienced in LA, SF, Chicago, DC or Toronto. I actually found that it was just normal city traffic.

While in Stuttgart we did the Porsche museum and the MB museum. The former was amazing, the latter was ok in my books, but I was hoping to see more super-cars and less "automotive history". If I had to choose only one, I'd do Porsche. I would advise against the food at the Porsche museum though, not the best, MB definitely had them beat on that front.

TJ
We stayed at Disneyland Paris when my daughter was 3. I was presenting at a conference and couldn't resist taking the family since it was where it was. Great time.

If you are staying on a Disney property then catching the train into Paris is easy. The train station is right there. You should understand though that the Paris Metro was built before handicapped people were accommodated in the design. If you take a stroller into Paris it can be a miserable experience similar to London't underground. Elevators are practically non existent and you'll be hauling the stroller up and down stairs all day. Not just piddling little flights - huge long muscle-cramping flights. Pack very light for the Paris trip - you can't count on loading up the stroller's capacity. You'll be unpacking/collapsing, hauling, and rearranging everything every few minutes.

We ended up going to the Luxembourg Gardens for a kiddie friendly break during the day. There is/was a pleasant little play area there which my daughter enjoyed immensely. Whether it is the photographs or a real memory I don't know, but she still talks fondly of the 'Spinning Cup' and Rope Tree there.

All our pictures show her with a bandage or livid wound on her head. The day we arrived she crashed into the nightstand in the hotel room and we ended up in the local ER until 5am getting superglue stitches. She was jetlagged to heck and kept wanting to sleep. The docs were really concerned that she had concussion because they weren't used to kids who would rather sleep than yell when someone poked a wound. So, even though it was like waking a sleeping grizzly bear we had to rouse her every 1 hour to make sure she was OK. Not so happy times. But, you can be sure that the folks at the Disney hotels are professional and know how to deal with child emergencies. We were grateful for that.

@tjm129: Cour de Corbeau looks awesome. Definitely a plus with the close proximity, parking and valet. Thanks for info on Stuttgart accomodations as well, will make sure to keep that as alternate if we decide to overnite there instead on our trek up to Strasbourg.

@FrankAZ: Thanks for the insight on Disney and Paris with a 3yr old. There's not so much info on ED with toddlers so it's encouraging to know others have ventured the same. We are still on the fence about bringing a stroller on the trip for the same reasons you posted. We frequent NYC and it is a workout to have to go through the exercise of folding, unfolding, carrying up and down stairs or even sharing crowded elevators. We'll just make do with his second favorite seating spot which is on my shoulders where he can drum the beat of disney jr. songs on my head. Sorry to hear about your daughter's mishap during your trip. At least it was at Disney and she was taken care of properly. She looks like she was having a blast in that photo, every smile brings a memory...my son still remembers his first disney trip when he was 1 1/2.

I also want to add this is a great community where ideas and knowledge are shared by awesome folks. Reading and posting here is an adventure in itself and can be quite addicting. Hopefully advice and tips keep flowing in but for sure with what i learned from here so far this is going to be one memorable trip.
The English factory tour is at 11:30 and runs until 14:00 PM. Even if you grab a quick lunch in the Premium Lounge this doesn't leave nearly enough time to see the Museum and do a 15:50 delivery.

Our inbound flight arrived at MUC at 17:30 the previous day and we did our delivery the next morning at 10:30 with check-in at 9:00. We did the plant tour after our delivery and saw the Museum the next morning because we didn't have time after the plant tour and lunch (it closes at 17:00). Yeah we were jet lagged and it caught up with us that afternoon which is also why we did the Museum the next morning.
Jan 9:
BMW tour and museum after lunch and then pick up 535iGT @ 350pm. What are chances we can get an earlier slot if we check in earlier? (We originally had a 9am pick up but it may be too early esp since we will have a jet lagged 3yr old). After the delivery we will head over to Neuschwanstein for overnight stay at Schlossrestaurant.
@SD 335is:
Good point. I re-read the Factory tour info on the BMW website and found this: "The minimum age for children in groups to participate in Plant tours is seven." So I guess no tour for us since we have a 3 yr old. Unfortunately the 9th is the first day tours are offered after the break so I can't go the day before and we're driving to Fussen later in the afternoon. At least we can browse through the museum if we don't get an earlier lunchtime slot. How much time did you spend at the museum?
I'm kind of a Disney nut so we stayed there on our ED as well (though without kids). There are two parks, but the Studios are kind of a half-day thing anyway. The park operating hours will be short while you're there, but it'll be cold enough that the crowds should be very light.

The RER from the Disneyland Paris station into Paris proper leaves every 15 minutes and is about 45 minutes in duration, costing 7 euro for an adult (don't know the child price). However if you're going in for the full day the DLP resort also contracts with a tour company to do full day tours of Paris as well (which may be more convenient with the toddler). Either way, you'll have fun.
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