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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the master thread for my first ever ED coming up in June! Brother and sisters will be coming along for the ride.

Thanks to help from the 'festers here and Andy Lin at New Century BMW (Center of Excellence in Alhambra, CA), we are scheduled to pick up a 2011 E90 335i on June 7!

Now that we have the delivery date pre-reserved, comes the hard part of itinerary planning. The theme for the trip is going to be 'Greatest Driving Roads', obviously influenced by Top Gear. My half baked idea so far is to head to Davos after delivery. After a night there, I will be able to wind my way through the Stelvio Pass and maybe the San Bernardino Pass before ending up at Lake Como. From Como, I can head down to Monaco and take the "scenic route" to Nice via the Col De Turini. All suggestions and personal stories about these destinations/routes would really help!

To complicate matters, I really want to experience the Nurburgring, which will be a two day drive back to Germany with a stay in Zurich just to break up all that driving. Would be nice to drop off in Frankfurt, but open jaw airfare doesn't seem worth it at this point. Will be checking with Lufthansa 2-for-1 about this today. Otherwise drop-off back in Munich will be another half day trek. If we can keep the Nurburgring on the itinerary, the official website lists Sunday 6/13 as being open to the public for now. Hopefully these things don't change last minute? There seems to be no availability for the BMW Ring Taxi at this point, which is super disappointing. Maybe the schedule/tickets for June haven't been released yet? Also, are there any similar Ring Taxi services that can take 4 passengers at one time?

All comments and suggestions welcome, this is going to be one memorable trip!
 

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Search for zoltrix post about Col De Turini.

My recommendation - instead of Zurich spend a day in Lucerne. Zurich very expensive, over crowded and very touristy.
 

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The One who Drives.
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That is a whole lot of driving! I did my first ED last year, and while it was awesome the only thing I would change is the amount of time I spent driving. I put 3500 miles in 10 days. Please reconsider... And for the Nurburgring - I would recommend you skip it, it is not going anywhere and at least you will have a reason to plan a 2nd ED around the Nurburgring and arrange for a BMW taxi service and stuff... Southern Europe is nice, enjoy it. Other places worth mentioning are: for your sisters: Foxtown outlets in Switzerland, driving around Lake Como - or taking a ferry across... I totally agree on Zurich - not worth it (been there). If you keep your itinerary on Alps/southern Europe - Slovenia and Bled might be well worth the drive (it is a short drive from Austria)... Just don't drive a whole lot - there is always an ED no. 2! :) Anyway, good luck on your ED and do not forget about the 12-hr. rule!
 

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Wow - 3500 miles logged on a 10-day ED? That's a bunch! We did 4000 on our first 21-day ED and felt like it was too much driving and that helped shape our second trip. What did you do besides drive?
 

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The One who Drives.
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My rough ED itinerary Just FYI - there was not much driving, the first day - I just had to get through as I needed to be the next day in Poland for some business meeting... Otherwise - we did not drive THAT much. :) Btw. The Google map does not include any of the side trips we did, which added a few hundred miles...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sounds like a great idea!

See my second post down: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=432586

-Michael
Hey Michael, small world huh? Maybe we'll run into each other at the Welt on delivery day! I don't have a pickup time from my CA yet, but maybe that's because I haven't given him a drop-off date and location yet?

I can see you're going to be driving through Davos/Stelvio the next day too. You know what they say about great minds. I'm thinking of staying at the Youthpalace hostel in Davos now, after seeing it in Maxofthewell's ED video. Hopefully those with personal experience have good things to say about it?

And before I forget, the specs:

2011 335i M Sport Sedan

Blue Water Metallic/Beige Dakota Leather/Dark Burl Trim
M Sport Package
Premium Package
Navigation/iPod & USB/Smartphone
STEPTRONIC/Paddle shifters
Convenience Package
Cold Weather Package
HK surround sound
automatic high beams
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Search for zoltrix post about Col De Turini.

My recommendation - instead of Zurich spend a day in Lucerne. Zurich very expensive, over crowded and very touristy.
Hmm, couldn't find any comments by zoltrix, but I do see that some aren't big fans of the Col De Turini because the road conditions aren't great. Is that what you wanted to point out?

Also, I think the Lucerne suggestion is a good one. I have actually been to Zurich before, and it is pretty boring (even Rick Steves agrees with us). The thinking was that I could show the siblings around since I kind of know the place, but heading to Lucerne instead is a better idea, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is a whole lot of driving! I did my first ED last year, and while it was awesome the only thing I would change is the amount of time I spent driving. I put 3500 miles in 10 days. Please reconsider... And for the Nurburgring - I would recommend you skip it, it is not going anywhere and at least you will have a reason to plan a 2nd ED around the Nurburgring and arrange for a BMW taxi service and stuff... Southern Europe is nice, enjoy it. Other places worth mentioning are: for your sisters: Foxtown outlets in Switzerland, driving around Lake Como - or taking a ferry across... I totally agree on Zurich - not worth it (been there). If you keep your itinerary on Alps/southern Europe - Slovenia and Bled might be well worth the drive (it is a short drive from Austria)... Just don't drive a whole lot - there is always an ED no. 2! :) Anyway, good luck on your ED and do not forget about the 12-hr. rule!
A lot of the miles in my original plan were due to the Nurburgring. Slowly I'm trying to get my head around the fact that I will probably have to save it for another time. It is slightly consoling that the BMW Ring Taxi will not be running the day I planned to be there.

So the French Riviera will now be a bigger focus of the trip. Should have time for an overnight in Nice and then another night in Cannes. Will one night at Lake Como (prior to France) be sufficient?
 

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The One who Drives.
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Will one night at Lake Como (prior to France) be sufficient?
For you - maybe, most likely. For your sisters - most likely it WILL NOT be. The sheer beauty of this place is breathtaking. :) I spent 3 nights there and I am already planning my next ED around French Riviera/Spain with a rather lengthy stopover in Dervio/Lake Como area...
 

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Hmm, couldn't find any comments by zoltrix, but I do see that some aren't big fans of the Col De Turini because the road conditions aren't great. Is that what you wanted to point out?!
No, he was the only one I remember, who knew that area. If I have time today, I will try to find his post. (just hope he read this post and replay first)

Also, I think the Lucerne suggestion is a good one. I have actually been to Zurich before, and it is pretty boring (even Rick Steves agrees with us). The thinking was that I could show the siblings around since I kind of know the place, but heading to Lucerne instead is a better idea, thanks!
You are Welcome!
 

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So the French Riviera will now be a bigger focus of the trip. Should have time for an overnight in Nice and then another night in Cannes. Will one night at Lake Como (prior to France) be sufficient?
Depend what you plan for Lake Como. We was in a hurry to get to Nice, so we spend there 6 hr. Really would like spend more then 1 day next time .
Make sure you get to Nice not at rush hour - traffic is terrible, get a good parking like a winning a lotto. If you can - stay outside of Nice - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5059879&postcount=2

Cannes is good for 2-3 hr visit - really don't liked at all (was there twice) - no way will stay there for one night. Maybe just a make a 1/2 day trip with stop in Antibes.
 

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Driving 'en Plein Air'
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I can attest from my own experience that you will have the time of your life. June ED in 2008, 1,800 miles and 27 mountain passes! A great ride :thumbup:

Enjoy :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
For you - maybe, most likely. For your sisters - most likely it WILL NOT be. The sheer beauty of this place is breathtaking. :) I spent 3 nights there and I am already planning my next ED around French Riviera/Spain with a rather lengthy stopover in Dervio/Lake Como area...
OK then I am definitely going to consider staying another night at Lake Como. What area/town did you stay in? I'm not familiar with the lake, and have no idea if there is there a significant difference between staying around Como vs Bellagio vs Menaggio vs Lecco. Since hostels are our first choice, we might not even have that many places to choose from anyways. But a hotel is a possibility if it's worth it.
 

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The One who Drives.
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I stayed at B&B Villa Stefy in Dervio. We did that on purpose as we wanted to experience some of the famous European B&B, as well as be away from the big name hotels for a while. The place was super clean, the owner spoke little English and breakfasts were... delicious! We paid E25/person/night, which is super cheap! If you decide, call ahead and talk to the owner... The plus side - they have a two car garage across the street from the villa, accessible for guests. Varenna is just a short drive away, the town of Dervio is quiet, right on the lake, and with an easy access to the highway.
 

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I stayed at B&B Villa Stefy in Dervio. We did that on purpose as we wanted to experience some of the famous European B&B, as well as be away from the big name hotels for a while. The place was super clean, the owner spoke little English and breakfasts were... delicious! We paid E25/person/night, which is super cheap! If you decide, call ahead and talk to the owner... The plus side - they have a two car garage across the street from the villa, accessible for guests. Varenna is just a short drive away, the town of Dervio is quiet, right on the lake, and with an easy access to the highway.
Thank You, added to my list of hotels for my next ED! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I stayed at B&B Villa Stefy in Dervio. We did that on purpose as we wanted to experience some of the famous European B&B, as well as be away from the big name hotels for a while. The place was super clean, the owner spoke little English and breakfasts were... delicious! We paid E25/person/night, which is super cheap! If you decide, call ahead and talk to the owner... The plus side - they have a two car garage across the street from the villa, accessible for guests. Varenna is just a short drive away, the town of Dervio is quiet, right on the lake, and with an easy access to the highway.
Thanks so much for the B&B suggestion. Was focusing more on hostels up to this point, but it turns out some of these B&B's are even cheaper, and sound like an even better experience.

The garage parking is a plus, but how is parking during the day at the more touristy areas like Como and Bellagio? Is it easier to just take local transportation and/or ferries?
 

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The One who Drives.
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The garage parking is a plus, but how is parking during the day at the more touristy areas like Como and Bellagio? Is it easier to just take local transportation and/or ferries?
I only parked in Varenna, which was our starting spot - there is plenty of parking right next to the entrance to the ferry terminal, just pay attention to the markings on the spots are some are reserved to locals, just some are assigned to tourists. With that being said, I had no issues finding parking anywhere we went. We took a ferry from Varenna to Menagio to Bellagio back to Varenna. It is fairly cheap and it is a nice break from driving around. We also took a drive which is just thrilling - narrow climbing road, but rewarding - beautiful vistas and great views, then slowly driving down to Dervio. Map available here. We ended our day with a nice meal in Varenna, where the hotel restaurant opens at 7. :) The next day we drove to Foxtown Outlets in Switzerland on the way there we drove around, but we came back via ferry from Menaggio.Awesome (and quite short) drive. My wife spent a small fortune on shoes and perfumes.Oh well, in the end it worked quite well. :) If you have any other questions, ask away! :)
 

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The garage parking is a plus, but how is parking during the day at the more touristy areas like Como and Bellagio? Is it easier to just take local transportation and/or ferries?
In Come is plenty of free parking. We have no problem at all to find one even this was one of the day when 1/2 of Italy was there - some formula 1 race on the lake.
See my pick - marked street.

 

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