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We picked up our Monarch Blue 750Li in Munich on 6/30/06

Flew from NYC to Munich via Lufthansa on 6/29/06. We left two hours late because of thunderstorms. We arrived two hours late at 12:00 pm and had our driver (no, Rolf was on his "World Cup" holiday) take us straight to the Munich Delivery Center. Waited about an hour at the delivery center, had a bite to eat (the pizza was recommended). We then signed the Bimmerfest book. Met a nice young man (was a summer intern) who spent as much time as we needed to go over the car with me. We then drove to our hotel (Hotel Tourborg) parked the car in an outside lot and got ready for dinner. Had our most expensive dinner of the trip (9 euros for a mid sized bottle of water and almost six euros for bread (didn’t ask for bread, it just was put on the table)

BIG SUGGESTION: If you're doing European delivery, take some of your savings on the car and get navigation. Then beg, borrow, rent or steal a European NAV DVD. It would have been a much more stressful trip if we were unable to speak the "language" of each country as well as driving on unfamiliar roads with road signs in a language we couldn't understand. It took lots of repeat times seeing the road sign, “ASSFART” (sp?) to guess that it means EXIT. NAV gave us the opportunity to get lost and find small towns that very few tourists see. We pulled into a town, in the north of France called Chambria. It was one of those small European towns where the store closed for lunch and the shopkeepers were happy to give you personal service. A small shopkeeper, selling me a camera strap, went into the back of the store to attach it to my camera, and returned with a different color strap attached, because he didn't like the first color choice (he was right). We ordered the plate de jour at a small bistro and had to scratch our heads on how to order two glasses of wine (we got stuck on the word for "glass", but the waitress said, "Carafe" and that worked).

The only planning we did was to prepay hotels (all three stars or better, all air conditioned) and all with parking). Parking, especially for a large car like a 750Li, is something you can't take for granted in Europe. Navigating "european" garages was a challenge!

Stayed in Munich for one night;
Zurich-for one night;
Geneva for one night;
Dijon for one night;
Paris for two nights;
Brussels for two nights; and
Amsterdam for two nights,

Dropped car off in Amsterdam on 7/11 and was loaded on the Liberty in Zeebrugge on 7/20, scheduled to arrive in NY on 7/30.

Very interesting trip - each city had a special charm unlike any other. Munich was fun especially when Germany was in the semi-finals and we were there the night they won! Driving from Germany to Switzerland, don't forget your "road tax" stamps (you're in Astria for asbout five minutes, but a 7.50 euro raod tax stamp is cheaper than the fine if you get caught. They stopped us at the Austrian/Swiss border and asked for our passports and wanted to see our "road tax" stamp, which costs a minimum of fourty euros. The Swiss border was the only time we were stopped in ten days. I'm waiting for the 300 photo radar tickets to hit my mailbox at home! I may need to go to Italy on the next trip to avoid being arrested for unpaid tickets (haha!)

Zurich is a major business center with an "old town" where everyone seems to gravitate at night to eat, drink and party.

Geneva has Lake Geneva! Lake Geneva probably has some of the most expensive lakefront real estate in the world. Took a boat cruise around the lake. We stayed in a hotel about fifteen minutes from the lake. Took a bus back and forth from the lake. We ate in a neighborhood Italian restaurant. No one spoke a word of English! The second hand smoke was like smoking all over again (the last time I had a cigarette was over fifteen years ago, but in Europe, smokers are everywhere).

Dijon is a small sort of hidden gem with real old world charm and some great unknown haute cuisine restaurants. Not a place many tourists seem to find.

Paris is well, touristy like NYC, but NYC does not have Versailles or the Eifel Tower. We were on the Champs Elyse on the night France won the World Cup semi-final to go to the finals. It was a wonderful scene of national pride. Probably 15,000 people all partying and having a great time celebrating their country's success. But, Paris is a very expensive city. A light lunch was ninety five euros. Don't listen to any one who tells you otherwise, “service” or a “tip” is included in the bill. You’re a big shot if you leave some small change or a couple of euros. We fell for the “tip is not included” in Munich and it’s not true!

We had an after dinner dessert at a small café that costs twenty four euros each!

Brussels has a town square surrounded by buildings almost 500 years old. Great Belgium chocolates, but not cheap. You have to have Belgian waffles in Belgium! Also, they have the most beautiful hand made lace clothing and lace tablecloths as well as hand made tapestries. Beautiful and well made, but definitely not cheap!

Amsterdam, well, they operate on a different set of laws than the US. What would put you in jail in almost any place in the US is done out in the open in Amsterdam! It's a real fun place. We took a jazz cruise at night on the canals. You could have made lots of post cards from the scenery. Lots of bakeries, coffee shops (marijuana with your coffee), chocolate shops and ladies of the night, but everyone looked pretty healthy. The garages were full of bicycles (the hotel auto garage costs fourty five euros per night). Maybe Woody Allen was right, what we're told is bad for us (smoking, eating, and drinking) is really good for us. The streets were littered with trash and you had to be careful to look out for the bicycles and the streetcars. From my observation, they have the right of way. We got somewhat lost looking for our jazz cruise and a friendly young lady helped us find our streetcar (trolley). After boarding with her and asking her where we paid, she said "not to worry" and we rode for free. Not sometihng I would do in the NYC subways (they'd put me in jail!)

Each stop was no more than 200 miles from the prior destination (at an average speed of 120 mph, it took about 1 1/2 hours between nightime destinations). Just kidding! While we could drive 120 mph for long stretches (and 140 mph on the autobahn), we took lots of side trips to get lost and the NAV brought us right back. I took a two year lease and thet told me at the delivery center, that we should worry about "breakin". Regardless, we didn't try to over do it. We left each hotel after breakfast and, with 3:00 pm check-in in most hotels, had a good three hours each day to get lost!

Easy drive (my wife drove 30 minutes in 1200 miles). Lots of nice people. Great roads except Paris, which is a very strange place to get around and this is from someone used to NYC rush hour. The motorcycles and scooters will pass you on the left, the right, cut in front of you and stop short, so you had to always be looking out!

Gas was (for 98 octane, which I think is 93 octane in the US) 1.48 euros per liter or approx $7.30 per US Gallon. With 16.4 mpg, I won't complain about $3.25 per US Gallon for a while.

Very polite drivers! Every car I pulled up behind in the left lane, moved with no prodding!
People only stay in the left lane to pass and no one passes on the right.

Spoke very little German, no Dutch, and very little French but we were able to get along. Either everyone spoke a little English or we just sort of figured it out.

Take it from me, don’t lose the paperwork they give you (don’t even leave it in the car). We misplaced some of the “unimportant documents” and dropping the car off in Amsterdam was an experience. However, we were finally able to take care of the paperwork. Good thing we had the telephone # of the Delivery Center in Munich, or we’d still be in Amsterdam today! They faxed and emailed the paperwork to Amsterdam and we were able to leave. Don't forget your front license plate, the safety trianlge and first aid kit. From these boards I understand they will not show up when the car arrives in the US (Federal regs?)

I attached two of the 1,300 pictures we took (thank goodness for digital cameras and cheap flash memory cards).

Had a blast. Already planning our next trip in two years!

Any questions, PM me!


JeffreyBMW
 

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John Firestone
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JeffreyBMW said:
Great roads except Paris, which is a very strange place to get around and this is from someone used to NYC rush hour. The motorcycles and scooters will pass you on the left, the right, cut in front of you and stop short, so you had to always be looking out!
I had someone pass me on the right as I was parallel parking, using first the space I was backing into and then the space I was creating in front of the car. I still puzzle how he got around me. Should someone ever invent a silent moped/mofa, the result will be lethal.
 

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Nice write-up. Thanks for sharing. I never get tired of reading about these ED trips. The only problem is I want to go again.
 

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JeffreyBMW said:
We fell for the "tip is not included" in Munich and it's not true!
Actually it is true, at least in Germany. IIRC it's common in Italy to charge for the cutlery + tablecloth + service.
 

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Gas was (for 98 octane, which I think is 93 octane in the US) 1.48 euros per liter or approx $7.30 per US Gallon
Was gas at $7.3/gallon in most parts of Europe? That is real expensive!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some responses:

(1) Yes, it was Hotel Torbrau, not Torborg. Very friendly hotel with a very narrow garage!

(2) Depending where you were, Super Unleaded (98 Octane in Europe) was between 1.38 euros per liter and 1.48 euros per liter. At 3.75 liters per U.S. Gallon and an exchange rate of approx $1.27 = 1 Euro, you get $7.05 per gallon, plus credit card surcharge of 3.5% = $7.30 per US Gallon!

(3) Well, I'm glad I did tip in Germany and nowhere else (except for small change); and

Excuse the spelling errors on my review, as I wrote this review late last night.

JeffreyBMW
 

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ZHPper
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JeffreyBMW said:
Some responses:

(1) Yes, it was Hotel Torbrau, not Torborg. Very friendly hotel with a very narrow garage!

(2) Depending where you were, Super Unleaded (98 Octane in Europe) was between 1.38 euros per liter and 1.48 euros per liter. At 3.75 liters per U.S. Gallon and an exchange rate of approx $1.27 = 1 Euro, you get $7.05 per gallon, plus credit card surcharge of 3.5% = $7.30 per US Gallon!

(3) Well, I'm glad I did tip in Germany and nowhere else (except for small change); and

Excuse the spelling errors on my review, as I wrote this review late last night.

JeffreyBMW
We stayed there two years ago on our ED, delightful hotel with good staff and A/C! I took one look at the underground parking and opted for the lot next door (They didn't charge us). The little restaurant in front is just about one of the best car/people looking places to be in Munich...we drank there a lot and had dinner one night. Was that your expensive place? But very conveniently located. We got to the hotel, went up to Marienplatz and had dinner ACROSS from the HBH, slept, picked up the next day, parked it at the hotel and then walked all over town that day and evening. And then off to the Romantic Road, a few stops along the way to see old friends and then on to Paris.
 

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Wonderful write up... It is good to hear the custom difference.

What is it like to drive from Geneva to Paris? Did you go to Versailles before you enter Paris?
 

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Enjoyed the write up.:thumbup: More pics would be good! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are some photos!

The first few are of the delivery center. The last one is of a large lake in Lindau.

After leaving Munich we stopped in a small German town called Lindau. We were there on a Saturday and the town was empty. They told us that everyone had gone to the World Cup.

We couldn't find a parking space in Lindau, until a parking lot attendant told us that we could park if we had some food at a nearby casino. Not what we call a casino, more like a small cafe adjacent to the lake and located in the town's central park.

When we asked to have our parking ticket stamped, they said "ten minutes". We later found out we had ten minutes from leaving the cafe to pick up our car. Of course, you couldn't pay for parking, only park if your ticket was validated. So, after wandering around town for an hour or so, we found out we had to go back to the cafe and get another "ten minute" ticket.

Another example of something Americans don't often see - a parking lot that you can't pay to park in!


JeffreyB
 

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