The following photos that we will be showing you, are probably the most AMAZING shots we have ever seen from someone that picked up their BMW through the European Delivery program. We won't get into the details of what the BMW ED program is, but if you would like to find out more, you can always visit our BMW European Delivery section or www.edbmw.com.
When we saw the photos, we knew that we have to share them with our readers. You know what they say: a picture speaks a thousand words. We contacted Oleg and with his permission, we will relate his entire trip, along with his amazing photos. I also have to admit that Oleg's itinerary was perfect, very well planned and with numerous worth seeing places.
At the end of this article, if you have questions regarding his trip or just general questions on the BMW European Delivery, feel free to leave a comment and we will reply to them.
Also, before we start, let me give you the link to his photo gallery. Throughout the next days, Oleg will add more photos in there, maybe even some high-quality ones that can be used as wallpapers. I am using one right now :)
Oleg's Amazing BMW European Delivery Trip
Day 1: Munich – sightseeing Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt !!!! car pickup !!!!
Day 2: Munich sightseeing (BMW factory tour, Hofbrauhaus, museums…)
Day 3: Drive to Hohenschwangau village to see Neuschwanstein castle (~100 miles) => continued driving to Luzern, Switzerland through Austrian Alps (~200 miles)
Day 4: Sightseeing Luzern, Weggis; cable car to The Pilatus peak !!!
Day 5: Drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber (~300 miles) => Marktplatz, walking tour of the town, museum of torcher => Drive to Ulm for the night (~60 miles)
Day 6: Ulm sightseeing: Ulm Munster, walking tour of the city, shopping => Drive to Dresden for the night (~ 250 miles)
Day 7: Dresden walking tour, Zwinger, Frauenkirche, Hofkirche => Drive to Frankfurt for a drop-off (~ 300 miles)
Day 8: Drop-off at Frankfurt and flight home
Day 1 The pickup day:
We took a gamble and flew in the morning of the delivery day, which worked out perfectly. We arrived on a 8 am Lufthansa flight, bought a daily unlimited group train pass and took the (excellent and unbelievably quiet!) train to the Regent hotel. We were able to do an early check-in at around 9 AM, dropped our things, freshened up and took the train to Marienplatz. The Welt check-in time was at 3:20 pm, so we had about 5 hours to kill before heading to the Welt. We walked around the Marienplatz streets and were lucky enough to see the noon "performance" of the famous clock Rathaus-Glockenspiel, which is a part of an exceptionally ornate New Town Hall. We even had time to sample excellent beers, sausages and herring!! sandwiches at Viktualienmarkt. It was time to head to the Welt.
We used the by-now-familiar metro to get to Olimpiapark station and just as we came out from the train station, there it was in all it's glory, the Welt. The "four cylinder" BMW headquarters building is not too shabby either, and to get them both in the frame is a sweet eye candy! The check-in was smooth, but we were told it was too late for the factory tour, so they rescheduled it for the next morning. I killed the next hour admiring the Welt's amazing lines and checking out individual spec and other cars, then cozying up in the VIP lounge, drinking espresso and waiting for my name to show up on the plasma. Finally, it was time!
Tom took us to the orientation room, which reminded me of a "Need for speed" setup with the wheel and pedals in front of a plasma. This, apparently, was a crash course to iDrive and some other functions like DTC. Tom drilled me on the miracle knob functionality and I have to say, it was helpful! Then we went down "the stairway to heaven" towards my new baby. It was rotating coyly on a platform until, finally, our eyes met… it was love at first sight At this point I fell unconscious and don't remember what happened later… I came back to senses on a gas station near Welt while shelling out 1.49 EU per liter of super, which is around 10 bucks per gallon! The sticker shock had a worked better than the espresso.
One minor snafu during the key hand-over was the fact that I didn't have the "6FL" Y-cable to connect my iPod. Somehow I assumed I only needed a regular iPod USB cable that I had. My bad, should have read some more posts here. Tom mentioned that I could buy the cable at the gift shop and then the US dealer would reimburse me for it because it's included in the package. Beware – they charge 50 EU for the cable!
Oleg's BMW 335i
Day 2 Munich
The BMW factory tour was very entertaining. Sparks flying, presses thumping, robots and production insights were very cool. I always wondered why the factory paint quality was impossible to reproduce in body shop conditions – now I know – the shops don't have the ostrich fevers… let me leave it at that.
Day 3 Neuschwanstein/Luzern
The Neuschwanstein castle is a must see! We were lucky to check it out in foggy and sunny weather and it was just stunning! A drive through the Alps was one of the most scenic roads I've seen, with lots of twisties, mesmerizing views as we kept climbing higher and higher…. until we hit a dead end… That's right, the road was blocked by a huge pile of snow and mud. To be fair, there was a "do not enter" sign a few yards from the rubble. I knew that some roads were closed during winter, but this was April 16-th! Navi didn't warn about a closed road, and was merrily showing a path right through the snow and mud. That's when I regretted about not getting an XI :-)
Most Swiss autobahns are limited to 130 km (~80 miles/hr), which was perfect for further proper break –in and as I heard Swiss penalties for speeding in were pretty steep, we kept under 100 mph. We stayed at Gotthard hotel in Weggis, which is about 5 miles East from Luzern center. The place is right on the lake and has beautiful views of Luzern and the mountains. Excellent service and very pleasant overall atmosphere. Highly recommend! Luzern itself is beautiful and tranquil. Don't pass the opportunity to dine at one of the excellent "fondue done right" places…
Day 4 Switzerland/ Pilatus Peak
The highlight of the day was a trip to the Pilatus Peak, which is just 15 minutes away from Luzern, and, once you're on top the views are quite stunning. The cable car that takes you there is not cheap, about $65 p/p, but I thought this was worth it. The air is crisp and the natural beauty is just spectacular. We spent the rest of the day reflecting on the alps trip, wondering around town and shopping.
One of my favorite pictures
Day 5 Rothenburg
…And then there was the real German autobahn! We were destined to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a cozy little "fairy-tale" Bavarian town and what separated us were about 300 miles of pure joy. Finally I could open it up a bit on the nice stretches. I tried to keep it close to the recommended < 4,500 RPM, but not so much to recommended speed of < 100 mph and frequently found the speedometer needle south from the 130 mark… and that was pure adrenalin. What felt even better was that I was not expecting stupid flashing lights and sirens behind me… Rothenburg "old town"turned out prettier than my best expectations. Beautifully preserved, the medieval town defies time. A view from the top of the town hall revealed a miriad of red roofs and chirch towers sinking in the green fields. If after flying on the autobahn anyone forgets what it feels like to get a speeding ticket in the states, a torture museum is conveniently located in the middle of the old town to remind you of such occasions…
Day 6 Ulm
We spent the night in Ulm, with its massive Gotic cathedral, 500 years in the making, which, apparently, is the tallest chirch spire in the world. My wife liked the shopping there and I kept "discovering" new types of excellent Hefe-Weissen and sausages on the street fair. We had a blast!
Day 7 Dresden
We were on to our last destination, Dresden. Another 300 miles of pure excitement… too bad it was raining and I rarely went over 130 mph. Dresden is the most beautiful city in Saxony, located on the former Eastern Germany territory, leveled by the British air bombardment at the end of the World War 2, and amazingly restored since them. Everything seemed cheaper there. Restaurants' menus looked weird after Bavaria with prices slashed almost in half. Excellent food nonetheless.
I love to take photos at night, and Dresden did not dissapoint with spectacular views of the cathedrals and Frauenkirche across the river. The next day we bought museum passes to Zwinger, a collection of museums holding some of the most famous works of art. I had a weird feeling while staring at a 300 year old canvas depicting the Zwinger palace itself. Apparently, the picture was displayed at a spot from which it was painted – you could see the scene on the canvas if you looked out the window next to the canvas itself… There's lots to see in Dresden and we only had one day for it. Will have to come back during the next ED.
Day 8 Frankfurt
Drive to Frankfurt was another 250 miles. We arrived late night and did not get to see the city at all. I booked the hotel right in the airport and close to the Harms drop-off location. the plan was to drop the car off as early as possible and make it on the 1 PM flight. It was tight, but we made it perfectly.
The drop off was no hassle – by the time I signed the papers, the car was already inspected and the Harms agent was kind enough to call us a taxi. 15 minutes and 30 Euros later we were in the airport and had an hour to kill before the flight back to New York.
That's what I call a perfect vacation!
And in the end, let me give you some statistics about my trip.
Top 3 destinations:
– The Welt
– The Alps and the Pilatus peak
Top 3 beers – All "Hefe-Weissen" all the time. Yum yum!
Top speed : 150 mph, although a brief sprint
Total pictures : 2,500
Total distance traveled : 1,250 miles or ~2,500 km, which means I took one picture per each KM traveled.
Edit: Here is our ultimate favorite photo from the whole trip. :) Oleg lost us there when we saw the photo
Once again, THANK YOU Oleg for sharing your story with us!