Sunday, June 10, 2007

Day 3, June 1 (BMW Pickup!)

With the help of Melatonin we had a relatively good night of sleep, but still got up before 6 AM to get ready for our trip to BMW European Delivery Center.

We took a short walk to Marienplatz (5 minutes or so) from Hotel Torbrau to get on U-Bahn. We spent a bit of time figuring out how to work the ticket machine. According to Rolf, we needed tickets for zone 1 (2.20E a ticket), but zoning map posted near the ticket machine suggested otherwise. Anyway, after 10 or so minutes of studying the maps, ticket prices, etc. we were on our way with tickets in our hands to Feirman U-Bahn station near the EDC (European Delivery Center).

It's only about 8 or 9 stops from the Marienplatz station, so we were at the destination around 7:25 AM or so. A short walk to EDC took about 3 minutes.
While we were waiting for someone to come to the gate, one of the EDC employees coming to work let us in through the side entrance.

At the EDC we met Rolf who was working with another new BMW owner. We asked for express delivery and went upstairs to the bar. We had a nice breakfast while we were waiting for our name to be called. It only took about 30 minutes or even less. Ernest worked with us to get a few signatures and review a few important documents before we headed to the pickup area.

There were only a few cars there at this early hour. In a few minutes we were on our way to the BMW dealership at the Frankfurter ring. I also realized that I forgot to take a windshield holder for the TomTom NAV system, so my wife was holding the device in her hands while we were driving to the dealership.

It's was pretty simple to find the dealership with the NAV system, so we got there in about 10 - 15 minutes, parked in the back and went to pickup the "warnweste" (emergency vest). It was a pretty simple process even though we don't speak German. It was interesting to see all these cool toys with BMW logo (like baby sneakers, hats, etc.).
We also saw many BMW models with diesel engines (Rolf was not kidding about that). X3, 330, 7 and 5 series - all with diesel engines.

We also needed vignettes for driving on the autobahns in Austria and Switzerland, so we went to pick those up at the ADAC store (similar to AAA) right across the street from the BMW dealership.

Next stop is our hotel, as we had to pickup windshield holder for TomTom NAV system. We pulled up to the hotel, turned off the NAV system only to find out in a few minutes that it would not turn on! No matter what we did, the TomTom device did not show any signs of life (later we were able to reset it via a reset button hidden at the bottom of the device, thanks to the tips of one of the bimmerfest forum members).

We had to rearrange our plans and use conventional map (we received a photo copy of the map from the hotel staff) to find our way to Neuschweistein castle near Fussen. It took a bit for us to get to the autobahn, but we were finally on our way to Fussen. Driving on autobahn was fun, but we could not really see what the car is capable off since we had to keep it under 4500 RPMs for the first 1200 miles. Got it up to 120 Mph without any problems. We only had a few open stretches of the autobahn, as there was some traffic near Munich, many places where road construction was taking place and speed limit was enforced. We also got off the autobahn to drive down the Romantic Road (A16 or A17?). It's a nice road with a very nice view of the mountains and views of the castles as we got closer to Fussen.

The weather was not exactly on our side, as the showers were on and off all day, but we were determined to visit the Neuschweistein castle. So, we got our tickets and took a mile and half hike to the castle. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a nice work out :) There is an option of paying 5E for a ride on the horse carriage, but we wanted to walk off all the food and beer :)

Honestly, the visit to the castle was not as exciting as we had hopped for. Too many rooms are unfinished, and the feeling over all is too commercial. Anyway, we were glad to take a drive down to Fussen and back. However, driving back to the hotel through the city without the NAV system was pretty difficult. We took a few wrong turns and had to rely on directions provided by Google maps (thanks to data service on my wife's PDA). Finally, we made it to the Torbrau. Parked the car in the back of the building in the hotel's reserved parking.

That evening we went to Zum Durnbrau restaurant, which is located on Durnbraugasse and Tal. It's a nice typical Bavarian place (according to some actual Bavarians we met there). Very nice atmosphere, good food and tasty beer :)

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