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      07-10-2014, 04:50 PM   #1
webdither
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M235i European Delivery Trip Report & Stelvio Pass Video

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I just got back from my European Delivery of my new M235i with four other friends. It was an incredible experience and went by far too quickly! Below is our trip journal and photos. I am also working on a video of our Stelvio Pass drive which I will add later.


At the San Bernadino Pass summit

Specs
Estoril Blue
Fineline Stream Wood Interior Trim
Terra Dakota Leather
Manual Transmission
Premium Package
Technology Package
Cold Weather Package
Driver Assistance Package
Harmon Kardon Sound System
Alarm System

A Little Background
This will be my 4th BMW and is my first Euro Delivery. I have been enjoying posts like this one for years on bimmerpost and now I feel it's my turn to do the same This will be my first manual transmission in over 10 years so it definitely took some getting used to again! But after ~1400 miles I can honestly say it was the right choice, the 235 just shines with the manual. No regrets whatsoever.

On the trip I had 4 friends who came along for the journey. They rented a 220d Touring which was a great. The pictures below are a mixture of my own and theirs.

Itinerary
Day 1 - Flying
Day 2 - Zurich
Day 3 - Train to Munich
Day 4 - BMW Welt: Factory Tour, Museum and Delivery
Day 5 - Drive Day: Munich -> Neuschwanstein Castle -> Stelvio Pass -> Varenna, Italy on Lake Como
Day 6 - Rest Day: Lake Como
Day 7 - Drive Day: Varenna -> Cologne, Germany
Day 8 - Rest Day: Nürburgring
Day 9 - Back to Zurich to Drop off the car.

Stelvio Pass Video


Day 1
British Airways: DFW to London to Zurich. I used 120,000 AAdvantage Miles + $1,000 (airport fees ) to fly First Class on BA which was an outstanding experience of overkill luxury If you have the miles it's an incredible First Class product which I highly recommend. Due to booking the flight only a couple months from departure I didn't have very many options so Zurich worked best for the arrival city but in hindsight wasted too much time and would definitely book further out next time to get straight to Munich.

My first time on a 747 and in the nose no less.







Day 2: Zurich, Switzerland
After landing in Zurich we had about 4 hours to kill before night time and much needed sleep. Had I known the train from Zurich to Munich was actually in the Zurich airport I would have planned it better to go straight to Munich after arriving. But Zurich was really pretty and it was nice to walk around after 12 hours of planes and airports.





Day 3: Munich
We took a DB Bahn train first thing in the morning to Munich where we were joining up with 3 more friends who flew into Frankfurt the day before and rented a 220d Touring. The trains were great, makes it really easy to fly into almost anywhere near Munich if you can't get a flight all the way.

On the train:


Exploring Munich:













Day 4: Welt and Delivery
If you can't tell by the pictures below I was like a giddy schoolgirl . We started by checking in and exploring the Welt and all the cars on display. The new M3/4 display was really awesome. From there we had a 2 hour plant tour which I highly recommend doing at least once. It was really cool to see how they are made.















After the tour we all went back upstairs to the lounge to have some lunch and wait for my scheduled delivery time. As soon as we got to the lounge I could see my car waiting for me downstairs!





When you get halfway down they hit the lights for the dramatic reveal






The "official" picture they took and touched up:










As the representative was going over the features they pulled up someone's Austin Yellow M4 which sounded amazing. I asked if I could switch and they said no lol, but it made for a nice photo op!







Ok, back to what I have been lusting after for months...






Time for the "victory lap"...




After dropping the car off with the valet out front we went over to the BMW Museum. They had the M3 and M4 test mules at the entrance.










Looking back at the Welt from the museum:


Back at the vacation rental I snapped a few more pics of her. I must say that the Estoril Blue with the Terra leather is really an awesome combo. The leather is a nice dark brown with no hint of orange in it.







Day 5: Munich to Varenna, Italy
Finally to the driving! I must say driving in Germany was extremely pleasant, never have I experienced everyone (or the extreme majority at least) driving like they should. Trucks in the right lane, no passing on the right, people moving over for faster traffic. It was driving bliss!!



Not 1 hour into the drive and our first supercar sighting:







Quick stop on our way to Neuschwanstein Castle for some pictures:







After a few more minutes driving we were at the castle. If you plan on doing this you really must book a tour in advance. By the time we got there the next available time was 2:30pm so we had to skip the tour and just got to walk up to it and see the outside and courtyard.






So. Many. People. They aren't kidding when they say it's one of the most visited site in Europe.







Me photobombing:




Back on the road again and into Austria on our way to Stelvio Pass. Really couldn't have asked for a better day, stunning weather.





















Passo Stelvio
Finally made it to Passo Stelvio after one wrong turn we were back on track and charging up the pass. There was almost no traffic on the pass aside from a few motorcycles and bicyclists with a death wish

We had 3 GoPro cameras running and I have a video coming soon of our drive up. I really can't express how gorgeous the views are on the pass.









At the summit...


































Most of the tunnels on the way down make sharp right turns in the middle of them and are barely wide enough for 2 cars. As we entered one there was a car coming toward us. He decided to back out since he was closest to the entrance. The poor guy backed up right into the side of the tunnel and blew his tire and effed up the bumper of his car in the process. And thanks to our GoPros we have it from 3 different angles. We were going to stop and help but he wouldn't even look at us, probably embarrassed as anyone would be. Anyway, here's the pictures and video of the incident.

















Day 6: Varenna, Italy
I highly recommend Varenna, it was an extremely laid back and relaxed city. Very relaxing place to stay and just chill. We used AirBnB to get a great vacation rental for a fraction of what the local hotels wanted.






Taking the ferry across to Bellagio.
















Dinner at a great little place in Varenna.



It was July 4 and to our surprise they had a very impressive fireworks display. Pretty sure it wasn't anything for Independence Day but we enjoyed it as such



Day 7: Varenna to Cologne, Germany

The next day the sun was back out and the weather was again perfect for another full day of driving. We were headed to Cologne, Germany to base ourselves for hitting Nurburgring the next day.



Waiting for the Ferry to take us across the lake to Mennagio from which we could easily head into Germany through Switzerland via the San Bernadino Pass. The ferry was very reasonable ~12 euros and saved about an hour of driving around the lake.




I'm on a boat! In a car! On a lake!












Back on the road into Switzerland.



Swiss Border:





San Bernadino Pass! We didn't do the full pass because we had 6 hours of driving ahead of us to get to Cologne. But what we did do was gorgeous. Next time I'd definitely want to do the full pass. We were also trying to make it to the Porsche Museum before they closed but we didn't make it.













San Bernadino Pass Summit:










Headed back down:




Terrifying my passenger









Back on the Autobahn and headed north to Cologne. Hitting 140mph for a short bit. Only for a few minutes as she wasn't broken in yet but I couldn't resist





Day 8: Nurburgring






Ring taxi!








My friends rented a GTI to drive the track:



I opted not to drive the track for a few reasons. This is my first manual in over 10 years so I wasn't feeling confident enough yet to risk it on the ring. It was also looking like it was about to rain which it did shortly after my friends did their lap in the GTI.

Day 9: Back to Zurich

Very sad dropping her off at the Zurich shipping point Can't wait to get her back in the US for more fun at PCD



Day 10: Back to Zurich

Here's a few more pictures of the British Airways First Class experience at Heathrow.

Fully stocked, self service bar at the First Class Lounge:


Champagne Bar:


Back on the plane, a 777 this time which actually had even more room in the seats:




Perfect ending to an awesome trip. I definitely learned a lot and my next trip will be planned differently for sure. Next time I'll want to get to Munich as fast as possible and do the delivery sooner. A lot of precious driving time was eaten up by not getting to Munich the next day after arrival!

I highly recommend using sites like AirBnB for vacation rentals. We saved so much money doing this. Hotels can be very expensive and staying in a rental property you really feel like you are actually part of the community.

Anyway, that's all I have for now! I hope you enjoyed the pictures!
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2014 M235i | July 2nd Euro Delivery | Manual | Estoril Blue / Terra | Tech, Premium, HK Audio, & Driver Assist | M Performance Exhaust, Stainless Steel Pedals, Black Kidney Grilles

Euro Delivery Trip Report

Last edited by webdither; 07-12-2014 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Added background
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      07-10-2014, 06:17 PM   #2
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Is that a two way shared tunnel or was that a car going the wrong way?
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      07-10-2014, 06:33 PM   #3
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Two way, shared tunnel... believe it or not lol
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Euro Delivery Trip Report
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      07-10-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
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Aaaand updated with all the pics from the trip!
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      07-10-2014, 07:16 PM   #5
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holly cow that is a lot of pictures.. thanks for sharing!!
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      07-10-2014, 08:08 PM   #6
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2014 M235i  [0.00]
Honorable mention to the 2014 320d Touring 6MT Support Vehicle
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      07-10-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poweredbydevin
Honorable mention to the 2014 320d Touring 6MT Support Vehicle
Yes! My friends rented her for the trip. It was a great support vehicle!
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      07-11-2014, 12:26 AM   #8
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Incredibly jealous! The pics (and the car) are just gorgeous. I was already convinced I wanted to do ED for a M2 in summer 2017 but your post almost makes me want to book it now Thanks a lot for taking the time to post all those pictures and suggestions.
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      07-11-2014, 08:56 AM   #9
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Awesome!!!! Great pics.
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      07-11-2014, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patbrass View Post
Incredibly jealous! The pics (and the car) are just gorgeous. I was already convinced I wanted to do ED for a M2 in summer 2017 but your post almost makes me want to book it now Thanks a lot for taking the time to post all those pictures and suggestions.
I am pretty sure my next car will be an M2 as well. I will definitely be looking to do another ED in 2-3 years for both the money savings and the experience. I'll probably try to do mid-to-late June next time as it was starting to get a bit crowded at most of the tourist spots in July.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristalov View Post
Awesome!!!! Great pics.
Thanks! It was a blast
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      07-11-2014, 11:52 AM   #11
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Perfect ending to an awesome trip. I definitely learned a lot and my next trip will be planned differently for sure. Next time I'll want to get to Munich as fast as possible and do the delivery sooner. A lot of precious driving time was eaten up by not getting to Munich the next day after arrival!

I highly recommend using sites like AirBnB for vacation rentals. We saved so much money doing this. Hotels can be very expensive and staying in a rental property you really feel like you are actually part of the community.

Anyway, that's all I have for now! I hope you enjoyed the pictures![/quote]

AWESOME PICS and car, ENJOY IT even, more when it arrives lol.
You should of drifted around those corners, totally playing
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      07-11-2014, 12:46 PM   #12
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BA F is so grossly overpriced because of the hefty fuel charges. The hard product itself is also sub-par to LH, TG, SG, NH, CX etc. That being said, great trip nonetheless!
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      07-11-2014, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lichenlt View Post
BA F is so grossly overpriced because of the hefty fuel charges. The hard product itself is also sub-par to LH, TG, SG, NH, CX etc. That being said, great trip nonetheless!
There is more award availability on BA though, probably because of the taxes.

Anyway, this trip looks amazing. I have 82 days to go before I set off. Seeing these pics just makes me wish I could fast forward... and that I had enough time to head south of Munich to hit up some of its amazing driving roads.
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      07-11-2014, 01:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lichenlt View Post
BA F is so grossly overpriced because of the hefty fuel charges. The hard product itself is also sub-par to LH, TG, SG, NH, CX etc. That being said, great trip nonetheless!
Agree on the fuel surcharges, a bit ridiculous but when:

1. You only have AA Miles
2. Must choose between the OneWorld Partners
3. Strong desire to get a "Mile SAAver" award which is a big discount.

With that there were only two options given to me, AA or BA and from everything I read online BA F is a far superior product to AA F. That being said, next time I'll be more than happy flying business class, it was just one of those bucket list items to fly international first class.
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      07-11-2014, 01:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webdither View Post
Agree on the fuel surcharges, a bit ridiculous but when:

1. You only have AA Miles
2. Must choose between the OneWorld Partners
3. Strong desire to get a "Mile SAAver" award which is a big discount.

With that there were only two options given to me, AA or BA and from everything I read online BA F is a far superior product to AA F. That being said, next time I'll be more than happy flying business class, it was just one of those bucket list items to fly international first class.
I'm flying into Paris on AA metal (their older 777-200 flagship first suites) and I can say for sure the BA product looks nicer in pretty much every way, but I wouldn't pay $1000 for it on top of all those miles. I'm a bit cheap though.

To lichenlt's point, Cathay, Etihad, etc all offer nicer products in terms of accomodations and service for relatively the same number of miles in first class, but you're not flying to Malaysia or Egypt so, you are limited.
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      07-11-2014, 07:36 PM   #16
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Very nice report, and pictures! Thank you for sharing! I am a bit envious that we didn't get to drive all those roads because they look like a lot of fun. I recently did ED for a 235i as well. I'll share my experience if I ever get around to it.
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      07-12-2014, 09:14 AM   #17
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I finally got the Stelvio Pass video converted and uploaded:
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      07-12-2014, 10:47 AM   #18
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Awesome thread, so many good pictures, I was always curious about ED so it's nice to see that well detailed. Also smart move not tracking the car at the Ring. Not taking ED for my 2 but one day hopefully I want to do it with an M5.
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      07-14-2014, 09:20 PM   #19
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I just got back from ED and tracked my car at the 'ring in a downpour. It's a technical track but so long as you respect your own driving level and don't do something silly like try to time your lap, you'll be just fine. I would highly recommend taking your car on the track in the future - it's super-rewarding and was the highlight of my trip!
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      07-15-2014, 03:25 PM   #20
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You went to the similar route I did in 09 with my 135i. For the Ring, you can rent a Instructor and ride with you along for 50 Euros. I took my M235i down there 3 weeks ago and it was awesome. He actually tell you how fast to go, what gear and when you need to slow down. Well worth it. I still haven't have a chance to post my entire album online but will get to it this weekend.
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      07-15-2014, 03:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmo168 View Post
You went to the similar route I did in 09 with my 135i. For the Ring, you can rent a Instructor and ride with you along for 50 Euros. I took my M235i down there 3 weeks ago and it was awesome. He actually tell you how fast to go, what gear and when you need to slow down. Well worth it. I still haven't have a chance to post my entire album online but will get to it this weekend.
That might be a good idea. How many laps and can you have someone in the back seat?
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      07-20-2014, 11:21 PM   #22
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wow, what a great trip!!! Reminds me of the one i had planned but didn't get to a few years back and now the one I am again attempting to plan!
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