2017 Germany trip with IAA

A dream trip is coming to an end

One last night in Dresden. We walked across the Elbe river to the finance ministry and sat on the steps, looking over the city by night. It was a mild late summer evening in great company. 

Then it was time for a last Oktober fest beer at the Augustiner Keller. 

At 430am the alarm rang and it was time to get up and drive back to Düsseldorf. 6 hours later, all checked in, we boarded air Berlin to fly back to San Francisco. 

Traditionally, the flight is a transition time – on the one hand saddened by the end of a trip and on the other the return home to Stella and oscar. 12 hours, 2 cocktails and movies are about the right ingredients for this aspect of the trip. 

A stunning view of the city by the bay is a nice plus. 

Thanks for following our adventures. It will be a while before I blog again. 

2017 Germany trip with IAA

Dresden the gem of the former east Germany 

After a reinvigorating drive on the smooth and efficient German autobahn at some amazing speeds, we arrived in Dresden. 

We spent a relaxing night with a mini keg of smoked beer from Bamberg, complete with cold cuts and cheese. 

Thanks his morning, we gathered early for a discovery walk of the famous Semper Oper and the Zwinger, a baroque outdoor celebration park. A lovely steamboat ride on the Elbe river allowed us to relax a bit and enjoy the region. 

Back on land, we continued a walking tour through the opera building and then through town. The city has seen massive destruction from WWII and while the former GDR began restaurations to rebuild, it took the reunification to give Dresden its former glory back. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this city with its many public gardens and squares and I cannot wait to come back in two years and visit it’s museums. There are several gems not to be missed.  More on that on a later post. 

2017 Germany trip with IAA

Model train day at Maerklin

After a great night with Evi und Michael with reinforcement from my cousin Markus and his partner Wolfgang, we went to the city of f Goeppingen where Maerklin has been making model trains for over 100 years.  It so happened to be open door day where visitors can tour the factory. 

We saw them make the famous locomotive E103 From the German railway DB. I had gotten one from my grandmother over 40 years ago in scale HO. Watching the fabrication was a dream come through. 

Even better, I was able to buy my very own in scale N on sale. I am a happy camper. 

Danke Oma. 

2017 Germany trip with IAA

IAA – the best car show on the planet

With anticipation of a little Kidd, we woke up early on Thursday and made our way to the international automobile ausstellung in Frankfurt. This bi-annual trade show features massive exhibition halls filled with world & Europe premiers from every major manufacturer. 

Highlights this go-around were the new BMW M5, a trio of concepts (BMW Z4, X7, and 8 series coupe). Mercedes showed off the AMG One concept of a hyper sports car. We spent an entire 10 hours at the fantastic event, sitting in every possible car, checking out every detail tested out seats and equipment. 

At the end of the day, it is all about super cars. From the Bugatti Chiron to the Maybach convertible study and everything in-between. 

My fave remains the BMW Z4 which will be on the market by spring 18. One can always dream. 

2017 Germany trip with IAA

Germany for a week

After a few months of silence, the travel bug has returned. Greg and I just arrived at the Duessdorf airport. Originally we were slated to depart from San Francisco on Air Berlin on the 12th in the evening. Alas, their pilots walked out on a sick leave scheme and all their US flights were cancelled. This is where a travel agent comes in handy. 

With a bit of effort, we got confirmed on SAS via Copenhagen. I had not flown them in 20 years. Lovely, Scandinavian experience without frills. Other than water and coffee/tea you pay for beverages and the food was ok at best. It matters more and more to pick the right airline, even on transatlantic flights. 

After landing, we picked up our rental car from Sixt. While I am a loyal Hertz renter ( AAA benefits and service and all) I chose Sixt because of the fleet of vehicles. As you know by mow, we are car geeks and having the “rift” wheels matters. Especially in Germany. 

So here we are – along the north side of the Rhine by Boppard in our BMW 750Li diesel. 

It’s the top of the line version with a quad turbo 3 liter online six pumpingnout 397bhp and 567 lb ft of torque. Insane power. 

The above pictures have all been taken along the “castle route section” of the Rhine which is a 60km stretch of twists and turns and hundreds of castles protected by UNESCO as a world heritage sight. 

I am proud to report that today’s drive completed my bucket list of sightseeing options. I have now driven both sides of the Rhine by car and train as well as cruised up the middle twice. Each mode of transportation has its advantages and all share the amazing views. 

Of corse their feat took 30 years to accomplish and I look forward to return one day by bike and stay in some of the castles. It is that scenic and o so charming. 

This post was written at 5am as I woke up early and could not go back to sleep. Like a little kid, I am anxiously awaiting the opening of the doors for the “world’s best car show” at the I A A in Frankfurt at 9 am. 

Posts will follow…