Saturday, June 2
I will admit that I awoke to some degree of anticipation. It had been a long time since I'd purchased a new vehicle (let's see, all the way back to my 1999 Integra Type-R, in fact), and certainly never with this sort of pomp (for lack of a better word). We had to be at the Welt for 8am, as I was slotted in to a 9am delivery slot and the procedure is that you must present yourself an hour beforehand.
Excellent Hotel Breakfast
Luke and I first partook of the breakfast at the Hotel Leonardo Olympiapark. Once again the hotel didn't disappoint. Breakfast was provided as part of the room, but this wasn't some basic continental breakfast. It was more like a full-on buffet, with all sorts of hot and cold breakfast foods on offer.
Morning walk across Olympiapark
The walk across the Olympiapark was quiet, with only a few early joggers and fitness enthusiasts about. It was a cool, pleasant morning. The Welt, too, was mostly silent, with the rush of the regular tourist crowd most likely yet still sleeping in their beds. We presented ourselves at the designated entry desk shortly before eight and I registered my arrival.
Unlike the busy hustle and bustle of yesterday afternoon, the Welt was virtually deserted this morning. The flood of regular visitors would come in a few hours, to be sure. This was nice, having the place a bit more to ourselves. We re-visited some of the photo vantage points one last time, then headed up the elevators to the special-access floors where the deliveries were processed.
I presented myself at the administrative desk on an upper floor and was soon ushered to an open-air cubicle, not unlike the kind of setup you would see at a car dealership. A friendly BMW representative took the documentation that I had brought with me and we began going through the handoff procedure for the delivery. Forms, rules, insurance, roadside assistance, dropoff instructions, etc.
Everything was going well (albeit perhaps a bit slowly) until we reviewed the insurance. Canadian BMW European Deliveries come with a standard two-week inclusive vehicle insurance coverage. Since I had planned for my trip to be roughly a week to nine days longer than that, I had purchased an extra two weeks of insurance at my vehicle purchase time, way back in the winter in Canada. However, the BMW rep at the desk across from me looked dispassionately at my documents and clearly declared that I only had two weeks of on-road coverage.
Uh, so... this was a problem. Two weeks from this moment, Luke and I would still be up in the Nurburg area, just finishing up our visit to the 'ring. What would happen? "well, you'll have to drop the car off at your designated drop-off point before then", stated the rep. And... that was that.
Except no. No no no. I pulled out my paperwork to show that I had indeed purchased the extra insurance (it was plainly itemized on my bill of sale). Colleagues were called over, calls were made, and a fair bit of time passed before I was told that... I'd have to return the car in two weeks.
This continued on for a short while longer, until perhaps it finally it sunk in that they were going to have to do *something*. Time was moving on, so I signed the insurance documents I had in front of me, while at the same time accepting the contact information of a specialist, and with the agreement that I would be calling/emailing to further pursue a resolution to this problem. Luke and I were on a bit of a schedule in any case, and I certainly didn't want to spent what was supposed to be a super-exciting morning haggling over some paperwork. Parking the insurance issue for the time being, it was time to head down to the delivery floor. Luke had signalled that the M2 was waiting!
Brilliant Long Beach Blue
The M2 came into view as I started down the broad staircase down to the delivery floor. The car, shining in all of its Long Beach Blue glory, was slowly rotating on an inset dias. Approaching from above gave lots of nice oblique overhead views as we descended.
Luke got himself busy taking a bunch of car shots, while I was given a moderately quick tour of the car by Alexendar, my delivery specialist. Luke noted that the car had Michelin Pilot Super Sports mounted, which we were both glad for - they were the best of the possible tires that can come on new M2s.
Towards the end of my time with Alexander, Luke headed over to the viewing area opposite the deliver floor, so he could take some long distance shots of my delivery shoot video of the cool drive-around-and-down-the-ramp moment. I fastened the GoPro to the seat inside the car so we could capture the moment from two angles. Luke momentarily got sidelined by a security official who questioned Luke about filming a "private event". We soon got him to understand that Luke was part of that private event.
And with that, I fired up the car and drove it for the very first time, slowly burbling around the outside of the delivery floor and then down the spiral ramp to the exit doors, hearing the mellifluous sound of the N-55 straight six (also an up-close first for me).
Alright! Was super strange, but exciting, to be finally sitting in the new car, with a full two kilometres on the odometer, ready to go. Next up on our agenda was a visit to my good friends Asmir and Miram. They happened to be vacationing from Canada this very moment, visiting their family in Germany - in a small town called Niederstotzingen - about ninety minutes drive west of Munich.
The owner's manual dictates a break-in period of 2000km during which the following were to be avoided: full throttle, engine speeds above 5500 rpm, and speeds above 170km/hr. We therefore spent much of the drive from Munich to Niederstotzingen on the autobahn, varying speeds within those parameters. In the "unlimited" sections, the car felt completely comfortable and unruffled with a speed of 170 km/hr. Clearly it was comfortable doing far more than that.
We arrived in Niederstotzingen around lunch time. The kids were a bit lively at the Roemer residence (Miriam's side of the family), and we decided on a divide and conquer srategy by taking little Logan (one of their boys) on a nice slow walk to a nearby shawarma-type cafe. We were getting pretty peckish by now anyway, so that worked out well.
After lunch, we drove over to the family's business, which manufactures rifles and pistols for competition shooting. Daniel, Miriam's brother, gave Luke a thorough tour of the facility. Asmir then let us fire a few rounds in the facility's on-premises rifle range.
After the range we spent the rest of the afternoon visiting Legoland Deutscheland, Germany's Lego theme park. Both Asmir's son and Luke are big fans. It really is a pretty neat place, with some pretty amazing outdoor dioramas of famous locations and things, all made of lego. The mini-factory was also pretty cool. And the parts outlet, where you can buy all sorts of lego parts in huge bulk quantities, was a bit dizzying. Millions upon millions of little bitty bits.
Luke in front of Luke's Landspeeder
[notes from June 2]
"Continental" breakfast - Morning walk to the welt - Impressed with Andrew's command of German. Think it appeals to him to deduce language patterns
8:00am: We are at the Welt after an impressive continental breakfast and nice walk across the OlympiaPark. Andrew is in signing paperwork and I am getting the camera gear ready. A momentous day for Mister Lavigne and I'm rather chuffed to be part of it with him.
12:48pm - Meeting Miriam & Asmir's family (in Niederstotzingen) - Shawarma lunch delish - Rifle shooting - LEGOland!!!
Pretty run-down from the hot sun and our busy day, we headed back to Miriam's family's place and there they treated us to an excellent barbeque dinner, complete with some very tasty Czech digestif known as Becherovska
. Many thanks!
Miriam's parents then very, very, very graciously gave us the keys to their vacation flat in the mountains of Switzerland. Luke and I would be able to use the flat as a base of operations of sort for our various forays out into the wonderful roads of the surrounding alps. Did I say I was grateful? yeah, very.
After saying our farewells, we then drove back to Munich for a final night at the Hotel Leonardo. The next day we'd begin our drive south to the mountains!