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Here are a few pictures from my European vacation this spring.

Me and my girlfriend went in the beginning of April on the ferry from Iceland to Denmark. From there we drove down through Germany and Austria to Italy and stayed for most of the time in Tuscany. We then drove back up to Frankfurt where my girlfriend flew back and I went to the Nurburgring :biggrinbounce:

Here is the trip in words and pictures.

The first fuel stop in the south of Iceland :)


Not quite spring yet in the east of Iceland:


... not at all!!! :shock:


We managed though to get all the way to the town of Seydisfjordur where the ferry stops:


Started by changing to the summer wheels/tyres:


The Hamanns now mounted and waiting to get aboard the ferry:


Got all the stuff into the cabin and have strategically positioned myself so I can get the laptop plugged in.....:


Our first stop was in the Faroe Islands and it was kind of chilly:


Rum + coke along with some good movies on the laptop made time go by more quickly..... 8) :


The cars were rather tightly packed on the cardeck:


Here we are in Denmark and visited Legoland which was a nice surprise!! :


Amazing detail:


Here I have my new rear tyres mounted in Hamburg and have cleaned the car up a bit - ready for Autobahn:


Here is the hotel we stayed at in Dinkelsbuhl in the south of Germany, second house from the left - brilliant hotel:


The streets of Dinkelsbuhl:


Here we are driving down to Fussen - starting to see SNOW!!!!


Not getting any better....:


Houston, we have a problem!!! :eek:oohhh: :eek:oohhh: These were the conditions around Fussen.


Here we decided to change plans, turned around and went to the east and then down to Austria. Here we are coming down on the Austrian side, rather steep and "Emergency roads" to save you if your brakes fail:


If they do you can steer the car up the slope and hope for the best:


Here we are coming down the Alps on the Italian side:


Here we are down on the plains - just been through snow and blizzards!!!


The next day we went to Siena. Here I have parked the car in a good spot, in the shadow and noone can give me doordings ;)


The main square in Siena:


Another one from the square:


Inside the Duomo in Siena - marble everywhere:
Notice the heads that are above the pillars/arches.
(a bit tricky to photograph since one cannot use flash)


Here is a closeup of the heads, these are the popes....:


This church is amazing, the detail is breathtaking:


Then on our way back we drove through the Chianti wine district and its small towns:


Here we are in Castellini that is a small town that used to be a fort with constant fighting going on. The building above the car way back is a part of the old fort wall:


My girlfriend looking out of one the holes on the fort wall:


This car was in the parking lot - always liked those:


And they also had this modded one:



Here is a small video where I was having fun in one of the tunnels in Italy :)
http://www.rngtoy.com/thordur/m5/eurotrip/tunnel.wmv


More to follow.
 

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Great write-up and pictures :M5thumbs:, its amazing how the weather and scenery change so much in so few miles but always breathtaking. lovelove

Loving the sound of those unmistakable Tubi's. :biggrinbounce:

Thanks for sharing.

C.
 

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Nice report - thanks for sharing! :byebye:
 

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Great pics Thor, Looked like a great time :cheers:
 

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Here are some more pics:

The village of San Gimignano - the Manhattan of the past. Once there were some 70 towers but only a few are still standing:


The streets of San Gimignano:


Looking at the highest tower:


Looking back down after walking up all the steps to the top:


Not a bad view over the countryside:


Tourists and the bell:


Those streets in the old village are rather tight:


Here I´m setting up my stickypod for some driving along Tuscany roads :)



Here is a clip from this drive: http://www.rngtoy.com/thordur/m5/eurotrip/Toskana_sveitavegur.wmv

Here is a nice road close to the town where our hotel was (Montelupo):


The tower in Pisa - I can confirm it leans alot!!!


We wanted to go to the top but you need to book with at leas a days advance :(


Here we are in another city close to Pisa that is called Lucca and this is one of it´s churches. Very interesting that no two pillars are the same - each is done by a different artist:



Here we are in Florens on Easter day. Walked into big festivities in a plaza in the center of town. Everyone was waiting for something so we just waited along....:


This small "tower" on the plaza turned out to be a mean machine and now a great fireworks display started. The plaza was enclosed by walls on each side so the nose was magnfied by bouncing off the walls:





In the end it closed by the flags at the top popping out with a bang:


But after seeing the guy climb up ontop of the tower you could see that it was not small at all:


In this innocent looking icecream store they say you find Italy´s best icecream:


We of course tried the icecream and we think they are right:


Here we are at an art museum in the center of Florence where they keep old items, mostly Italian but also items from other countries. You are not allowed to take photos but we just took them when the staff was not watching (and others did the same):










Many talented street artists:


Gorgeous sculptures everywhere:




These hats the police officers are wearing are rather funny looking:


Not a bad looking car outside our hotel when we came back:



Here we were on our way to La Spezia and we stopped in Carrara. At first it looked like there was snow in the mountains but when we got closer we could see it was marble:


We went to the mines up in the mountains:


There you can purchase all things made of marble:


We almost ran out of gas in the mountains so I just coasted down again and directly to a gas station:


And since there was a wash station also the Beast got cleaned:


In the back you can see some marble:


You are not going to pick one of those up!!


Here is La Spezia - stayed there for one night. Not my favorite since I got 60+ insect bites :(



Just west of La Spezia there are some costal villages that sit just above the sea and are very difficult to get to - for a long time you could only reach them by sea:


Steep and the roads are narrow:


A fully armed tourist - needed to walk the last part to the village that we visited:


However it was well worth the walk. We could have been luckier with the weather for photographing:
 

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Lovely trip, which displays the diversity of Europe with the weather and the different cultures. Nice and keep them coming, I have a feeling there is lots of material still left :biggrinbounce:
 

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Very Nice trip and pix.... It is nice to give The Beast a vacation once and a while.

:cheers: :M5rev: :cheers: :M5rev: :cheers:
 

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Great report. I really enjoyed the pics. Well done. :thumbsup:
 

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Glad that you guys like the pics :)

After our stay in Tuscany and La Spezia we headed back north and drove to Frankfurt. On the way I had a nice race against an AMG SL55 at speeds of 200+ km/h on the way into the Alps on the Italian side. He was faster but not by much. Here is a pic of the car:



We stayed for a night in Bolzano which is an interesting city in the north of Italy. It is bilingual, everything is both in Italian and German but the town feels much more German than Italian :)

Here is a video from the drive to Frankfurt. The weather was great, dry hot roads and not too much traffic. So I decided to have some fun - went to 300 km/h at the end after passing the 7 series:

http://www.rngtoy.com/thordur/m5/eurotrip/Autobahn_und_Queen.wmv

The guy in the 7 series did try a few times to catch up with me but I would not let him :) And also, the look on the face of the guy in the Maserati when I passed him was priceless:1:

After staying in Frankfurt for a couple of nights I drove my girlfriend to the Frankfurt Hahn airport where she flew home to Iceland. I however drove to Nurburgring which is an hours drive from the airport. As I got closer to the Ring the ratio of nice cars vs. normal ones got higher.

I got to the ring at evening and met up with 3 Icelandic guys at the Altes Forsthaus hotel (www.ringhaus.com). The hotel is great - it used to be Mercedes Benz headquarters on the Nurburgring and has built in garages. The hotel is run by racers (www.mungo-racing.de) and they have cars you can rent. The hotel is very well situated, only 400 meters (quarter mile) from the main entrance to the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

If you are going to the Nurburgring this is THE HOTEL to stay at - no question.

Anyways, the morning after - this was the view from my hotel room - the Nordschleife is back there in the morning fog:


Here is a pic of the hotel - you can see that boardmember Fart has showed up in his E60 M5:


We went down to the track as soon as it opened.
From left to right in front of the two M5's - Sveinn (Fart), Ingvar, Bjarki and me:


The parking lot filled up quickly as the weather was good and it was a Sunday open for public driving (Touristfahren).



I went for a few laps in my car in the morning - here is a pic from one photographer:


And one from another:


Driving on this track is unbelievable!! It´s long, 22km/13.8miles, with so many bends and it´s difficult to learn. I had alot of fun but you get physically tired just after 1 - 2 laps and then it´s a good time to take a break.
I had DSC on as this was my first time on a track :)

Here is a short video clip that shows me as well as Fart in his E60 M5:

http://www.rngtoy.com/thordur/m5/eurotrip/ONNO_Nurburgring.wmv

As you can see there are all kinds of vehicles on the ring!

By this time we took a break from driving and took a tour of the parking lot which had alot of interesting things to look at. We also went to some of the places where you can look at the cars driving on the ring:

Ingvar really liked this one:


The cops had a display to show what can happen at high speed:



This Porsche was really nice! They had 2 of those in the black/yellow stripes. They were driven by a father/daughter team. The older car was for sale at 90.000 euros:


The Ringtaxi building:


The ringtaxi in action:



A nice Italian:


One of the bees:



Some more pics of the ringtaxi and the ringtaxi building:




An E30 and an E36 trying to hunt a Viper:


The owner of this car was staying at our hotel. He used this Touareq to tow his Z4 track car which he had used on a 3 day training course on the Ring. Unfortunately the Z4 broke down but instead of just going home he decided to have fun in the Touareq on the Ring. We got to ride with him and to see the reaction of the crowd when this dirty heavy car came through the bends with tire squeeling was hilarious!!!


A nice looking Boxter:


Ingvar really likes Porsches so he was mesmerized by the bees:


A mean looking M3:


This E34 drove hard on the track:



Just look at the size of that spoiler!!!


Here is the daughter driving:


The other guys had a reserved spot on the Ringtaxi and were hoping to drive with the legendary Sabine. They asked me to come over to take pictures of them going into the ringtaxi. Here we are waiting for the driver:


While we were waiting Ingvar was speaking to the people going in the next taxi and discovered that there was a free seat. After a quick negotiation i got a seat for 50 euros :)

Unfortunately the guys did not get Sabine as their driver - here is their driver (I´m signing autographs in the back :) ). They were really disappointed about not getting Sabine:


Ok, ok, they weren´t autographs - I was just signing some legalese about me giving up all my rights during the ringtaxiride.

Now, when my ringtaxi showed up just guess who was my driver??? Of course Sabine!! :)


The ride in the ringtaxi was unbelievable, Sabine drove very fast and did some crazy powerslides for our pleaseure and for the spectators. If you go to the ring I highly recommend the ringtaxi!!!

Now, back to my friends. One of them, Bjarki, had been feeling sick the day before and in the morning. They told me that during their ride Bjarki had been sitting in the front and started telling the driver that he was feeling car sick. The driver ignored it and kept on driving hard. Bjarki warned him a couple of times more before proceeding to throw up in the ringtaxi with some of the puke landing on the driver. He was not happy at all.

Here is a pic of the cleanup effort :) The BMW staff seemed used to this:


Here is a clip of Fart reenacting the ride and showing the parking lot:

http://www.rngtoy.com/thordur/m5/eurotrip/Bjarki/Nurburgring_sprell_og_stemmning.wmv

We took a lunchbreak and Bjarki went back to the hotel to rest.

After lunch I went back onto the track and by then the grip had improved alot. I started driving harder was having alot of fun and coming out of Karoussel when I started feeling some vibration from the driveline and heard a nasty sound. Not good.

Limped back to the exit and went to the hotel. Had one of the mechanics at the hotel check it out but he could not find out where the noise and vibration was coming from.

Ouch - stranded on the Ring with a broken M5.

More coming later.
 

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blue thunder,

wow..thanks for sharing and posting!. it's wonderful to see so many diff plaxces in europe for those of us stuck here in the us.

i have to say i love the little fiat. THAT was my favorite. i've never seen the sticky pod. that was cool.

best part was u got sabine doing the honors inthe ringtaxi. and vids of THAT :)?

jack
 
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