New car with cool rims and no need to shift gears . Driving through Munich and cloisters with Bockbiers: These are a few of my favorite things

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April 25th 2018
Published: June 1st 2018
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Arriving at Olympia Zentrum againArriving at Olympia Zentrum againArriving at Olympia Zentrum again

Perfect weather for what we hoped would become a perfect day for us. We had already checked-out of the LetoMotel earlier, but they were nice enough to let us keep our suitcases in a storage room. We would swing by and pick them up after delivery of our new vehicle. A short 5 minute ride on the U-Bahn and we were back at BMW..
Christmas has arrived early this year. As the doors were being unlocked, we were back at the Welt again for delivery day. Our scheduled pick-up time may have been at 0940, but we were there at 0759. This never gets old.

First order of business was doing the paperwork in the newly renovated offices next to the Lounge. And there was quite a bit to be done. I wonder if anyone actually reads through all the documentation you're given. Everything was in order and we were given passes to the BMW museum, a voucher for a free engraved key chain and a ten Euro credit at the BMW gift shop. We were also offered passes for the Munich BMW factory tour but we declined. I told our clerk that we had already arranged to visit the Regensburg facility where the X1s are built; She reached in her desk and pulled out two tickets for that tour instead. I had already paid in advance for that Regensburg tour, but this still seemed a nice gesture.

From there we walked over to the Lounge to grab some breakfast before the delivery process began. No need to mention what both of us
Sorry chumpsSorry chumpsSorry chumps

While you're off to work again at BMW Munich, I am here to pay your salaries. You can thank us tonight when you're drinking those beers you earned from my BMW purchase.
grabbed. I swear the Weisswurst at the Welt is every bit as good as that one gets in the Viktualienmarkt. .Please don't advise me of any health risks because I am addicted. I also took the opportunity to grab the first soft-boiled egg of the journey. From here on out I had one almost every day of the trip. The Germans cook them to perfection.

I eagerly anticipated the moment when my new car would make its appearance coming up the elevator tand on to the delivery floor. The minute I bent my head to look at an email on my phone, the car must've come up because the next time I looked down to the area below us, there was my black X1 flying around the elliptical track. Sebastian Vettel's younger brother must've been at the helm as it power-slid to my right and then parked out of view. I got a glimpse of the red Munich license plate so I knew it was mine. Everyone else in the Lounge this morning was German as evidenced by the delivery schedule posted above us.

Shortly thereafter we saw a dapper tall man waiting for us at the end
Back for real this timeBack for real this timeBack for real this time

No sooner did they unlock the front doors of the Welt than we were checking in for our car's delivery.
of the Lounge. Our specialist was Rudi Mueller, aka “the Bavarian”. This guy knew his stuff. He was very proper and professional just like everyone else we had met at the Welt. He took us downstairs to a media room where he demonstrated all the safety features incorporated in our new vehicle. I thought I had read everything possible about our new car purchase, but Rudi pointed out features I had no idea were even possible. The car automatically applies the brakes if someone slows down too fast in front of you. There's a heads up display (HUD) that shows the driver the speed limit, the radio station that's on and navigational directions on the windshield instead of having to look down and take your eyes off the road. What a huge difference between our old 2015 X1 and the 2018 version. While we were being wowed with this presentation our delivery specialist from 2015, Ben, walked by. I'm not sure I could deal with explaining all this technology day after day year after year to bumbling idiots who have no clue how do even program a radio station into their car.

From there we were led
This is a tad bit awkwardThis is a tad bit awkwardThis is a tad bit awkward

Even though we had to first do about 15 minutes worth of paperwork we were still the first people back in the Lounge. The workers had barely set out the goods when we were piling on the Weisswurst, eggs and juices. I believe in getting my money's worth. And that's why I'm devoted to the BMW brand.
halfway down the “Stairway to Heaven” where Rudi paused, took out his Ipad, tapped a couple of items and directed our gaze over to our spotlighted new car as she twirled around on the turntable. I wasn't a big fan of buying a black car (only did it to save a few bucks), but I had to admit that the X1 looked absolutely fabulous sparkling in that light. She would never look that clean again.

Then Rudi took us over to our car to show us the engine and to point out the cameras installed both front and back. Finally he let me sit in the driver's seat while he pointed out the hundreds of buttons and settings available to us. The tech in this car is amazing. I think Rudi spent 45 minutes just walking us through endless possibilities. I'll need a refresher course when the car is redelivered in SC in August. The central display was absolutely amazing. Once the car arrives here in the States it will be able to display local weather, the news, sports scores and recipes for Oso Buco. The GPS is as good, if not better, than my Garmin Nuvi. The voice
Breakfast of ChampionsBreakfast of ChampionsBreakfast of Champions

This beats cereal any time. The first of many many soft-boiled eggs for me.
command will take some time getting used to but it'll make things so much easier when driving. Not wanting to risk accidentally taking my cell phone out of airplane mode and incurring exorbitant foreign data charges, I declined Rudi's offer to sync my phone to the car.

There were a couple of negatives this time around: No photos by BMW personnel at the moment of delivery, no free water or snacks for the road and no free bottle of Sekt on my 3rd ED. Suddenly we were done. I still had a million questions but most of them involve capabilities that will be installed once the car comes to America. Gail and I hopped in the car to do our victory lap and then eased down a ramp to the exit doors. Knowing the program pretty well by now, we pulled up to the Welt's entrance doors and handed our keys to a young lady who parked our car while we returned to the gift shop.

The girls in the gift shop were very kind and allowed us extra lettering on our engraved keychain. They were really patient with us as we
I guess this makes it officialI guess this makes it officialI guess this makes it official

We made the big board this morning. The display no longer shows the name of the dealership where the purchaser ordered his car, but judging from the surnames and not seeing any red coded Munich license plates down on the floor, it appeared we were the only Americans here again today. The "premium" delivery package we were getting costs a German buyer 655 Euro. And we get a full tank of gas too.
tried to determine what we wanted to spend our 10 Euro credit on. When you're looking at $75 shirts and $125 jackets it didn't seem like this credit meant a whole lot. Meanwhile, all around us obnoxious tourists were tearing the place apart. Maybe they only had a 15 minute stop at the Welt, but they shopped like there was no tomorrow. They were pulling out hats, water bottles, coffee mugs and clothing off the shelves only to abandon them elsewhere in the store when they spotted something they liked better. Compared to them these two old coots seemed like discerning shoppers. At the cash registers we found the cheap stuff. We purchased a mousepad ,a MINI sign and a BMW parking sign for my mancave. The girl that engraved my key chain was 1000% nicer than the girl doing it in 2015.

Leaving the Welt I decided to ignore Rudi's advice of just driving south to Oberammergau. I wanted to head west toward Landsberg am Lech and follow the Romantische Strasse to head south. I thought I was smarter than my GPS and decided to drive to the central train station (Hauptbahnhof) then head west on Landsbergerstrasse. I
Das BuchDas BuchDas Buch

This is the sign in book left at the Welt by my buddies at the Bimmerfest website. The number of North Americans logging in their European Deliveries is dwindling.
didn't count on all the congestion due to a Champions League game that night as well as plenty of construction. A million stoplights and a half dozen detours later I ended up south of Landsberg out in the boonies. But when I saw a sign indicating that Andechs was just a short distance away I decided to head for Beerlovers Nirvana. It was an absolutely glorious bright sunny day as we drove past acres upon acres of pastureland and fields of budding flowers and newly sprouting vegetables.

Recognized by many beer experts as the home of the best beer in the world I felt it was time for me to finally give it a try. I had read that it was a long nasty walk up a steep hill to reach the monastery where the beer was served but I had absolutely no problem with it and I'm as out of shape as a guy can be. The Marzenweizen beer was featured with a half liter glass cheaper than a 16 ounce Coke. Absolutely delightful beer which barely caused a buzz.

After chomping on a pretzel to absorb some of the alcohol we continued walking up a few
I just missed itI just missed itI just missed it

Seconds before my car had come up from below on one of these two elevators. By the time I got my camera up to take a picture, someone had zoomed off with it just to the right of this shot.
more steps to the monastery chapel and spent some time admiring the beauty of the old church. Of course traveling with the wife meant some time in the gift shop so that I was completely sober when it was time to continue driving. I bought myself a handful of souvenirs that I completely forgot about until we returned home and I unpacked my suitcase.

Now I started to take advantage of the BMW's nav system and was thoroughly impressed. Our hotel was listed in our search parameters so no need to enter an address. Our route took us along the Ammersee, a huge alpine lake created by glacial waters from the Alps, We made a brief stop to look out at the lake nd to watch some grade school kids at soccer practice. Amazingly there were no soccer moms or dads standing around "advising" the coach. Most of the kids just rode up to practice by themselves on their bikes. Just like we did back in our little league days in the 1960s.

We arrived in Oberammergau before dark and found the town virtually deserted. No problem parking. The Hotel Wittelsbach is right in the center of town.
There she isThere she isThere she is

All sparkly and clean. Too bad it's black.
It's a beautiful old hotel with spacious rooms. After check-in we walked down the main street looking for our favorite spot from previous European Deliveries, but the Gasthof Stern appeared closed. No Hasenbräu for us. We “settled” for our second favorite restaurant, the Alte Post just across from our hotel . Gail went back to drinking her Weisbier and I ordered a lager. Forgetting just how generous the portions were at this place I could barely finish my Jägerschnitzel and Spätzle. The side sald alone was enough for a meal. I don't know what they call the German dressing they put on their salads but it is delicious. Everything so fresh and healthy. I felt like I was eating from one of those fields we had passed earlier in the day.

Unlike previous visits we heard no US military guys from the NATO School carrying on at the other tables. In fact, there weren't even any signs in town pointing the way to the complex. Not sure if that's for security reasons or if it's closing down soon. It felt like we had the whole town to ourselves.

Additional photos below
Photos: 51, Displayed: 29


The happy new parentsThe happy new parents
The happy new parents

It doesn't take much to amuse us.
Our X1 on displayOur X1 on display
Our X1 on display

Rudi led us down the staircase to the delivery floor where our brand new car sat spinning on a turntable. Spotlights made it look like a glimmering jewel. Only more expensive.
Up close and personalUp close and personal
Up close and personal

I mostly care about the comforts of the interior of a car, but I have to admit that I loved the rims on the restyled X1. Far nicer than those tacky Subaru ones. They'll probably a real pin to clean though.
Hopefully the last time I'll have to ever look under the hoodHopefully the last time I'll have to ever look under the hood
Hopefully the last time I'll have to ever look under the hood

I buy BMWs primarily because of their reliability and factory maintenance. I don't expect to have to look here to fix any problems. Except maybe to add windshield wiper solution.
Proud new PapaProud new Papa
Proud new Papa

BMW no longer was doing us the favor of a complimentary photo of the new owners. Thankfully Gail remembered to snap this beauty of me itching to get on the road.
This must be the ulta premium deluxe delivery packageThis must be the ulta premium deluxe delivery package
This must be the ulta premium deluxe delivery package

These German buyers appeared to have someone from the actual production facility on hand to help guide them through orientation with their new car. Either that or their kid likes to dress up in a lab coat.
Next time we come we'll get one of these BMW bikesNext time we come we'll get one of these BMW bikes
Next time we come we'll get one of these BMW bikes

Gail gave me the OK to find a new hog.
A hectic ride through the endless streets of Munich finally pays offA hectic ride through the endless streets of Munich finally pays off
A hectic ride through the endless streets of Munich finally pays off

It took a lot of driving and swearing to reach Andechs monastery but it was worth it. This was our first real chance to see just how deeply into Spring Bavaria already was. Back home our trees were still leafless and the ground was brown.
See a prayer for me Padre.  I'm going up that hillSee a prayer for me Padre.  I'm going up that hill
See a prayer for me Padre. I'm going up that hill

We were warned that it was a hike to get up to the monastery but even this old couch potato barely broke a sweat getting there. We have a steeper driveway.
Pure goldPure gold
Pure gold

In a land of great beers this was truly among the greatest. Such a fresh light beer with no bitter bite from the hops and a smooth finish. Also with quite a kick. The Marzenweizen is only on tap for a short time so we were lucky to be there when we were. Gail probably would've preferred their world famous Dunkelweizen.
Quite a view over the farms below usQuite a view over the farms below us
Quite a view over the farms below us

Halfway through our first round of brews a table opened up at the edge of the outdoor terrace. We moved from the shade into the warm sun where the view got better and the beer became even more refreshing. To take a bit of the alcohol out of my system I got myself a massive pretzel.
Ahhh..the life of a monkAhhh..the life of a monk
Ahhh..the life of a monk

No wonder it was so appealing to secrete oneself in a monastery in the olden days. Spending all day making and drinking this beer would have been incredible. How did they stay awake during all those vigils, matins, vespers and complines?

1st June 2018

We have spent many vacations there. Friends taught at the NATO school. I've climbed the Kofel and cross country skied the King Ludwig's Lauf. I hope you have time to swim at the Wellenbad!

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