European Delivery, My Little Odyssey
BMW Welt & Museum
Here we are at the BMW Welt. It’s actually one of the tourist destinations in Munich. The first floor of BMW Welt has all kinds of fun activities and displays. This Z4 looks so fun in this particular shade of yellow.
There was a quick motorcycle stunt show. The guy attracted a small crowd with his stunts on BMW motorbike, riding up and down stairs all over the Welt.
I rode on a ‘virtual’ motorbike and played with a lot of cool stuff, but didn’t try the indoor climbing.
I felt like a kid again. But it was time to do business, so we proceeded up an exclusive elevator for vehicle delivery.
After being greeted by front desk, we were introduced to our assigned officer who explained to us all the details and protocols of the delivery process, as well as tips in driving around Europe. (When you were to drive around 13 different countries, it was a bit of a headache with all the required vignettes/stickers and different speed limits you had to obey.) We were given registration documents and free passes for the BMW museum and factory tour. Then we came to wait in the lounge and helped ourselves with food and drinks. I had another Weisswurst here. Once there, don’t forget to sign the Bimmerfest guestbook here.
There were about 40 cars to be delivered that day. Though we were the only ‘European Delivery’ customers from the US. The rest were local European customers. Another officer took us to another room for a brief introduction of our car. Again, I had a chance to drive our car ‘virtually’ here before the real one arrived.
Seriously, I don’t care about cars at all. Cars are just vehicles that take you from one place to another. But for my better half who’s a car enthusiast, he must have felt like a father who had long awaited the birth of his child. When you order a new BMW car, you’ll be given a log-in name and a password. You can log in to see the progress and status of your ordered car online. From day one since we ordered the car, he kept checking the status: order processed, engine assembled, body painted, etc. Until the day it was finished. He called that day, our car’s ‘birthday’. Lol.
Finally the moment of truth… Our newly born 535i XDrive in Imperial Blue with contrasting beige interior. As I said, I don’t care much about cars and their performance. The only aspect of cars that interests me is probably the visual appearance and artistic value. (Yes, even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson said cars could be art. Of course, he was talking about the artsy Italian Alfa Romeo, not this robotic German manufacturer.) But, boy, isn’t this a piece of art? The color just triggers me. Pictures don’t do its justice. It looks more beautiful in real life. Much more. We get compliments everywhere we go (both in Europe and in the US). This particular shade of blue was new, launched with the new 5 series, and is beautifully unique. The old shades were Deep Sea Blue and Monaco Blue, which were all fine. But this? There’s something deeply royal and regal about it. As if it’s only reserved for the blue blood. No wonder they named it ‘Imperial Blue’. If the car could speak, her first greeting would have been, ‘How do you do, Your Majesty?’ A commoner like me should feel embarrassed riding this. :P
Since this was to be an export car, we got a special license plate which didn’t have the EU symbol which was pretty neat and unique. (We keep it as a souvenir.) ‘M’ is for Munich. During the whole trip, we only saw two other cars with export plates like this. Another BMW right in front of the Welt and a Porsche Cayenne with an ‘S’ plate in Paris. (‘S’ is for Stuttgart, home for both Mercedes and Porsche.)
Brand new baby with her very first mile…
Then we joined the factory tour. Most things are done by robots now. Watching the robots assemble the cars is interesting. Reminds me of one of those sci-fi movies. No camera are allowed inside the plant though.
Now it’s time for BMW Museum! I love the architecture and the design of the museum. Futuristic. Minimalist. Airy.
A photographer’s paradise basically.
The spiral staircase reminds me of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Don’t you think?
However, I prefer classic cars to futuristic ones. Very, very elegant, this one is. I think I have a soft spot for dark blue cars.
A classic BMW motorbike
Now let’s go to a more colorful zone. The 1968 BMW 2002 tii is the grandfather of the 3-series. The better half used to ride this when he was a kid. So he was nostalgic and sentimental about it. He had me take a picture of him in front of this car and made it the wallpaper of my laptop!?! After one year, it IS still the wallpaper on my laptop.
Here comes my favorite BMW model of all time. The 1955, super cute egg-shaped bubble car, Isetta. It is SO adorable. The only door it has is at the front. How cute would it be if I get to drive a car like this to an ice cream parlor or something? Cute, cute, cute. Somehow this car also reminds me of the 80’s Japanese anime ‘Dr. Slump and Arale’. ^^
Oh, I have an idea. If I have this, I will drive to McDonald’s drive-through. It would be hilarious to see the drive-through clerk’s response when I have to open the front door, get out of the bubble car and pickup the food ‘on foot’ because the Isetta windows can’t be opened. (And there isn’t any side door.) It would look pretty much like those funny and awkward scenes from Candid Camera.
This hall is where the coolest cars on earth, driven by the coolest man on earth, are on display.
That’s right. These are actual cars that were driven by 007 himself. His name is Bond, James Bond.
That’s it, folks, for a BMW tour.
Next post will be more serious and depressing. In fact, it was the most depressing place I have visited with over 30,000 people killed on site (reported figure only). It’s only half an hour from Munich, and I recommend everyone to visit. Yes, I mean EVERYONE, regardless of their age, sex, race, nationality and religion. This is not a typical tourist destination. It is Dachau, the first official concentration camp established by the Nazi Party.