Racing Around the Nurburgring
Trip Start Oct 09, 2012
11Trip End Oct 26, 2012
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This did not work out so well.. Yes, you can find waffles in the fancy road-side stops and restaurants along the Autoroutes, but these particular waffles are like twinkies in American convenience stores; wrapped in cellophane and who knows how long they've been there. We bought 'em anyways, just to say we did. You know...drink champagne in Champagne, eat waffles in Belgium. Nevertheless, this quest turned out far less romantic and the illusive Belgium waffle still remains.
Don't feel sorry for Dawn, people, she has had her fair-share of delectable sweets here, including a to-die-for chocolate eclair in Luxembourg City.
We stop at The Nurburgring: The motor-sport complex set in the old town of Nurburg, outside of Frankfurt, was our last important stop here in Europe..and we purposely scheduled it to be so, as the car has over 1,700 miles, and the car is "broken-in". Now, we can see what this fine German touring automobile can really do.
A little background on the Nurburgring, for those non-car enthusiasts: It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer older, infamous "Northern loop" track (called the Nordschleife) which was built in the 1920s. This old track is nicknamed "The Green Hell" and is considered as one of the most demanding and difficult racing circuits in the world. The Nordschleife is a grueling 14.173 miles long.
The racetrack hosts only a few touring races, but is also open for testing cars, and for public access to tour about in your own car. So, we both took a few turns behind the wheel and tried to keep up with the locals (who have season passes to the Ring). This track at any speed is a beautiful one; the surrounding subtle, green, rolling hills, the changing leaves from red and orange lining the winding, sloping track.... with the growl of the engine, the tense grip on the steering wheel, the adrenaline rushing through your body..
John had a real GO at the track first, completing it at 12 minutes, 18 seconds (the record is 6:48).
This time included a run-off at the Metzgesfeld curve; a blind corner on an incline, that we never saw coming. No worries... the car is fine, but the passenger (who caught this all on video) was a bit rattled and the driver's ego a bit bruised. But, on a track that is over 14 miles long, there is still lots of opportunity to get back up to speed, do some great cornering and enjoy this awesome and crazy experience!
Dawn took to the track a bit slower, letting the "local" BMW Ms, Mercedes and Audi's fly past her, and then stepping on the gas to try to keep up. She likes to drive her little coupe fast- so this was a fabulous opportunity to say "I drove the Nurburgring!" We didn't get a lap time, as John was too busy holding on to the "Oh Sh*&t" handle. :)
As the afternoon carried on in Nurburg, the clouds rolled in and onto the track, and they closed the circuit early.... fine by us: it takes a lot out of you to drive so intensely at higher rates of speed, and this was a great excuse to catch our breath. This experience was intimidating, invigorating and incredible....And another Bucket-List item is marked off the list!
Or last stop and place of Departure is Frankfurt. "It feesl like winter already," our hotel rececptionist says to us, as the cool drizzle cleans our dusty car
It is here that we unload all the baggage and will stuff all of our goodies (and some dirty laundry) in the nooks and crannies of our suitcases, preparing to fly home. We'll drop the car off with the transport company here with well-over 1,880 delightful, European miles on it, and anticipate it's arrival back in Colorado in 6-8 weeks.
We're exhausted, relieved, content, a few pounds heavier, and are very happy travelers. We look forward to seeing our family and friends soon.