Everything went wrong on my first nürburgring trip...and it was awesome
The magic of the ring fixes all
This is an edited version of one of my first blog posts at greenhellguides.com and I wanted to share it here with the Green Hell Guides tribe as I suspect we'll have a few tribe members who aren't familiar with our other web outlets.
My first trip to The Nurburgring came after weeks of research and planning. It also had more maddening inconveniences than any other trip I've taken before or since. However, it was one of my best vacations ever.
Here are the relevant challenges of that trip:
I got some bad information (or completely misunderstood a flight attendant) and was waiting for my bags when connecting in Toronto, though I didn't need to. By the time I got that all sorted out, I had to run for what seemed like miles to catch my plane.
- Well at least I made my flight
When I got to Frankfurt, the BMW 1-series, Mercedes A Class or VW GTI I reserved had morphed into a Kia SUV with less power than some riding mowers.
- Whatever I'm only using it on the road, not the track.
At the hotel, they had no record of my reservation, even though I made it through their website.
- At least they still were able to put me in a room.
When I unpacked, I found that some of my clothes had gotten wet and stained from either rain on the tarmac or something in the cargo hold.
- That's OK, I'll wash it as best I can and hang it to dry. I'm not going to a fashion show here.
I arrive for my taxi lap of The Ring with Sabine Schmitz only to find that she's injured her knee and won't be available.
- I'm not gonna lie, this was extremely disappointing. However, the taxi lap in a Larea GT-1 that was offered instead was thrilling.
The rest of the trip largely went as planned, but there was one parting shot. Leaving the Nurburg area to drive back to Frankfurt, a kind local flagged me down to let me know I had a flat tire. I found air at the gas station in Adenau and carefully hit the Autobahn for the drive to the airport. I stopped several times to verify it wasn't flat.
- OK, that was a stressful drive worrying about the tire and making my flight, but I made it.
Jackie Stewart was the first to call The Nürburgring "The Green Hell"
So as you can see, a lot went wrong on that trip. It didn't matter. Why?
I got to drive The Ring. You see, the Nordschleife absolutely lives up to the hype.
Here are a few other observations about how awesome a trip to the region is:
The people are some of the friendliest you'll meet anywhere. I'll give a special shout out here to the guy that literally chased me down the street in Adenau at 5:30 in the morning to tell me I had a tire going flat. Thank you, sir!
There were classic, exotic and simply cool cars everywhere.
The countryside, small towns and roads in the surrounding area would make a great trip on their own.
The Porsche and Mercedes museums were amazing and are an easy day trip from The Ring.
If you love cars and/or racing, I am of the opinion that you cannot have a bad time at The Nurburgring.