Food, drink and cars.
Tasty looking Porsche that...
Day 19) We've been expecting you...
Whilst Blofeld may have been expecting 007, you’re all expecting more car related stuff, so I’ll make this quick. My reason for stopping in Sölden - 007 Elements. A unique museum/cinematic experience dedicated to the 007 universe, specifically Spectre. This part of Austria was the backdrop for the chase where Daniel Craig pits a plane against a Range Rover Sport SVR and two steroid pumping Defender 110’s. (Fun fact: the camera chase car was an ML63.) The entire complex sits at the top of the hard to spell Gaislachkogl mountain at an altitude of 3,048 metres. (10,000 feet) At the top there’s also a gourmet restaurant (Ice Q) that doubled as the clinic where Bond meets Dr Swann.
Ice Q (no summer because its August)
I’ll leave it to the photos below for you to salivate at, but it is definitely worth visiting. The museum sits inside the peak of the mountain. Each of the rooms explores a fundamental element of the films - from music to characters, to glamorous locations, gadgets, and of course, action sequences. Lunch at the Ice Q restaurant was not to be missed, mainly because of the view but the food was excellent too. Ice Q may also have the most expensive “house” wine in the world – Pinot 3000. The clues in the name, the unique blend of Italian, German and Austrian grapes matured in oak barrels at the top of mountain. I invested in a bottle for my parents but have banned them from ever opening it.
Day 20) Stuttgart calling = 275 miles.
Just a day of relaxed travel through rural Austria, and across a pass into southern Germany. Then along part of “Romanische Staße” up to Augsburg, stopping at Oberammergau, home of the Passion Play and also many Christmas decorations! To finish, a good blast along the autobahn across to Stuttgart ending in Ludwigsburg, around to the north of Stuttgart.
Day 21) Some porkers and a handful of Mercs = 9 miles (on foot
Finally, the Porsche Museum and the Mercedes-Benz museum! Now, I’ve already written about this visit, and I’m aware you can’t write about the same thing twice, so here’s the link. Both museums are excellent.
Foodwise, the schnitzel at Mercedes is marginally better than Porsche’s Cayenne Currywurst (Yes, really called that! Though in terms of toilet humour/model designation would you be brave enough to eat something with turbo or RS in its name?) Whilst I’m a slight (read massive) Mercedes fan, I’d say that the Porsche museum is more interesting and approachable. Whilst it is smaller it didn’t suffer from the plague that is the audio tour group. In some places it was impossible to see a car in the Mercedes museum due to the number of people. In the Porsche museum the majority of the cars are just parked on the floor, no cordoning or anything! You can peer through the window, or lean over and gawp at some of the most priceless machinery in the world.
Day 22) To AMG and beyond = 308 miles.
I’ve also written about my trip to AMG before, so here’s the link (Actually my most successful article to date!)
After lunch at Affalterbach in the AMG Private lounge, which sounds very exciting, but as I was the only person in the room, it was actually quite strange! I then jumped back in the car and charged northwards along the autobahns to visit an old school friend living up in Braunschweig.
Day 23 + 24) Food, drink and some cars
A wise German once told me that there are three key things in Germany; eating, drinking and occasionally making cars. After spending a day doing the first two alongside seeing the sights in Braunschweig, it was decided an entire day should be spent on the third. Fortunately, just up the road is the biggest car factory in the world, and the town they built next to it to promote all their cars. I, of course, refer to VW HQ at Wolfsburg and the Autostadt. Guess what, I’ve already written about that visit as well – here’s the link. To sum it up in two points I’d say: 1) you can actually buy the famous VW Currywurst, part no. 199 398 500 A, 2) VW once put the 6L W12 out of a Conti GT in the boot (trunk) of a mk 5 Golf. (It has the rear axle from a Lamborghini Gallardo and the subframe from an Audi R8.)
640bhp in a Golf, yes please.