4/17/09

BMW European Delivery Program Itinerary...

When we decided to buy a BMW we made a vacation out of it!  BMW has a European Delivery Program... buy a BMW and see Europe for free!  After you drive your BMW around Europe they ship your car as a "used" vehicle, thereby avoiding the steep duties usually levied against imported cars.  We picked our car up in Munich and dropped it off in Paris about two weeks later.  We purchased the European navigation disc which was Heaven sent!  Greg and I drove the Romantic Road then came back to Munich a few days later to pick up Greg's parents who joined us for the rest of our European adventure.  We then made our way to Salzburg and Innbruck, Austria.  We parked our car in Innsbuck for a few days and took the train to Venice, Italy (the BMW program doesn't recommend driving your car into Italy).  We then drove to Switzerland and finished in France.  We loved this trip and our itinerary... and driving the legendary autobahn was a thrill! 

GERMANY
The Romantic Road is lined with beautiful medieval towns along with rolling farmland, church steeples and flower boxes.  One of my favorite towns is Rothenburg.
At the end of the Romantic Road is Fussen, home to the Neuschwanstein Castle.  It was built by King Ludwig of Bavaria.  It's interesting King Ludwig didn't allow strangers to visit his castles (he had several) and now it's one of the most visited castles in the world.

DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP


SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg so if your a fan I highly recommend taking the Sound of Music tour.  What could be better then singing "Do-Re-Mi" with a bus full of tourist in Salzburg! :)

The Leopoldskron Palace was used as a backdrop while the family was outside drinking lemonade.  Maria and the children were filmed while boating on Leopoldskron Lake.  The boat ends up capsizing and the family ends up in the lake.  I loved that scene!

Two different homes were used while filming the Von Trapp family villa.  The front of the Frohnburg Castle was used when  Maria arrives for her new job.  The scenes inside the villa were filmed in California.
The famous Von Trapp Gazebo... "Sixteen going on Seventeen"!
The Mirabell Gardens is where Maria and the children dance around the statue of Pegasus, singing "Do-Re-Mi".
The whole crew!
The Mondsee Cathedral is where Maria and the Baron were married.

 The setting of St. Peter's Cemetery was recreated by 20th Century Fox.   All of the scenes of the family hiding behind gravestones was filmed in California.  This is one of the prettiest Cemetery's I've ever seen.  We also walked through the Catacombs and saw really old alters and murals.


St. Peter's Abbey Church

VENICE, ITALY

INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA


Golden Roof

LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Fresh Air, Fondue and Cow Bells... ahhh it's Switzerland!

INTERLAKEN

LAUTERBRUNNEN
Lauterbrunnen is near Interlaken and nestled between two large mountains. Lauterbrunnen has waterfalls and stunning views... I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!   
We took a short cable car ride to Gimmelwald, a quaint pedestrian village that hangs on the edge of a cliff above Lauterbrunnen.  With lot's of trails to choose from it's a great place to explore.


Seriously, I'd be happy to bunk up with these cows if I could wake up to these amazing views!
In Gimmelwald they harvest every inch of the steep hillside.  I couldn't believe how close the trucks got to the edge of the cliff.


Gimmelwald is fairly small it only took us about 15 minutes to tour. To keep developers out the clever farming community reclassified the land as an avalanche zone.

A pee fountain in Gimmelwald (Greg, enjoying the views)!

FRANCE
We spent a few days in the Loire Valley and enjoyed visiting the amazing country side and the even more amazing chateaus!  This is Chateau de la Bourdaisiere.  This is where Joe Millionaire was filmed... if anyone remembers that short lived reality show.

Hunting dogs at Chateau de Cheverny

Chateau de Cheverny


Chateau de Chambord
Blois
Chateau Royal De Blois


Church of Saint Nicholas
Blois Cathedral


Blois Cathedral in distance

While in the Loire Valley we stayed at a charming B&B, Le Beguinage.  This was a great place to stay while touring the nearby chateau's!

Mont Saint-Michel
Wow, there isn't anything quite like Mont Saint-Michel!  It's an impressive Abbey off the coast of Normandy.  It was cool to see at night and during the day.


The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial overlooks Omaha Beach. Over 9000 soldiers that lost their lives in Normandy were buried there. The families of the deceased had the choice to have the remains buried in Normandy or flown home. About 60% chose to have the bodies flown home while the rest stayed in Normandy.


Greg did some shopping at Greg's!
Giverny
In 1883 Monet fell in love with a little village in Normandy that would later become his haven.  Giverny is a charming town and home to Claude Monet's famous gardens.  As I entered the garden I immediately felt like I had stepped inside one of Monet's paintings.  The flowers, Japanese bridge, water lilies and pond were  breath taking.  It was also fun to see the boat Monet puttered around in.  Just like his paintings, the beauty he created in his garden still lives on.
Monet's Home
PALACE OF VERSAILLES

PARIS
Eiffel Tower
Basilique du Sacre Coeur

Champs Elysees

Rodin Museum
Greg in front of "The Thinker"



Notre Dame Cathedral


Saying goodbye to our car in Paris...

3 comments:

dadshouse said...

Just found your blog. You win the "most beautiful photos EVER posted on a blog" award. I'm loving the pics on all your posts. How great that you set up your life to travel so much!

dutchbaby said...

We spent four glorious days in Interlaken in 2001. We took that little cog train to the ice palace at the Jungfraujoch. Thank you for taking me back there this morning!
I love the photo of the grass roof.

Postcards and Coasters said...

Dads house, thanks! Imagine if I had a better camera. All of this traveling with a crappy camera.

Dutch baby... I haven't been to the ice palace, please post some pictures! Guess I'll have to go back.