View Full Version : The Slow Road to Nurburg

27-09-2008, 12:25 AM
I’ve rushed through Belgium to get to the Ring several times now so this year we decided to turn the journey to the Ring into a 2 week road trip….in a supercharged merc. :D B)

Part 1 - Belgium

We took a Sunday lunchtime ferry from Dover to Dunkerque


We arrived at 5ish and drove for about an hour before arriving at our hotel in Bruges. After dinner we watched the “highlights” of the Spa F1 “race”.

The following day, tempted though we were to drive to Spa and let down the tyres of all the Ferraris, we decided to stick with Plan A and find a campsite near Bruges. We found a small site about a mile from the old town and set up camp. Without the Pinders in residence the facilities were a little limited….


After lunch we set out to find out what Bruges has to offer….





And lots of chocolate



I have no idea why……


The next day we woke up to sunshine.

Heidi (that’s the car!) finally got topless and we headed for Heist on the Belgian coast.


We didn’t know what to expect and I’ve never thought of Belgium as a beach destination (well who has?!) but it was lovely. I guess the weather helped.


It was so hot we even ventured into the sea!!!!!



(Yes that is the port of Zebrugge that you can see in the background!)

On our final day in Belgium we visited Gent



Always take your woman up the castle!



Andy’s eyes were watering at some of the torture methods!!!


After more chocolate (icecream this time!)


and beer


We retired for our last night under canvas (for a while) and what follows is a warning of what can happen when 2 Northloopers are left alone on a campsite after a few beers with a packet of glow sticks





:fish: :drink:

27-09-2008, 12:31 AM
theres a picture of me next to the entrance to this place on the fireplace at home...


admittedly i'm about 11 and dressed in hideous clothes but its me non the less..

sounds like a great trip! :thumb:

27-09-2008, 12:33 AM
Part 2 – The Ring (Sept 11th to 16th)

Finally Thursday arrived and we packed up & drove to Adenau and checked into the Blaue Ecke. Talk about one extreme to the other!


The Ring was open so we dumped all the camping stuff under the bed, found our helmets and went straight out again. After a few nervous laps of the car park we took Heidi out for her first lap. It was so quiet – the only vehicles we saw were an R8 and an NSX B) I took it very steady, mostly in 3rd and 4th gear, I have no idea how long it took but I enjoyed every second (and many thanks to Andy for nervously asking if I knew where I was just before AF!) The last time I drove it was in the Yaris so this was a very different experience!


On Friday the Ring was closed for VLN practice so we went to see part of the Vulcanstrasse near Daun.



Karl had predicted a warm day with plenty of sun :whistle:


Back to the Ring for VLN practice….



Practice stopped for a while when a Ferrari crashed so we went to Barweiler to jet wash Heidi. Well, I say “we”….


Practice had started again by the time we got back and we watched a bit before paying a surprise visit to Jorg at the Comfy corner for dinner & a few beers :drink:

On Saturday we walked down to Breidsheid to watch the VLN. We had walked round to Weirseifen when Tony called to let us know that the race was cancelled :( Maybe everybody walking in the other direction should have given us a clue! :fish: We had a picnic with us so we decided to walk on round to MHM. Karl had predicted sunshine :whistle:


so we had lunch under a brolly


Walking back we watched some of the clean up efforts




In the evening we went to the Comfy Corner to meet up with rest of the Northloopers. The beer was flowing, Jorg’s fish & chips were legendary and the world was put to rights! :thumb: It was really good to see everyone again and to meet some new friends. Oh, and just to put the record straight – the chair was wonky and I was holding it up!

Sunday morning the Ring was still closed due to the diesel spill. We met Robert & Frederique for coffee and chocolate at the Grune Holle and put the world to rights for a while. The Ring opened at 12 and promptly closed again 7 minutes later! :(

Andy took the opportunity to take me up the castle again. Karl had predicted rain :whistle:


After lunch at the Schnizelhaus we went back down to the Ring mid afternoon and took Heidi out for her 2nd lap. This time there was a bit more traffic but I felt more confident and again enjoyed it. There was only one dodgy moment as I went into Karussell and Heidi seemed to lose power – still not sure what happened there. I took Weirseifen very slowly but they’d done a good job of cleaning up.

There were some very nice cars lapping






Including this guy who had bought a 4 lap ticket & used every lap! B)




He may have missed the apex in the first pic but he wasn’t hanging around and it sounded amazing :wub: :wub: :wub:

Robert offered Andy a couple of pax laps & I jumped in for a few very smooth laps with Frederique. Just as we were heading out through the barriers somebody very kindly sent me a text & my phone spent the next 2 laps vibrating in my pocket (try it girls!) :thumb:

We spent that evening inhaling vapourised cow at the PK with Robert and Frederique before they drove home for work on Monday.

Monday morning the Ring was closed for a GT-R related event



After doing a spot of car park loitering….




….not sure about this…


….we took Heidi out for her 3rd lap. This was probably the busiest lap I’ve ever done but it was mainly locals and test drivers out there so they were patient and gave me plenty of room!

We spent the rest of the afternoon viewing at Pflanzgarten before taking Heidi out for another lap (it’s never the last lap!) It was a great weekend – after the first 2 closures on Sunday (both within an hour of opening) there were no further closures! (Sorry to shatter your illusions Tony!) Four laps may not sound like much but it was a good start for a beginner like me!

27-09-2008, 12:36 AM
We finished the evening at the Comfy Corner. Jorg whipped us up a mean broccoli soup :thumb:


Karl was at home practicing his weather prediction so I sat in his seat :wave:



Then Jorg got out the Eifelfeuer and we got a bit squiffy! :drink:


We woke up the next morning with stonking hangovers and had to pack the car for part 3 of our trip. Andy was feeling really ropey so we went to Brunchen for some air & to watch the testing



Another SLR….yawn!


Part 3

After a suitable amount of hangover recovery time we drove to Cochem and found a campsite right on the bank on the Mosel. It was also behind the Rewe, but for a river view I was willing to overlook that fact!


“We” set up camp


and soon had company


Heidi also finally got her sticker


27-09-2008, 12:41 AM
That evening we had dinner in Cochem



And then retired to our spacious accommodation for the evening. After a week of experimentation we were getting more adventurous


The following day we visited the medieval city of Trier. Most of the sights are in the centre and you can walk round most things in an afternoon.




It’s worth the walk to the amphitheatre – you may even see Andy’s ghost in the labyrinth!



After a quick blast down the autobahn we retired to the A roads and stopped for dinner at a town called Alf


And then back to the tent for more experimentation



Our final full day in Germany had arrived and we spent it in Koblenz. Although it was tempting to blast along the autobahn we chose to drive along the A roads which follow the Mosel through the valley. We had lunch at a restaurant that looked far more expensive than it was


and armed with a map, set out to explore the city.





We found this on our travels


It was parked outside a hairdressers salon – maybe a future car for Al?! :D

This nutter kept following me around :P


After a final dinner of pommes mit bratwurst (mine was sans bratwurst) we returned to the campsite to listen to our country & western loving neighbours rocking their caravan into the wee small hours of the night! :smack: We didn’t realise it but we’d broken the curfew every night at the campsite – it’s worth checking whether they have a curfew when you check in! :shame:

The following morning we had a leisurely breakfast and packed up for the last time.


Satnav took us back towards Kelberg before sending us off onto an almost deserted autobahn! Heaven! As the boot was full I lost my nerve when Heidi hit 135mph….when I lifted Heidi started shaking her rear end :o thank god we were going in a straight line! Doh ! I won’t be doing that again in a hurry!

It took about 5 hours to get back to Bruges with a stop near Prum for a late lunch. We checked into the Campanile again and, after a quick turnaround, took a taxi into the old town for dinner. The taxis there & back cost over €30!!! Dinner cost us less than that!

Saturday morning we left Bruges at about 10 and drove back to Dunkerque for our midday ferry.


We had a great holiday, and although the main purpose was to visit the Ring it was also very relaxing to stop & see the sights along the way. I’ve seen a few posts on here asking for ways to help convince other halves to go on a Ring trip so maybe there are a few ideas here to turn it into more than a quick dash across Belgium :veryhappy:

A few thanks:

Thanks to Robert & Frederique for the pax laps and for the invitation to stay – sorry we didn’t make it.

Thanks to Michaela for your hospitality and all your help while we were there.

Thanks to all the Northloopers who were in the Comfy Corner on Saturday for a fun evening.

Thanks to Jorg for the tip on how to stay warm in a sleeping bag – it didn’t work!!!! Fortunately we also had Eifelfauer and had wisely invested in a couple of Nurburgring blankets (thanks for the tip Joel!)


And finally, thanks for reading this :D :wave:

George Bolton
27-09-2008, 07:58 AM
Helen that was agreat eye opener for me

past the signs for those places so many times and never given them a second thought just goes to show how much you can miss.

where is that jet wash? is it in one of those 2 garages are on the 258, have been looking for a jet wash for ages down that way

27-09-2008, 08:22 AM
Enjoyed all of that. The glow sticks were great as you got more adventurous :lol:

I think Jorg secretly tries to give people the biggest hangover possible, its like a challenge to him :whistle:

Losing power in the Karussel will be because you left the traction control turned on. I`ve had it happen in the Mazda and Nissan, even if you are lapping with it turned on, you need to turn it off before the karussel then on again after, or go really slowly. The TCS gets really confused and cuts power. I`ve done 20mph, my foot to the floor and still slowing before now :whistle:

27-09-2008, 08:46 AM
great report Helen - looks like you and Andy had a great time - must get to Gent one day!

27-09-2008, 09:32 AM
Great read Helen. Really enjoyed that and it looked like you both had a smashing time :thumb:

Dave B
27-09-2008, 09:52 AM
Great 'trip' report covering so much more than the 'ring. :thumb:
It may open peoples eyes to the beauty surrounding the ring...more than enough to see and do for a week and with family in tow

27-09-2008, 10:38 AM

ferengi :whistle:

27-09-2008, 10:47 AM
It was nice to meet Andy and you!
Good report and good call on visiting Gent B)

27-09-2008, 11:02 AM
Super entertaining report :thumb:

It's so bad that we know all those place names and fly past. I really enjoyed our holiday this year spending a week at the ring and a week doing WW1 sites. Would like to do something similar to you next year, assuming I am employed ;)

Very good read. :D


27-09-2008, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by George Bolton@Sep 27 2008, 08:58 AM

where is that jet wash? is it in one of those 2 garages are on the 258, have been looking for a jet wash for ages down that way
It is. We used the one at the yellow garage on the right but I think the Aral has one too. You have to go roight round the back of the car wash to find it and I think it's €1 for 2 minutes.

27-09-2008, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by Nige@Sep 27 2008, 09:22 AM

Losing power in the Karussel will be because you left the traction control turned on. I`ve had it happen in the Mazda and Nissan, even if you are lapping with it turned on, you need to turn it off before the karussel then on again after, or go really slowly. The TCS gets really confused and cuts power. I`ve done 20mph, my foot to the floor and still slowing before now :whistle:
Ah....thank you!

I was starting to panic as the blue Opel following me was getting closer & closer in the rear view mirror :o He followed me for the whole lap which was quite flattering really B)

27-09-2008, 02:23 PM
Thanks for your comments & I'm glad you've enjoyed reading it :thumb: It sounds like Gent & Bruges may be busy next year!

PS Nige....what's Ferengi?

27-09-2008, 02:40 PM
Great read Helen B) hat sort of maps do you buy or do you get a guide to the area you visit?

Pretty scary getting a wobble at 135mph :blink:

9/10 for the repott :thumb:

27-09-2008, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by Floyd@Sep 27 2008, 03:40 PM
Great read Helen B) hat sort of maps do you buy or do you get a guide to the area you visit?

Pretty scary getting a wobble at 135mph :blink:

9/10 for the repott :thumb:
5/10 for your spelling! :lol:

We just used Satnav to get where we were going and found Tourist Information when we got there....then head to the nearest bar to decide where to go while drinking a cold beer :thumb:

The wobble was scary....as I said - won't be doing that again!

27-09-2008, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Hippychick@Sep 27 2008, 03:23 PM
PS Nige....what's Ferengi?
google images is your friend :whistle:

27-09-2008, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Nige@Sep 27 2008, 10:38 AM

ferengi :whistle:
LOL you trekkie

27-09-2008, 05:50 PM
It's Trekker :loser: :shame:

27-09-2008, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by Hippychick@Sep 27 2008, 12:41 AM

Thanks to Jorg for the tip on how to stay warm in a sleeping bag – it didn’t work!!!!
hmmmm i`m sure you make something wrong :lol: :lol: :lol:

28-09-2008, 09:53 AM
Great read i have also often thought about taking it slow and seeing the rest of germany as oposed to the usual 30 square miles i spend in and around adenau, thats usually in a bar too :shame:

28-09-2008, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Nige@Sep 27 2008, 05:37 PM
google images is your friend :whistle:

They don't glow in the dark tho!

PS You need to get out more - don't you have something to be doing in the garden?!

28-09-2008, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by boxxer1973@Sep 28 2008, 10:53 AM
.... thats usually in a bar too :shame:

Would that be the Comfy Corner?

28-09-2008, 12:25 PM
Enjoyed that :thumb:

28-09-2008, 06:09 PM
Fantastic report!

We really missed you both in the summer..... :(

but you sounded to have a great holiday! :D

Hope to catch up soon :wave:

28-09-2008, 06:50 PM
Hello Helen,

Great report, yes it was great that sunday, we had lots of fun. Next time you have to come over to our place. We will show you the Netherlands as only dutch can do.
The only thing we arent dutch is our treatment. :D :D

Well maybe until the end of the year.

Greetz from Robert

28-09-2008, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by Hippychick@Sep 28 2008, 12:23 PM

Would that be the Comfy Corner?
usually in eddies or at the beer fest we are staying at the blau ecke where is this comfy corner??

28-09-2008, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Robert@Sep 28 2008, 07:50 PM

Well maybe until the end of the year.


28-09-2008, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by boxxer1973@Sep 28 2008, 07:56 PM
where is this comfy corner??
If you're driving out of Adenau towards the Ring, the Comfy Corner is on the left opposite a furniture place. If you get to Breidsheid you've gone too far. It's worth the walk from the Blaue Ecke (about 10 mins)

I'm sure Nige did a thread on how to find it....but I can't find it :fish:

ah yes, here it is. :thumb:

Where is Zur Geműtlichen Ecke ??(The Comfy Corner) (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=9184&hl=)

Chris Ratcliff
28-09-2008, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Hippychick@Sep 27 2008, 12:25 AM
I have no idea why……


Hmmm, that looks about as much use as...

28-09-2008, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by Hippychick@Sep 28 2008, 08:10 PM

ah yes, here it is. :thumb:

Where is Zur Gemûtlichen Ecke ??(The Comfy Corner) (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=9184&hl=)
Thanks Nige :D

29-09-2008, 08:41 AM
I'm good at the weather, me :smug:

29-09-2008, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by Karl@Sep 29 2008, 09:41 AM
I'm good at the weather, me :smug:
um.....don't give up the day job! :D

30-09-2008, 08:41 PM
Hi Helen, great report, glad you enjoyed your trip :thumb:

I'll get on to UB about 135mph wobble :lol:

Check your water !

30-09-2008, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by V8muscle@Sep 30 2008, 09:41 PM

Check your water !

That's what one of these is for :whistle:


Glad everyone's enjoying reading it :D

30-09-2008, 09:14 PM
Hi Helen and Andy,

great report, had a few laughs reading it.
I'll need to try the vibrating phone next time, but I am afraid it won't do anything for my driving.....then again....

See you soon