If you’ve got 15 minutes, you can see what our latest tour was like by watching the video embedded above. Here’s the breakdown:
For those that may have been following on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds, you knew Green Hell Guides was at the recent 24 Hours of Nürburgring. My dad and brother were with me for the race and my dad stayed on several days after for what would be pretty typical of one of our guided tour itineraries. Below, I’ll detail what we did, share some impressions and a few photos. Overall, it was a fantastic trip!
Wednesday, May 13: My dad and I departed the US for Frankfurt. My brother had left a few days earlier and was set to meet us at the auto rental counter the next morning in Frankfurt.
Thursday, May 14: We arrive in Frankfurt, meet my brother and collect our Mercedes c180 wagon that will serve as our transportation for most of the next 9 days. We pack the car and hop on the A3 to the A48 to the A61 before exiting the autobahn on the B412. We stop at RSR Nürburg to verify our reservations for a road tour next week and get some advice on dining locations that won’t be mobbed with race fans. Next we stop by the Nürburgring Info Center to collect our package of tickets and parking for the race weekend. Then we head off to our lodging in Barweiler- Sabine Schmitz’s Longhorn Saloon. We walk to dinner at a local restaurant and turn in after a beer or two at the Saloon.
Friday, May 15: We grab breakfast at the Saloon and then head off to the track. There’s lots of practice and qualifying action to watch throughout the day. We spectate from T4, T4a and T12 as well as touring the paddock. We have lunch at the track on Ring Boulevard and walk down to the Dorint Hotel for dinner at the Fascination restaurant before the pit walk for the 24 hour race and heading back to the Saloon for the night.
Saturday, May 16: Breakfast at the Saloon again before another day at the track. We have TÜV Business Lounge access for the race days, so most of our spectating is from there, but we still spend some time at the other stands and the deck over the pits during the WTCC race, the Porsche Carrera Cup race and the 24h Classics race. We take advantage of the buffet in the suite for lunch before heading down to the Frikadelli Racing box to walk with the #30 car out to the grid and do the grid walk for the 24 hour race. We hang out in the suite for the start of the race, dinner and onset of darkness for the drivers. We head back to the Saloon relatively early, so we can be up early to catch up on the racing from overnight.
Sunday, May 17: It was tough waking up to find out that Sabine’s car was out. We skipped breakfast at the Saloon for some early morning viewing at Breidscheid and Quiddelbacher Hohe before heading back up to the suite for breakfast and to track the progress of the SCG 003 and the hipercars.de “underdog” E46 BMW co-driven by Dale Lomas of Bridge To Gantry fame. We watched the live racing outside and the quite good TV coverage in the suite before making a prompt exit after the finish to beat traffic back to the Frankfurt area to drop my brother off for his flight the next morning back to the states. We grabbed dinner at the Hofbrauhaus in the Squaire at the airport. Before heading back to the Saloon.
Monday, May 18: We headed south to visit the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museums. It’s a couple of hours from the Nürburg area and features an extensive collection of sports cars, classic cars, planes, trains and military vehicles. It has the largest permanent collection of F1 cars, a good number of vintage Bugattis, a nice collection of Ferraris and an Air France Concorde. It’s a good day trip. I’d passed it several times on the Autobahn on my way to Stuttgart, but this was my first stop here. It was well worth spending a few hours exploring the collection!
Tuesday, May 19: Today was our RSR Nürburg Classic Cars & Castles road tour. I drove their ’83 Ferrari 308 GTS QV and my dad had the ’66 Mercedes Benz 230 SL. Although the day started off gray and cloudy, by our first stop in Cochem it had cleared off enough to drop the tops after some mid-morning refreshment by the Mosel River. The drive to Burg Eltz castle was wonderful and touring this secluded castle was very interesting and impressive. A spirited drive of the country roads in the region was a great way to spend a day.
Wednesday, May 20: This was our day to head to Stuttgart and visit the Porsche and Mercedes museums. I’ve been to both several times, but they never get old. Porsche rotates the exhibits quite frequently and I like to stop here first, tour the museum and then have lunch at their cafe. Next is a short drive across town to the 8-story tour that houses the Mercedes museum. Their collection is so expansive that it’s always a pleasure to spend time here.
Thursday, May 21: Manufacturer’s were testing in the morning and afternoon, so we hiked from the popular Brünnchen corner down to the iconic Karussell watching the camouflaged cars, taking pictures and enjoying the countryside. After hiking back, we toured the ruins of Nürburg Castle and ate at the fantastic Hotel am Tiergarten lunch buffet. We made a quick visit to Schloss Bürresheim before picking up our Clio RS200 to drive some laps of The Ring.
Friday, May 22: This was our last full day in Europe and we decided to head over to Circuit de Spa Francorchamps. Today was practice for the Spa Classic race, so for a modest fee we purchased day tickets that got us access to all the stands and the paddock. We toured the track, enjoyed watching all the vintage race cars warming up and then made a stop in the town of Spa itself before heading back to Barweiler for our last night in Germany before flying out of Frankfurt on Saturday.
It goes without saying that any chance we got, while there were cars on the track, we stopped by different corners and the track entrance to watch and photograph. That was usually the cap to every day’s activities before dinner.
I hope you enjoy the video and that Green Hell Guides can help you have the Nürburgring vacation of your dreams!