This is Part 1 of my Roadtrip from Munich to London. Part 2 is coming very soon!
On Monday the 7th of January this year I set off in snowy Munich to spend the upcoming four days in my 1986 BMW 316. I would spend those four days between Munich and London, passing through Strasbourg, Saarbrücken and Brussels. I did that same distance last year over two days; spending one night in Cologne at my Grandma’s (where I got the 316). Although she was happy to see her beloved car again, and I was glad to spend some time with her, it was two long days of driving, not choosing the scenic route. This time I was planning the trip and knew that I’d prefer to take a little more time, looking at some of the beautiful places on the way, and meeting up with some of the people that I had met on Instagram.
I mentioned that it snowed in Munich. It had, in fact, been snowing to no end for the previous five days, meaning that about half a meter of snow was to be seen on both sides of the road. Knowing that I was going to drive to Strasbourg, passing through the black forest this day I was a little unsure how safe it would be. However, I decided to set off anyway and see how icy the roads would be when I got there! Actually, the roads were mainly dry until I got to the black forest and for the first hour of driving through these breathtaking landscapes there was no snow to be seen anywhere!
My goal was to get to Mummelsee lake to do a few hours of hiking and meet up with my friend Luca (@hub_raum_) before heading into Strasbourg in the evening. Mummelsee is quite high in altitude, and as I was driving up there, more and more snow settled on both sides of the road. That was until it got seriously foggy and I started to lose my coordination. At this point I was blindly following google maps, but I couldn’t really go too far wrong as there was only one road to follow anyway! After another half an hour of driving very carefully, not underestimating any of the snow and fog, I saw a few huts on the left and a car park to my right. I decided to take a quick break and look around. The huts happened to be part of a ski resort. I couldn’t tell how big it was as it was impossible to see further than 5 meters.
It was definitely impressive to see the masses of snow and the big icicles! When Luca and I finally found each other and made it to Mummelsee lake I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t do my hiking, but luckily Luca knows what food to get in the black forest. We both got Maultaschen and talked photography over the heavy snow that was going on outside.
Slowly it started to get darker and I was driving downhill again towards Strasbourg where I met up with Armand ( @armandrosalie), another friend I had met on Instagram. Armand was nice enough to offer me his sofa for the night, which I highly appreciate and made this trip the most fun it could have ever been! After dropping off my bags at his apartment we took off in his beautiful 325i and met up with Yannick (@yannickvalentin) for some drinks and burgers. After that Armand had the idea of meeting up with two more e30 friends from Strasbourg, Arno (@e30wner_67) and Alex (@alexohlmann). I have definitely not had that much fun in a long time! It’s just such a great gift to be able to meet like minded people wherever you might be. We all met up in a car park, but it had poor lighting, making it difficult to take some good photos.
However, Yannick knew about another one with much brighter lights and a more interesting layout! So we all got in our e30s and drove over to that very car park. Although this night was completely spontaneous, there is absolutely no doubt that these are the moments that I am beyond grateful to be a part of! It made me think that social media like Instagram is a great place to meet and talk to people but in the end happiness can only be true when shared in real life. That’s why it’s so important to meet these people and actually do something. I cannot imagine anything that’s worth more than nights like this one. Of course it is great to talk cars and look at what vehicles the others have managed to build or gather, but what I appreciate even more are the people behind them, sharing each others’ experiences and having a good laugh! The people you meet just want to have a good time, and so do I!
I’m not quite sure how to explain it, but although I had only met these guys a few hours before, it felt like I had known them for years. It was almost like meeting old friends again that I hadn’t seen in a while. When I woke up the next morning, I didn’t want to leave. I knew that I had to carry on driving as I had only done a fourth of my route, but it felt like Strasbourg should have been my final destination. This is why beautiful landscapes and lonely forest drives need to be mixed with good friends and spontaneous e30 meetups in carparks. But I prefer not to see the destination, but the journey as the reward as it is while you are out there that you have the best time.
On day two of my trip the distance I had to drive to stick to my plan wasn’t too long, so I stayed around Strasbourg (France) until lunch. Armand and I drove over the Rhine to Kehl (Germany) and took some photos of both our E30s in the local port. Once again I got to see the beautiful 325i from another angle, making me appreciate it even more! Before, I never understood why the E30 is such a popular model, but I suppose that’s because I never got to experience the entire lifestyle behind it. Until then I didn’t live the E30, I only drove it as a regular car.
This is only one of the many occasions when I have noticed that studying a subject in theory is good to learn the basics of it, but until you experience it yourself it’s impossible to really understand it.
All of this to say how much I appreciated that first day of driving. It felt great to be on the road again and do what I enjoy the most – especially when it can be combined with meeting some fantastic people!
Stay tuned for part 2 of this amazing trip, which I will publish during the upcoming week!
Meanwhile, have a look at my Instagram where many more photos are being shared every day! There is also a highlight with iPhone photography of this very trip called “e30 road trip”.