“Destination Nurburgring” Flashback: Day 3 – Kar Freitag

***Flashback Friday! or should that be, “Flashback Freitag”?!***

Reflection 2015: Kar Freitag in grey old England: I woke up this morning. It should have been to the sounds of church bells or car engines revving. Instead I woke up to the relative quiet of Windy Farm. It’s Good Friday – otherwise known as Kar Freitag at the Nurburgring – and we weren’t in Germany!

I’ve been able to see a little bit of a cold-looking Kar Freitag on bridgetogantry  throughout the day, so that’s been nice, but it doesn’t make up for not being there. (NB. I’m not commenting on the Flugplatz tragedy just because it’s too sensitive and nothing really to do with me or my blog’s ethos; to be honest, everything has been said about it, and nothing will change what happened.)

This is last year’s post from Kar Freitag. I’ve not done much to the images except resize, mainly because I’m sleepy and lazy, and messing on with them does take a good bit of time.

Good Friday seems to be the busiest day of the Easter weekend, and on a sunny day, spectator spots like Brunnchen and the car park on the hill are rammed with people and cars. Due to how busy it is, the day is a bad one for closures and accidents. Judging by yesterday evening’s events, the idiots are out in force. I have a feeling today might be more of a passenger day, and Dickie may be relegated to base camp!

Writing this retrospectively, Kar Freitag seems like ages ago!

We parked the three cars (Dickie, Dippy the Hatch and the truck) in the field. This was probably a bad idea. Because all of western Germany seems to descend upon the Nurburgring like they have nothing better to do, the roads around the track are absolutely rammed. We’ve travelled on Good Friday before, and the road we used to take to the hotel involved going along the road past Brunnchen, probably the biggest viewpoint on the whole track, and it was literally car park city going up the hill, and Dad about cooked the clutch on the truck. Friends of ours were travelling on the Friday and got stuck in traffic even before they’d gotten off the motorway.

From our park on the hill, we could see the extent of the queue. The road up to Nurburg and the entrance to the track, and down to the junction to go to the fastest petrol station in the world or into Adenau etc., were soon absolutely rammed either way by about mid morning. I don’t know how well you can see on the picture:

Kar Freitag

You can see how full the field is all the way down to the road, and how the road is then queued going up to the right towards the track, and to the left going away from the track. The traffic going away from the track barely moved all day!

Kar Freitag is never a good track-time day. Due to the volume of cars there are often many closures, and the longer a closure goes on for, the more angsty and hyped-up the drivers become, so that almost straightaway you can pretty much anticipate a second closure because somebody got a bit carried away and lost it. I’m sure there are plenty of videos on Youtube of Car Friday crashes if you did a quick search!

2015 edit: and near misses at Kesselchen, featuring familiar faces, if you look here!

I actually got a lap out in Dickie, and it was the worst lap I think I’ve ever done. There was so much traffic on the track and I got scared when about seventy Porsches were all passing me at once. Kar Freitag wasn’t the best day, and it didn’t end very well.

We went to our old hotel for dinner, and I got to have my first proper steak! So that sort of made up for it. The one thing I don’t like about eating out in pubs in Germany is that everyone smokes inside, so the air is so thick with smoke it makes your eyes water and all your clothes stink of it.


Steak Nurburg

Here is a pic of our Steak Nurburg! In Germany, or at least in this part of Germany, they love to put fruit on their steaks. Here we have a peach, but we’ve had pineapples, strawberries, grapes. People do think this is weird, but then again, we have Hawaiian pizzas – ham and pineapple! Gammon and pineapple slices! Cranberry sauce with your turkey! Duck in orange/plum/lemon sauce!

A voice from the future: I’m quite excited to go back! I know last Kar Freitag I lost my nerve a little bit. I’ve shown people videos and it still is scary as anything. And it’s not quite the same thing – not even anywhere near the same league, obviously – but I’ve had a few hands at Forza; just trying to get my head around the corners and everything. Plus this past week I drove Dickie to work and, a little bit cheekily, spent my journey trying to get used to the car again. It’s quite a swap going from a smooth chugaway diesel with wonderful light steering and responsive brakes to a rattly noisy trumpy beast with no lock and heavy steering, lazy brakes but a happy go faster pedal.

Also, that Steak Nurburg looks very good right now! Yum.

Till next time – Happy Kar Freitag!

Day 5, Part I – Sunday: Dad said I couldn’t have a BMW, until…

After a long absence, here is Part 1 of Easter Sunday! I apologise for the delay, I’ve had so much uni work on so have spent the past few weeks reading up for my conference paper on Tuesday.

This was definitely the best day by far of our whole trip!

I said in my last post that Saturday seemed really boring, because I was writing it retrospectively, and seems to have been completely overshadowed by Sunday.

At our hotel there were a pair of English BMW M3s. We got talking to them on the Sunday, and a little cheekily Dad asked if there was any chance we could have a lap out in one of the cars. They were dead happy to let us come along, so I jumped in the white one and Dad in the grey one.

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A few years ago Ranger took me on a lap out in the yellow Porsche, and that was rapid…

Rangers Porsche

Even though Dad is fast, the Subaru just lacks that bit of grunt that the Porsche has. Up until now, that was the fastest lap I’ve ever been on (and my harness popped open halfway round, so I was clinging on for dear life).

But then it all changed with these BMs!

I’d never been in such a fast car that was so quiet! I knew they were noisy because they woke up the whole of the village we were staying in when they were started up, but once you were inside, it was eerily quiet. We followed the grey one out, and pretty much right away we had to pass it. I think it’s the only time I’ll ever pass Dad on the track, and his face was priceless. I knew straightaway he was after one.

The cars had paddle gearboxes so it just seemed like such a smooth ride: Andy wasn’t fighting with the gears or anything, and just chucked it into corners, and the car just gripped. Trees, Armco, cars were all just flying past in a blur, and yet it was so quiet inside! Though I’m sure it sounded monstrous on the track.

I can’t remember what the lap with Ranger was, but Dad was getting 8:30 laps, and my lap in the white BMW was 7:44, which was the fastest lap I’ve ever been on, and that was in quite heavy traffic in parts.

We swapped round and I got two half-laps in the grey one, coming off at Eddie’s in Adenau to refuel.

Afterwards, we saw Dad’s friend Rob who has the red Subaru Impreza Spec C, and we told him that that was it! Subarus were up for sale, selling all our worldly belongings – we were after one of these BMs!

I’ve split this Sunday post into two parts, as a lot seemed to happen. So keep your eyes peeled!

What we actually do at the Nurburgring… Video Easter 2014

This is what people think we do at the Nurburgring…

This is the new Calvin Harris tune, which I am loving atm. I think this idea of fast cars and scantily clad ladies is definitely what a lot of people go to the Nurburgring expecting, and are often a bit confused to find a great car park on a hill and a lot of posh posers in their Porsches who are never really going to chuck it around the track.

This is what we actually do at the Nurburgring…

This is a video of Dad chasing after his mate Rob, in the red Subaru Impreza. Occasional dialogue is supplied by Yours Truly!

Day 4 – Saturday

After the manic day of Kar Freitag, things calmed down a bit on Saturday. Because we had been in the field and had seen the carnage on the roads (traffic jams), we decided to do a bit of Loy-family scheming: Mum put the truck in the little gravel car park, within easy reach, and we put the two Subarus in the car park, where Dickie would for the most part remain as base camp, and where Dad could take his out and hopefully sneak it back in.

Writing this in hindsight, I can’t actually think of much that happened! But this is probably because I’m thinking too much about how amazing the Sunday was.

I did a lap just me and Dad in Dickie, and it was so much better than the day before’s. Dad didn’t have his telling-off voice on, probably because Mum wasn’t in the back and we didn’t have the camera on, and it was a lot more relaxed. I overtook two cars! And they were BMWs! They were taking it pretty steady, but still, a pass is a pass! I felt a lot better about it, though I’m still scared by a couple of corners where Dad says to stay out, stay out, stay out, and that bit of Armco is coming up very quickly!

We went to our old hotel again for dinner and had steaks again. Mum complained that they season them far too much with salt. We were also all confused by the strange dish that Sister brought out, which we all agreed looked mainly like dripping with salt crystals in it. Even Michael was confused by it. Michael brought us out apple strudels, which were amazing, and then we had drinks on him. They sure make vodka Sprites strong in Germany – half vodka, half Sprite! The lads tried to convince me to go out clubbing with them – I was too tired so rejected them (though I had to step in to make sure they didn’t leave their room key on the table in the hotel), and the next day they revealed that the club had been shut anyway!

All in all, Saturday sounds like it was a pretty boring day, but it was just the calm before the storm!

Day 3 – Kar Freitag

Good Friday seems to be the busiest day of the Easter weekend, and on a sunny day, spectator spots like Brunnchen and the car park on the hill are rammed with people and cars. Due to how busy it is, the day is a bad one for closures and accidents. Judging by yesterday evening’s events, the idiots are out in force. I have a feeling today might be more of a passenger day, and Dickie may be relegated to base camp!

Writing this retrospectively, Kar Freitag seems like ages ago!

We parked the three cars (Dickie, Dippy the Hatch and the truck) in the field. This was probably a bad idea. Because all of western Germany seems to descend upon the Nurburgring like they have nothing better to do, the roads around the track are absolutely rammed. We’ve travelled on Good Friday before, and the road we used to take to the hotel involved going along the road past Brunnchen, probably the biggest viewpoint on the whole track, and it was literally car park city going up the hill, and Dad about cooked the clutch on the truck. Friends of ours were travelling on the Friday and got stuck in traffic even before they’d gotten off the motorway.

From our park on the hill, we could see the extent of the queue. The road up to Nurburg and the entrance to the track, and down to the junction to go to the fastest petrol station in the world or into Adenau etc., were soon absolutely rammed either way by about mid morning. I don’t know how well you can see on the picture:

Kar Freitag

You can see how full the field is all the way down to the road, and how the road is then queued going up to the right towards the track, and to the left going away from the track. The traffic going away from the track barely moved all day!

Kar Freitag is never a good track-time day. Due to the volume of cars there are often many closures, and the longer a closure goes on for, the more angsty and hyped-up the drivers become, so that almost straightaway you can pretty much anticipate a second closure because somebody got a bit carried away and lost it. I’m sure there are plenty of videos on Youtube of Car Friday crashes if you did a quick search!

I actually got a lap out in Dickie, and it was the worst lap I think I’ve ever done. There was so much traffic on the track and I got scared when about seventy Porsches were all passing me at once. Kar Freitag wasn’t the best day, and it didn’t end very well.

We went to our old hotel for dinner, and I got to have my first proper steak! So that sort of made up for it. The one thing I don’t like about eating out in pubs in Germany is that everyone smokes inside, so the air is so thick with smoke it makes your eyes water and all your clothes stink of it.

Steak Nurburg

Here is a pic of our Steak Nurburg! In Germany, or at least in this part of Germany, they love to put fruit on their steaks. Here we have a peach, but we’ve had pineapples, strawberries, grapes. People do think this is weird, but then again, we have Hawaiian pizzas – ham and pineapple! Gammon and pineapple slices! Cranberry sauce with your turkey! Duck in orange/plum/lemon sauce!

Day 2 – Bonn

I slept really badly last night: we were worried about our room being too cold, and in actuality it was boiling hot. I did experience that most dreaded of nighttime dilemmas: roast under the covers, or stick a leg out of bed to keep cool and risk the monster under the bed

Unsurprisingly Mama and I slept in, because neither of us set an alarm and due to my need for total darkness, had no idea what time it was. We staggered downstairs semi-awake for a German breakfast feast – hard bread! boiled eggs! suspicious meats! kaffee! orange juice! At Casa Loy it is such a rarity that all members of the Loy family eat breakfast together, so holiday breakfasts are nice.

Our day was spent in Bonn. We went in Dad’s car and rode around for a while, while he tried to get his bearings (a few years ago e stayed in Bonn when he came with a friend to watch the Grand Prix at the Nurburgring). We found one of those cavernous underground car parks and then ascended the first staircase we found within the labyrinth.

We wandered around and took photos of the buildings and of the big cathedral with its twisty steeple. We then had a coffee in one of the plaza-type squares, Dad and Grandad keeping the table while Mama and I went round a shopping centre. We wandered a bit further, nosing in shops, and we went to the Rhein, to watch the barges bringing up their loads of containers.

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We went to a Pizza Hut for lunch (was the only place we could find that we all agreed on!) then Mum and I went shopping. We went to Promod, which ripped me off in Tenerife when the mister didn’t give me my change, but I bought two skirts here and Mum bought a top.

We wandered around a bit more and went into a fancy home shop. Everything is very Easter-themed here! All the hotels have Easter eggs hung in their houseplants and what have you. So I bought some fancy Easter baubles and a little basket to put them all in. I don’t know why we don’t celebrate Easter more in the UK: we love every other holiday.

Giant Lindt Bunny

Look at this huge Lindt bunny! You can compare its size to the regular sized ones all lined up underneath.

This evening was a pretty pants affair at the Nurburgring: the track didn’t open till later than half five, and then shut pretty much as soon as Dad and I got on the track, and then Dad did a lap with me and Mum once it opened, then it shut again. All in all it was opened about forty minutes and I didn’t even get a chance!

For tea we went to the Paddock, known as the one with the painting of the cars on the wall. It was very nice and heaving! I declined to have a steak, and had a mustard chicken thing:

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Whilst we were at the Paddock, there was a table of gobby British tourists. There seem to be those who come to the Ring as a bucket list thing, getting drunk in Nurburg and embarrassing the rest of us, shouting and mouthing off about doing 8 minute laps when they are really just Car Park Cruisers.

Destination Nurburgring playlist #4

Since I’ve discovered Tunein radio, I have installed a new ritual into the pre-Ring preparation, which is listening to German radio stations! The idea is to listen to a lot of German and to maybe assimilate comprehension, like Bart did when he went on an exchange trip to France and lived with a nasty French family in The Simpsons. Coming from a linguistics background (nerd!!!) I know that it’s not quite that straightforward, but one can dream! But half of the radio stations don’t have any German DJs on, and the other half only play English-language songs!

Chase and Status ft. Plan B – End Credits

This is a wicked tune and the drum beat is fast and furious – suitable Dickie music, then! This is a bit of a frantic end-of-the-night sort of mad dancing episode. Plan B’s vocals, singing here rather than rapping (which I love on Ill Manors, a song I find endlessly witty when I’m sure it’s not as great as I make it out (e.g. Let’s go looting/No not Luton/The high street’s closer)), despite being not in time with the music, are actually pretty darn good. Banging tune!

Nero – My Eyes

I went to go see Nero at the O2 Academy in Leeds and they were awesome. Despite the fact that the venue was full of sixteen and seventeen year olds drinking (yet Amy and I both got ID’d!) there was an awesome vibe. Crush on You is probably my favourite Nero song, with the shrill and desperate vocals and breakdown, but My Eyes is such a trancey track, possibly more suited to late-night driving through cities than trundling along the Autobahn in the middle of the day, but there you go!

Sam and the Womp – Bom Bom

This song is nonsense (who can drink that many pints of rum? I ask you!) but it always makes me think of driving to Germany, whether it’s due to the lull in the verses before the mad bit in the chorus, which is ideal for a bit of chasing if you get bored on the way there (which I never do, of course – mainly because I have my Mum in the car with me, and she’d scream at me!) The trumpets are fun though!

A-Ha – The Sun Always Shines on TV

Always gotta have an 80s moment! Most people know me as being stuck in a time-warp, as more often than not I’ll have a bunch of 80s CDs rattling around in my glovebox, my favourites being the Ministry of Sound Electronic 80s compilations they released successively a few Christmases ago. I love a good bit of a-Ha, and I think this song is far superior to the more common Take on Me, which suffered irreparable Westlife damage.

Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down

It’s not been released yet, but I love this song! It’s a fun upbeat summery tune, and hopefully will suit the sunny drive across the Netherlands and Germany.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes

And to pick up the 80s theme, a bit of good ol’ Frankie! I think he featured heavily on the 80s soundtrack to my childhood. Quite a cool duel song – how has it not ever been used in a car chase theme? Or has it, and have I just not noticed?

#0sleepstogo! The day has finally come! It’s Travel Tuesday! Getting excited now!

As standard, no songs or music belongs to me. Happy listening!