Germany August 2015

Some families go to the same place every year for their jollies. It can be a specific Center Parcs, or the same place in the Lakes; or always to the Costa del Sol, the south of France… you get the idea. There is something about the familiarity of revisiting the same place that people like. I imagine there is something in human nature about it. Granted that there are those who constantly strive for change: from my work I meet so many people who thrive in this nomadic lifestyle. It’s just something I’ve never been interested in. A bit of familiarity! Much better.

We are no different when it comes to our holidays. Except I wouldn’t necessarily classify our biannual trip abroad as a “holiday” as such… there isn’t much relaxing that goes on.

Twice a year we go to the Nurburgring in Germany. This year we went at the end of August on a hot busy weekend. This is a driving holiday and a racing holiday: we drive all the way there, hit the track on the evening of the Friday and then all day Saturday and Sunday, make a leisurely procession back on Monday, and then I was sat at my desk at 9am fresh from the boat… or maybe not so fresh. It’s a pretty intense weekend, for all that there is a fair bit of standing and waiting around during the day.

What we did at the Nurburgring

Aside from getting plenty of laps in, we did some touristy things. We went up to the castle of Nurburg, something we’ve tried to do before, except – in true Loy fashion – always on the days it was closed. Because we arrived mid afternoon on the Friday and the track wasn’t open until 5, we had ample time to climb up to the castle, and then climb up the rickety scaffolding, and then climb up the tower itself. I love that in the middle of the Nurburgring you have such an old castle (I forget how old, and I can’t be bothered to get up and find our little tour guide, so lazy); that’s a highly inelegant way of phrasing that as well. I’ll start over. Part of the beauty I think about the Nurburgring is this huge contrast between history and modernity; contrast of power in a feudal sense and power in terms of horses. I love that you can be in the middle of a forest, blanketed either side with trees, and then all of a sudden see wire fencing and a bunch of fast cars go zooming past. There’s nowhere else quite like it, or at least set up quite like it.

I have discovered that I still need a little more practice with my camera to get it to work as best it can. But I think these are some good snaps from the castle.

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Laps of the Nurburgring

It feels like a really long time we were there. I had three good-ish (for me) laps, and one not so good, and Dad had a good lot of laps. I felt like I was getting a bit better till I had a bad lap, which threw me a little, but I’ve done a track day at Blyton since we’ve been back and feel a little better.

Blah blah blah… where are the cars, right?

Yes I did take a bunch of photos of cars as well! There is a mix of flash and not so flash, unusual and your standard Ring fare. See if you can spot a couple of familiar ones as well!

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It’s turned out to be a bit of a disjointed post I’m afraid! It’s taken, well, six weeks to write! I’ve been pretty busy – not to mention I was missing a computer for a while, and once you get out of it, it’s hard to get back in.

The funniest part… funniest? or maybe strangest, or scariest… was seeing my Dad lose his rag at mostly everyone we were with. Poor Grandad got a bit of a rollicking for not eating his dinner (cue me and Mum trying to finish as much of ours as we possibly could so we didn’t get told off too) but then it snowballed from there and almost everybody was getting a tongue lashing – and to think, the evening had started off with such calm, with the Dalai Llama’s second there and everything! I do kind of get Dad’s point though: it’s all good and well bragging about your car with this much bhp and the magic switch and all this, and it being all set up for track (whether that be, ahem, stickered up or stripped out), but if you can’t get that much faster – or much near – a supposed family saloon car without much at all done to it, are you really even trying? I don’t brag that my car is fast because I know its driver isn’t 🙂 but the main thing for me is that I get to drive home in Dickie and bits aren’t dropping off him here there and everywhere. And I got to do my four laps, and am inching closer to the first benchmark time.

Besides, I think I’m going to get this T-shirt, from Bridge to Gantry, and wear it with pride!