My Trip to Germany and Austria With Mercedes-Benz – Part 1
In June 2015, I had the opportunity to test drive the New Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE Coupe in Germany and Austria and also to attend the World Premiere Mercedes-Benz GLC. My four-day trip was exciting and fulfilling because of the activities I engaged in, the people I met and what I learned.
Monday 15th June 2015
By 1.00 pm I had arrived in Munich before being transferred to Allgäu Airport. I was welcomed warmly and introduced to the program that I was to follow during my visit. I was also allocated the car I would use for my test drives. I took my first drive towards Kitzbühel. It was a thrilling 150 km which took me 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Enroute to Kitzbühel I arrived at relay station Restaurant Blauer Reiter. It is located at Mittenwalder Straße 42 82431 Kochel am See in Germany. Here, my fellow test drivers and I were given the chance to swap test cars.
By 4.00 pm I had gone for further test drives towards Kitzbühel through the 163 km Southern route, which took me 2 hours and 30 minutes to cover. I could also have chosen the Northern route, which entailed driving for 177 km in 3 hours and 5 minutes.
We arrived at the event hotel, Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel, and checked in before 7.00 pm. The Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel is located on Eichenheim 8, 6370 in Kitzbühel, Austria. It is an alpine ski and spa resort that is renowned for its first class service. The hotel has spacious indoor and outdoor pool areas hence oozing ultimate luxury. It has a golf course and one can also engage in winters ports. Visitors can enjoy both regional and international cuisine.
At 8:00 pm the evening program at the hotel started. It mainly involved a get-together and a Press Talk. We were given the opportunity to talk with the Mercedes-Benz experts. I must admit that this was a major highlight of the trip for me since I managed to talk with the design team. I was impressed with the amount of time that the team invested in every car and the pertinent details. The evening program culminated with a sumptuous dinner.
Tuesday 16th June 2015
Tuesday was quite a busy but enjoyable day. Breakfast was served from 7.30 am. It was an individual affair at the hotel restaurant. From 8.30 am, we proceeded to the place where each one of us was allocated a test car. I immediately began with GLE 500 e 4MATIC and took the road to Saalfelden. I took 50 minutes to cover 60 kilometers.
Test drivers began to arrive at the relay station OAMTC Fahrtechnikzentrum at 9.30 am. It is located at Hohlewegen 4, 5750, Saalfelden am Steinernen Meer in Austria. The main activities here were off-road test drives, exhibitions and expert talks. Later we were allocated test cars and engaged in further tests towards Munich which involved covering 180 km in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
We arrived at The Charles Hotel IN Sophienstrabe 28, 80333, Munich, Germany at 2.00 pm. This was the final station where we were expected to return the test cars. We took lunch before being taken to Munich Airport.
From Munich Airport my colleagues and I took a scheduled flight to Stuttgart Airport. From here we were transferred to hotel Steigenberger Graf Zeppelin (Arnulf-Klett-Platz 7, 70173, in Stuttgart) where we checked in.