DriveEurope - Munich to Salzburg

As a kid, I remember the sense of freedom I felt riding my bike on my own. Exploring the ‘world’ (surrounding parklands) was my first taste of discovery, and something I wanted to continue feeling through life. Fast forward ten years, that same feeling came from getting my driver’s license - independence and freedom. While driving for most people is about getting from A-B, for some, it’s about the in-between – the journey.

The idea of this road trip was born out of two things: the desire to experience the best driving roads in the world, while seeing a side of Europe beyond an Instagram shot captioned ‘Thanks for having me Amsterdam [world emoji, love heart]’. 

Set out with the intention of hiring a BMW M2, I set the base of the journey from Munich, the home of BMW. With a horrendous amount of jet lag in tow, I made my way to BMW Welt (World) and the BMW Museum (roughly 30 minutes on the train from central Munich). Welt is a giant dealership featuring BMW’s best, spanning across their current and future lineup – alongside a range of models from Mini and Rolls Royce. The BMW Museum displays and tells the story of the brand, with some incredible features of their rich motorsport history. The museum felt like stepping into fine art gallery – the vehicles and engines on display truly were a work of art. 

Then came the day I’d long been waiting for. I got up early and ventured down to Sixt Rental to pick up the M2. I’d initially hoped for the Long Beach Blue, as it’s a great colour to shoot, however the receptionist responded to the request with a firm no, “but it is a competition”. I was both conflicted and excited, but as I walked downstairs with key in hand, my concerns faded away. There in front of me was my Alpine White M2 Competition - albeit only for two weeks.

My experience with Sixt was excellent - very responsive and easy to deal with. My only advice would be to check the prices between dealers, as I saved $300 collecting the car from ‘City’ rather than the Airport.

Having only driven left hand drive once before, the initial exit out of the carpark was interesting to say the least – with the added pressure of it being one of the tightest exits I’d experienced. Out onto the main road, a quiet Sunday morning, I did my best to follow the German GPS back to my hostel to gather my things. After 10 minutes with the staff, we managed to change the settings to English and I was en route to Salzburg via Hintersee. Personally I found driving quite easy, minus a few occasions where the LHD/RHD caught me out. However for those that aren’t confident behind the wheel, I’d suggest getting a cheaper car first, before you handle something like the M2 Comp.

The change to English got me swiftly out of town and onto the autobahn. Restricted speed zones are limited at 130kph, a limit still exceeding any road in Australia. Everything changes when you reach signs marked with a black ‘X’. The unrestricted autobahn is as crazy/awesome as everyone says, but it works well if you follow the rules and guidelines. Cruising at speeds in traffic of 170-180kph, all drivers are attentive, and no one has time to even glance at their phones. 

Before getting too close to the border, I pulled over to the petrol station to collect a ‘Vignette’, which would allow me to drive on the Austrian toll roads for 10 days. They only cost about €10 and are required on any motorway in Austria - there are cameras everywhere checking, so don’t risk not having it.

The navigation eventually led off of the autobahn and into the countryside, taking me through hillside villages of rural scenes – past cows and farmers. I was eventually brought to the lake and town of Hintersee. Filled with fresh water, the lake was strikingly clear and a great spot to take a break – despite my rookie error of forgetting to bring cash. A lot of places in Europe still only take cash payments, so it’s worth having €20 hidden away for emergencies.

I then set my GPS to Königsee, another lake that I’d been recommended – although when I arrived at the town, I was completely distracted by the incredible mountains. There was also an underground discotheque next to the McDonalds, which brings me to my very important conclusion: every single McDonald’s in the Alps has the most incredible view (albeit very varied). 

Before I knew it, the day was coming to a close and I was heading towards my stop for the night, Salzburg. I’d decided to book Yoho Youth Hostel, and while they didn’t offer parking, they were the top rated in the area. I had previously been informed of parking nearby, so I was covered. After a bit of socialising and some evening beers, I hit the hay after a big few days of travel.

The following day, I woke up feeling rather unwell (you know it’s bad when it doesn’t feel like a hangover) but decided to soldier on and head to the Red Bull Hangar-7 with a few South African lads I met the night before. Walking into the hangar, you are greeted by with an array of Formula 1, Dakar and Air Race vehicles, which really puts into perspective just how big a company they are. The best part, it’s free. 

From there, we headed back into town and I decided to get some rest at the hostel. Following an accidental 12-hour snooze, I was greeted by my co-driver for the remainder of the trip, Adam – one of my best mates who I hadn’t seen for two years. After a catch up over a cup of tea and some BBQ shapes or as a French-Canadian girl called them “Shaaarrrpes”, we hit the hay.

World Time Attack Challenge 2018

Modified cars don’t make sense to a lot of people. This is especially the case when you find out how much people spend. But for me, a modified car is your way of standing out from the crowd and being unique. Every day I look at my car, I look at it as so much more than just a method of getting from A-B. (More often than not, the destination ends up being a workshop)
Bring in World Time Attack, a culmination of all automotive walks of life. Originally a platform for speed demons to race and complete their fastest flying lap, WTAC over the years has also introduced some alternative competitions including drifting, fastest 500 and the show and shine, this year run by Downshift.
Driving through the darkness from our Airbnb, we arrived at Sydney Motorsport Park as the sun began to rise, providing some much-needed warmth for the show and shine’s bump in. The great thing about shows of this size is the diversity and quality of vehicles; there’s something to suit every automotive enthusiast. 
But more than cars, events of this scale are about friends and your automotive family. A time when you can switch off of social media and just be there, in the moment. Hopefully, my album shows that.

Motorclassica 2018 w/Mercedes Benz

Working in the automotive industry is huge passion and goal of mine, so you can only imagine my joy when Mercedes Benz got in touch with me to cover Motorclassica 2018 on their behalf.
Coming to me with a goal of showing their major sponsorship of the event, we created stills, live uploads, and video content, as well as providing my experience in lifestyle and automotive to also create a narrative for their content output.

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