FW: Tristar goes Home

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 16 August 2015 12:42
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Syncro Overload

Posted: 14 Aug 2015 11:33 PM PDT

Here is your blog writer before setting off for the airport on the big adventure. This car will be staying Port Macquarie of course but I suspect I will be seeing lots of these soon.  

After 42 hours travelling and missing a connection in Zurich because of a flight delay and over zealous Swiss customs officials I finally got to Berlin to be met by Ann's uncle. He lives fairly close to the airport. Had some great catch up time with Ann's family and then we heard the unmistakable sound of a VW flat 4 engine in the street. Yes. Hart had made it from Hamburg to Berlin in one piece. Off to a lovely lunch by the river Hafel and it was time to hit the road to Juterbog. 

 

With the trusty Tom Tom loaded up with the latest Europe map, off we went. No dramas as we ended up on an autobahn and were soon at our hotel near the festival site. Just one near miss with a Merc was all there is to report and we found that the two finger salute spans continents!!

Hotel is a funky place with converted Russian railway carriages that were brand new in their day, used for hotel rooms. But first job after all the stress it was a German beer. Here are the three travellers enjoying the warm weather. 

Hotel is very interesting and fascinating what people do in this world!! German word is "schlafwagen". Google it you want to check it out. There is even a bowling alley here along with bits of old cars and railway memorabilia. 

Next morning it was off to the festival. What can I say. These events in Australia would draw maybe 30 Syncros and here there are around 900. All sorts of shapes and sizes. There was so much to see and this is only day 1!!!!!

Firstly a bit of history with the release from a VW museum of the 1978 Syncro prototype. What a rare vehicle. And it still works fine. 

Then just a variety of these vehicles in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Here is a sample:

 

And of course some other interesting vehicles like this East German Trabant. The legendary 2 stroke car that you ordered and got delivery in 4 years if you were lucky. Made of some sort of plastic compound. This one had been "hotted" up as we say. 

Then a Syncro mad guy made this for his son. In the background you can see the food vans and the stage for the rock concert on Saturday night. 

This will finish the post for today as it's very frustrating using the wifi at our hotel on an iPad through the blogger App. 

We are heading off now for day 2 and there are lots of activities planned. Will get some photos of the locals and our hosts for the upcoming trip around Germany. Saturday will be the biggest day and it should be crowded. Plus it's hot again!!

 

 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 17 August 2015 12:12
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Day 2 - and it's Zehr Heiss

Posted: 15 Aug 2015 11:50 PM PDT

We wake up to another hot day and have a delicious breakfast, German style. Jet lag not yet gone and its light so early that we are awake and keen to get to the festival for day 2. More walking around checking out the cars that have arrived overnight and its getting close to that 900 mark we reckon. Here is a photo of a group of vans going on the tour around Germany with us from Sunday. 

The kiwis are flying the all black flag proudly and they took great delight telling me the score later in the day. I think that is the Catalan flag as we have Mark and his family from Spain on the tour. Along with Brits, French and Germans of course.

Not to be outdone we deck our two vans out in lots of Aussie stuff!!

 

just for interest here is a shot of a great BBQ.

There are some crazy guys here and this one bought along a military police vehicle with all the gear and have a look at the photo of the workstation inside.

Thought I should show how to do proper OHS. None of that tape and the like, and guess what. No one fell over the cables all day!!!! Not so sure about the tyre late at night!!!!

Could not resist a photo of our favourite food van. The currywurst and pommes was just sensational for lunch each day. With heaps of tomato sauce of course.

This van belongs to Joachin, who has helped out with the tour as he is an expert translator. He took this van to Australia and toured around for months. He even went across on the Spirit to Tasmania. Very proud of his photo of the boatshed on Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain. I must tell him that it is the most photographed boatshed in Australia. He is coming on the tour as well and we think he will be very useful deaing with the German Police if any of us vistors gets pulled over. It wont be for speeding I can assure you!!!

This was interesting and something very new to me. It also shows the international nature of the event. This van is from Russia. See the number plate. I wonder if Mr Putin gave them a subsidy to get here?

We spent a long afternoon wandering through the various trade sites and all three of us got a variety of spare parts and gadgets that would be much more expensive in Australia. Plus we dreamed of some great items for sale such as porsche disk brakes and springs that fit our cars. Just dont ask the price!!!

The sun got low in the sky and like good Aussies our thoughts turned to beer. We ended up in a group for some lively conversation and building of international relations. Here we are, five aussies and Joachim from Freiburg, the translation guru. Phil (Some call him Mr Syncro) and Joanne Lander had arrived for the day and joined us. Phil of course knew heaps of people here because of his many Syncro connections.

Even though the All Blacks beat the Wallabies we let Dave and Penny Finney from NZ join in for some fun. Ckeck the nice shorts made by Penny. and matching too. How cool!

The Germans really know how to party and this an interesting way to convert a VW to a fun vehicle. They were having a great time and I thought this would never happen back home. The boys had what we would call an esky in the back and with doof doof music blaring they drove around the site for a while. Such a blast!!

Later in the day it was time to get ready for the Germany tour and we had a briefing at 4.00 pm. Here is a photo of two lovely guys, Jorg and Hegi who have done most of the organising. Fantastic guys and we have already had a lot of fun with them. Just loving the German bier!!!

The day finishes with more VW Syncro talk and it's just incredible what a community it is. People from all over the world and instantly you become friends. So different from Australia with the European countries being so close you get a real feel about what is trying to be achieved with the European Union. But when we get off cars and talk about life in general it becomes clear that the future of a common currency is shaky. 

The other observation is that English is spoken by so many Europeans. Some excellent, some can just get by but if you try and use your own limited German amazing conversations can follow.

It has been the most wonderful day and friendships have grown. I think Facebook could be taking a battering when we get home as the people we have met are so keen to maintain connections.

Our hotel owners are keen for us to hang around in the morning so we can be used in a promotional photo shoot so that should be fun.

Next stop Dresden!!!!!

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 17 August 2015 12:12
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Day 2 - and it's Zehr Heiss

Posted: 15 Aug 2015 11:50 PM PDT

We wake up to another hot day and have a delicious breakfast, German style. Jet lag not yet gone and its light so early that we are awake and keen to get to the festival for day 2. More walking around checking out the cars that have arrived overnight and its getting close to that 900 mark we reckon. Here is a photo of a group of vans going on the tour around Germany with us from Sunday. 

The kiwis are flying the all black flag proudly and they took great delight telling me the score later in the day. I think that is the Catalan flag as we have Mark and his family from Spain on the tour. Along with Brits, French and Germans of course.

Not to be outdone we deck our two vans out in lots of Aussie stuff!!

 

just for interest here is a shot of a great BBQ.

There are some crazy guys here and this one bought along a military police vehicle with all the gear and have a look at the photo of the workstation inside.

Thought I should show how to do proper OHS. None of that tape and the like, and guess what. No one fell over the cables all day!!!! Not so sure about the tyre late at night!!!!

Could not resist a photo of our favourite food van. The currywurst and pommes was just sensational for lunch each day. With heaps of tomato sauce of course.

This van belongs to Joachin, who has helped out with the tour as he is an expert translator. He took this van to Australia and toured around for months. He even went across on the Spirit to Tasmania. Very proud of his photo of the boatshed on Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain. I must tell him that it is the most photographed boatshed in Australia. He is coming on the tour as well and we think he will be very useful deaing with the German Police if any of us vistors gets pulled over. It wont be for speeding I can assure you!!!

This was interesting and something very new to me. It also shows the international nature of the event. This van is from Russia. See the number plate. I wonder if Mr Putin gave them a subsidy to get here?

We spent a long afternoon wandering through the various trade sites and all three of us got a variety of spare parts and gadgets that would be much more expensive in Australia. Plus we dreamed of some great items for sale such as porsche disk brakes and springs that fit our cars. Just dont ask the price!!!

The sun got low in the sky and like good Aussies our thoughts turned to beer. We ended up in a group for some lively conversation and building of international relations. Here we are, five aussies and Joachim from Freiburg, the translation guru. Phil (Some call him Mr Syncro) and Joanne Lander had arrived for the day and joined us. Phil of course knew heaps of people here because of his many Syncro connections.

Even though the All Blacks beat the Wallabies we let Dave and Penny Finney from NZ join in for some fun. Ckeck the nice shorts made by Penny. and matching too. How cool!

The Germans really know how to party and this an interesting way to convert a VW to a fun vehicle. They were having a great time and I thought this would never happen back home. The boys had what we would call an esky in the back and with doof doof music blaring they drove around the site for a while. Such a blast!!

Later in the day it was time to get ready for the Germany tour and we had a briefing at 4.00 pm. Here is a photo of two lovely guys, Jorg and Hegi who have done most of the organising. Fantastic guys and we have already had a lot of fun with them. Just loving the German bier!!!

The day finishes with more VW Syncro talk and it's just incredible what a community it is. People from all over the world and instantly you become friends. So different from Australia with the European countries being so close you get a real feel about what is trying to be achieved with the European Union. But when we get off cars and talk about life in general it becomes clear that the future of a common currency is shaky. 

The other observation is that English is spoken by so many Europeans. Some excellent, some can just get by but if you try and use your own limited German amazing conversations can follow.

It has been the most wonderful day and friendships have grown. I think Facebook could be taking a battering when we get home as the people we have met are so keen to maintain connections.

Our hotel owners are keen for us to hang around in the morning so we can be used in a promotional photo shoot so that should be fun.

Next stop Dresden!!!!!

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 18 August 2015 12:29
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


The Trip Begins

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 12:56 AM PDT

Another hot day but with some early fog so it's a bit cooler. It soon burns off and we have the same Aussie weather again. After another delicious German breakfast we become the stars of the hotel owners photo shoot. I will have to check out his web site and see if we make an appearance. I gave the owner's wife a koala as a souvenir when we handed back the keys and she was very happy indeed!!

Then it was back to the festival to get ready for our departure at 11.00. One of our vehicles had broken down before the festival. Nice English couple, Clive and Jenny. Clive was an aeronautical engineer of some sort and he talked about all flight stuff with us. I think he had even done some stuff with the Concorde. Their diesel van had done something and for 3 days the help he had was amazing from all sorts of VW experts. The back of the engine was removed and put back on with tools from all of us. But at the end of the day it looked the heads have to come off to he was steeling himself for a battle with his insurance company. Hopefully he will get it on a truck and then hire a vehicle to join us soon.

We all gathered in a car park and the excitement was building. I counted 19 Syncros and a couple of "wring ins". 

 

We all lined up before departure.

 

We drove through the countryside of former East Germany and it was somewhat depressing to see the types of building and the lack of activity. We think they could still be suffering the after effects of the communist regime of the DDR. Then it was on the road heading to our lunch spot at a huge brown coal mine. Which is now a tourist attraction. Called Besucherbergwerk. It is massive and the largest movable structure in Europe. Although it no longer moves!! Took 1000 men to build for 2 years and then it was only used for 15 months before they realised it was uneconomical.

 

 

Check these photos along the way. I don't think Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey would like this view! How stupid are they regarding renewable energy?

After driving through the rain our thoughts turned to putting up tents. Could be interesting!

Our camping ground was much like Australia but it was very large and even had a thermal pool. It was located in a town on the outskirts of Dresden called Moritzburg. I went hunter gathering with a couple into town and has an experience shopping in a Store like Aldi called Lidl. They are also coming to Australia.

It was a damp night but we all chipped in and made the best of it. The small stainless steel bbq that Jorg had was very popular for the bratwurst. 

It was great going to sleep in a tent with the sound of rain falling from the trees and I had to pinch myself that I was not on the East Coast of NSW but in the heartland of Germany with some fabulous people. Now to get ready for day 2 when we go further South. 

 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Brilliant Les.

I just subscribed to Peters Blog...

I thought I had already done it.

Cheers,

Skot

On 18/08/2015 1:12 PM, 'Leslie harris' leslieharris@optusnet.com.au [Syncro_T3_Australia] wrote:

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 16 August 2015 12:42
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

Tristar goes Home



Syncro Overload

Posted: 14 Aug 2015 11:33 PM PDT

Here is your blog writer before setting off for the airport on the big adventure. This car will be staying Port Macquarie of course but I suspect I will be seeing lots of these soon.

After 42 hours travelling and missing a connection in Zurich because of a flight delay and over zealous Swiss customs officials I finally got to Berlin to be met by Ann's uncle. He lives fairly close to the airport. Had some great catch up time with Ann's family and then we heard the unmistakable sound of a VW flat 4 engine in the street. Yes. Hart had made it from Hamburg to Berlin in one piece. Off to a lovely lunch by the river Hafel and it was time to hit the road to Juterbog.

With the trusty Tom Tom loaded up with the latest Europe map, off we went. No dramas as we ended up on an autobahn and were soon at our hotel near the festival site. Just one near miss with a Merc was all there is to report and we found that the two finger salute spans continents!!

Hotel is a funky place with converted Russian railway carriages that were brand new in their day, used for hotel rooms. But first job after all the stress it was a German beer. Here are the three travellers enjoying the warm weather.

Hotel is very interesting and fascinating what people do in this world!! German word is "schlafwagen". Google it you want to check it out. There is even a bowling alley here along with bits of old cars and railway memorabilia.

Next morning it was off to the festival. What can I say. These events in Australia would draw maybe 30 Syncros and here there are around 900. All sorts of shapes and sizes. There was so much to see and this is only day 1!!!!!

Firstly a bit of history with the release from a VW museum of the 1978 Syncro prototype. What a rare vehicle. And it still works fine.

Then just a variety of these vehicles in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Here is a sample:

And of course some other interesting vehicles like this East German Trabant. The legendary 2 stroke car that you ordered and got delivery in 4 years if you were lucky. Made of some sort of plastic compound. This one had been "hotted" up as we say.

Then a Syncro mad guy made this for his son. In the background you can see the food vans and the stage for the rock concert on Saturday night.

This will finish the post for today as it's very frustrating using the wifi at our hotel on an iPad through the blogger App.

We are heading off now for day 2 and there are lots of activities planned. Will get some photos of the locals and our hosts for the upcoming trip around Germany. Saturday will be the biggest day and it should be crowded. Plus it's hot again!!

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States


Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 20 August 2015 12:44
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Klingenthal to Oberzenn to Sigmaringen

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 11:53 AM PDT

Firstly a riddle. Who was the British pop group who sang "love is all around us?"

Answer "Wet Wet Wet. Yep the lovely rain on the tent was nice at the time last night but it only stopped briefly during the middle of the day and then down it came!!

But we had a fabulous trip on day 2 to an incredible place called Bastei Castle. It's like building a castle on top of the three sisters at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Stunning views and such history. They used a catapult for defence and here are a few shots of of our visit.

 

 

 

Then it was off to our next camping spot and the excitement was we were going through the Czech Republic. We certainly did go through so many towns with unprouncable names and roads you would not believe. The patches of bitumen were patched and patched again. But beautiful forests and towns with hardly a soul in sight. On one hand great but on the other depressing. So different to Germany. 

We arrived at our camping spot with tents still wet from the night before and put them up in the rain. Not happy campers. But there was a bright side. The town of Klingental is right on the Czech border so a few of us headed off to a restaurant. It was so cheap and great food and beer. Steve our lovely British guy and his two kids had three full meals. He had two big beers and it came to under 20 Euros. Fantastic. My schweinsteak and crocettes washed down with a dark local beer was yummo!!

Back to the camp and into a tent that had a couple of drips. Lucky they were not over the sleeping bag.

Then we headed off for our scenic drive to Obernzenn. But first a stop to take advantage of the cheap Czech petrol. 

 

 

Along the way we had a coffee and here are two fabulous people, Willy and Erika with Hart. They are travelling the world in their Syncro and living the dream. It was just beautiful and has been lovingly maintained and has the required number of gadgets on board. Then a meeting to get shots of a castle. One of thousands in Germany. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that, a drive through many small town and an exciting stint on an Autobahn and we got to our campingplatz at Obenzenn. Check out the first use of sunshine for a few days!!

Our hosts got us to circle the wagons and they treated us to beer and pizza with some local wine. So great and we all ate around a central table. 19 vehicles, 23 adults, four children and a dog. Wonderful. 

 

After a dry sleep and a communal breakfast we headed off to a beautiful medieval town called Rothenberg. Simply amazing. A completely walled city with all the historic buildings inside. I just had to climb the main tower as the views were incredible. Here we are approaching the main part of the town. 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked along a part of the wall and after a bit of shopping for supplies drove away and guess what. It started raining again!! We arrived at a town called Sigmaringen which was the seat of the catholic branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty. 

Sadly setting up again in the rain but we circled the wagons and with awnings and tarps had a great communal meal again. 

 

Shot below is the castle from our camp ground. More to follow on my next post. We are just hoping the rain will stop!!

 

 

 

 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Nice Syncro, it's also listed in carsales:


Don't know if it's $20000 worth, what do you think? Looking for one here in Down Under.

Cheers Arne

PS: I'll introduce my self soon, some had seen me already at the VW show in Williamstown



Am 20.08.2015 um 10:39 schrieb Scott Pitcher spbconsulting@bigpond.com [Syncro_T3_Australia] <Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com>:

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 22 August 2015 12:44
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Castles, Zeppelins, Churches and the Black Forest

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 08:45 AM PDT

Another damp night in Sigmaringen but not our spririts. Your writer woke up with a headache from just one too many Schnapps. Willy is such a good host. A few of us headed off to the town centre and the castle of the Hohenzollern dynasty for a guided tour.  It lived up to our expectations. Simply amazing wealth and an incredible building. Our guide said that one French antique table would buy you a villa and a Lamborghini. Unfortunately strictly no photos inside. 

 

The castle was the residence of the various heads of the Dynasty with links to the royal houses of Europe. The first reference goes back to 1077. Prince Carl Anton grew the dynasty and managed to marry his children into the royal houses of Europe and Scandinavia. The castle was full of antiques, armour and weaponry displays. They must have taxed their subjects to the maximum possible to amass such wealth. We toured the private rooms of Princess Josephine and saw where they had their lavish receptions. The current Prince lives nearby and the castle is still used for ceremonial purposes. We walked around the town after the tour and had a very relaxing time.

 

After seeing all that opulence it was back on the road and we headed off for Konstanz by the lake Bodensee to the Zeppelin museum. Once again we were amazed at the history and the museum had a fabulous collection of memorabilia and a direct copy of one section of the Hindenberg. We learned that the Zeppelins were actually very successful and flew hundreds of times until the terrible disaster of the Hindenberg in the USA. Look at the size of that thing compared to an A380. 

This is the smoking room!! In a ship full of hydrogen. 

 

 

Off to our campingplatz after a ferry across the Bodensee. Very pleasant to be on the lake and interesting to look to the horizon and see Switzerland.

 

We were joined by Steve and his family from Washington. They had bought a 16" camper in the Netherlands, picked it up and drove to meet up with the group. Of course we poured over the vehicle to check it out as it was a special luxury camper version called a Club Joker. Another night with a very heavy dew but we stayed dry. Most of the group went off to a restaurant but Hart and I stayed back and I cooked some food that needed to used. Of course a cook has to have a beer while cooking. Willy forced another schnapps on us!!!!!!

 

Next morning we drove to the town of Konstanz and had some relaxing time. I walked up to the top of the Munster Cathedral. It's a very impressive building with a very interesting ancient spire that you can walk up for two euros. Of course I had to do it and got some great photos.

Many church figures are buried in the Cathedral and have at look at the date on this tomb in the floor!!

 

The whole town has beautiful architecture.

 

Next another blast for the senses as once we got out of a traffic jam we drove through the Black Forest  towards Freiburg. A tour was planned but we were all so tired we decided just to chill out. Great chance to dry out the tents.

 

We are down to 10 vehicles but more IG Club members are going to join us. Again the community spirit of the group is wonderful and despite some language barriers all is going really well. Our hosts have very good English and it's embarrassing that my German is so far behind!! But a few beers tonight and all will be well.

 

Tomorrow it's off to a fabulous Auto museum in France. 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 27 August 2015 12:17
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


German History and Off Road Driving

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 10:09 AM PDT

Another clear night with no rain and after packing up our tents yet again (we can do it with our eyes shut by now!!) we headed to the beautiful town of Koblenz. Population around 110,000. Very historic as it is situated at the junction of the Rhein (note I am now using the correct German spelling) and the Moselle rivers. The history of the town goes right back to Roman times as it was an important strategic stronghold. There is a very historic place called the Deutsches Eck or German corner because there is a massive statue on a plinth of the first German Kaiser, Wilhelm 1, who was king when Germany united in 1870 to become a federation. It was erected in 1897 and is very impressive. Great spot to take photos.

 

Also there is a large castle on the opposite side of the Rhein called Ehrenbreitstein and it's a very impressive structure built high on a hill overlooking the river. Did not have time for a tour but hope the photo below does it justice.

 

We parked near the castle and took a large cable car over the Rhein to the city. The pods can take 35 people. Not bad. Great views of the city. We walked around the city which has numerous laneways and a lot of historic buildings.  A welcome rest for a lunch of fische and pommes, a coffee and then a close up look at the statue. It has the coat of arms of the states that formed the federation.

 

Back to the Syncros for a drive which took us to a small ferry ride across the Rhein. This was so great. Photo of us looking pretty pleased at being on another ferry. 

Nice photo also of Mona with Duna the little girl of Mark and Anna our Catalonian tour members. Joachim has obviously other things on his mind!!

 

 

Along the autobahn to a small town called Dormagen where a member of the IG 16 club, Klaus and his wife Astrid have a large nursery with a fabulous outdoor area set up for club events. We circled the wagons again and few local members joined us for the night. Astrid set up a large fire in the middle of the area and it was a wonderful night. One of the local guys, Andreas, has a very solid off road Syncro and has travelled to many parts of the world including Africa. His van was full of brown dust to prove his adventure. It has only had three engines and five gearboxes!!! We had met him in Berlin so good to catch up. He had the miniature Syncro at the Berlin Festival.

 

Bit of rain overnight but we kept dry in our tents. After another communal breakfast it was back to the autobahn to head to our next stop. This was a UNESCO classified coal mine called Zollverein. It is huge and has a long history of producing coking coal from 1847. It was a factor in the unification of Germany as the owners worked hard to get the various customs duties changed when Germany was made up of separate States. It has been kept intact with lots of interpretative signs and it is also used for music events. It's in the Ruhr area which is a major industrial part of Germany and was heavily bombed at the end of WW II.

 

Back to the Autobahn for some exciting driving to our campsite in Fursten Forest. This was previously an army base where a Panzer Division was based and it is now an off road park. 

Our first real mechanical issue when the catalytic converter from Paul's exhaust system fell off. Not good as it meant his exhaust was coming straight out a pipe and not going through the muffler. Bit noisy and putting out black smoke. Left that issue for the moment and we set up camp near a group of quad bikers who had been through the muddy tracks during the day. Another club member, Raimond joined us in his army green Syncro and bought along some local beer called Neanderthal as some skeletons were discovered in the area. Jörg warned us not to drink to much of this stuff or we will get big eyebrows!! 

 

Wednesday 26th and our planned rest day. To show the great spirit of the group, Willie phoned a mechanic near his home which is 70km away and arranged for Paul to see him after lunch. Hart and Paul set off guided by Willy and we took two Syncros into the off road area. What a blast. Hegi put his van through its paces and did some fantastic driving in the mud. Showed just how fantastic these vehicles are. Two quad bike riders watched and just could not believe it. 

You can hire lots of different vehicles, even a tank to go into the forest and have some fun. 149 Euros for half an hour!!

 

Afternoon now and time to chill as we wait for the repaired Syncro to return. Tomorrow we head to Steinhuder Meer near Hannover. Signing off. Peter from Port, your blog writer. 

 

 

 

 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 30 August 2015 12:09
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Finally.......Hamburg

Posted: 29 Aug 2015 08:54 AM PDT

Paul and Hart returned from the visit to an exhaust mechanic in Goldenstedt with his catalytic converter back in place.  Fair bit of welding there.

 

They were both knackered to coin an Aussie phrase. Paul went straight to bed and Hart had a nip of Schnapps to keep him going as there was more VW discussion to be had during the night!!

At this point I should mention that we broke a WORLD RECORD. Yesterday the red Tristar covered 600km on 57 litres of fuel. That's 9.5 litres per 100 km. Unheard of in a Syncro. Hart was so excited as in our Syncros around Port Macquarie we get about 16.

It's a combination of very good roads and quality fuel. We were using 98 octane. Mark in a fully laden petrol Syncro was also very excited at getting 11. He gets nothing like that in Spain. 

Panic set in around the camp when Hegi pulled up the weather forecast on his phone. Rain storms forecast with red areas on the radar. 

Everyone secured the site and we took down our tents and moved into a nearby shed. Who knows what the army used it for but we suspect it is used as a drying room for the off roaders. We had a very dry night on a concrete floor but the rain never came. Oh well, never mind.

 

I mentioned that Paul's troubles were the first real breakdown on the trip. But there was a more serious one. Hart's blow up mattress developed a leak and we could not find it. Disaster!! So he bought a new thermorest when in town and used it for the first time on a concrete floor. I think his back survived.

We headed off to our next campingplatz in Steinhuder Meer (in the Hannover area) and set up our tents for the 12th time. I think we are getting the hang of it. 

What a laugh. It's a place set up for camper vans with their own toilets and showers. Mona calls them Tupperware Campers. As a result there is only one toilet and two showers in the camp facilities. And you have to pay for everything with coin in the slot machines. Power if you need it costs 60 cents per KWH. Then you also pay for water and showers, one euro for 5 minutes. Lucky there were no teenage girls in the group!!

After setting up we went to one of the highlights of the trip for any VW nut. The Grundmann museum in the nearby town of Oldendorf. We were amazed at his collection. Starting with rare hand built cars by a guy named Rometsch. They were popular with US film stars and he has a car that was once owned by Gregory Peck. The cars were built on a wooden frame with hand crafted aluminium panels. Unfortunately we could only take photos for personal use on the strict understanding they could not be put on the Internet or shared. I have to respect his wishes. 

The next area had a collection of vintage Porsche cars and some in original condition. Wonderful machines. Too many to describe. And of course a few vintage VW buses including one that was used in the USA as a mobile radio station. The funniest ones were hand made vehicles from the former East Germany. Even a complete Kombi made of wood.

The next room was even more amazing. An original 1938 beetle prototype that was found in a Russian field. They restored it to original condition. A very rare vehicle indeed. 

Then a collection of German military vehicles including a kubelwagen (let's call it a VW jeep) prototype and a production car. Also an original schwimwagen, the VW amphibious vehicle. Very rare also. Hart was excited about this as he used to own one. My dear wife Ann-Kathrin used to have a kubelwagen when she was at university in Hobart. It is still in a collection in Australia and appears sometimes in magazines and motor shows. He even had a VW beetle that was owned by the Nazi third in command Alfred Rosenburg.

It was just incredible to see such history and he is continuing to search out and acquire historic vehicles.  We had fun trying to estimate the value of the collection. Impossible. 

Then back to our camp at Steinhuder Meer amongst all the motor homes. Not a person in sight and we think they were all inside their vans watching TV!!

For the trip we did not have camping chairs or a table and it's amazing what you can do on the road. Here is a photo of our table where we cooked each day. Including a very nice tablecloth!!

 

It had been raining steadily so we set up camp by grouping the Syncros with awnings together for protection. Mona made a large batch of pasta and with a few beers all was well with the world, and then after a couple of schnapps it was off to the tents to listen to the rain that was forecast to last until 8.00 in the morning.

Hart woke up in a wet tent so we hoped for some sunshine to dry out all his gear at our next camp.

Breakfast over and we set off for perhaps the highlight of the tour. The VW commercial vehicle centre in Hannover. The Holy grail someone called it. By the way, the big guy in the red shirt was a ring in, not one of the tour group.

 

This is where they have collected a model of every VW commercial vehicle made which includes the original bus or Kombi as we call it in Australia right through to the T5 and Amarock. Unfortunately the brand new T6 was not there. 

Again we could only take photos for personal use.

They also do restorations for clients as well and the workshop was full of vehicles in various states from just a bare shell right through to a nearly completed original Kombi in beautiful red and white paint. A three year project so far. Who knows how much that would cost!!

There were original Syncros there as well as a couple of Tristars. When we finished the tour the guys came out and had a look at our vehicles. 

Everyone was just in awe of this collection and most found it even better than the Grundmann collection.

We then headed off towards Hamburg on the autobahn and had some more exhilarating driving. In the other direction there had been a crash and we estimated the traffic jam to be about 20 km long. 

Our tour guides took us to an American Diner in Saltau. It was just what you would expect in a diner but we were all pretty hungry after the morning on the autobahn and in the VW museum.

 

Then back onto the autobahn for the race to Hamburg. We drove over the Köhlbrand Bridge. 

 

We arrived at a historic part of the Hamburg wharf area that Hegi had arranged for our camp. Beautiful views over the river to the city. We even found a patch of grass for the tents.

 

A few more Syncros joined the group for the night and we had a great communal get together for our last meal together. Erika had organised a lovely gift for Hegi, Mona and Jörg and we had some nice speeches. I gave them each a koala holding an Aussie flag and thanked them from the bottom of our hearts for arranging the trip. Then it rained. Oh well, we just made the best of it. I even did a song called the Syncro Blues using Willy's guitar with a verse for each member of the group who made it all the way.

 

The guys from IG 16 made some plans

To drive around Germany in their vans

They like to drive and also roam

But let's not do it on our own

Or else we'll get the ......Syncro Blues

 

Hegis out the front in his big red truck 

Anyone behind him is out of luck

The Diesel engine is running hot

But man that smoke.... What a lot

now he's got the.......Syncro Blues

 

There's two vans here from far away

Hart and Paul let's cheer hooray

They're having fun driving on the recht side

Anyone coming......keep out wide

they have got the.........Syncro Blues

 

Willy and Erika ..... what a pair

They have been most everywhere

Their van it has all the mod cons

Even a guitar for Willys great songs

He can sing those........ Syncro Blues

 

There were two Brits here called Jenny and Clive

Buzzing around like bees in a hive

Their diesel motor.....it got busted

Doesn't matter, the Doka's all rusted

They have got the.........Syncro Blues

 

Joachim and Jorg helped with the plan

Joachims got a very high van

Jorg is busy likes to keep in touch

On his handy phone, gott, so much

He has got the.....Syncro Blues

 

Mark, Anna, Duna and Brock

Mark's old bus goes like a rock

He will fix it, we know he can

Because he said,  I am Catalan

He has got the........Syncro Blues

 

There's a family with us from the USA

Bought a Syncro along the way

It's got some dents and like to rev

But thanks good, it's not a chef

They have got the.......Syncro Blues

 

Finally we are going to slow down

But not before we play around

Let's put the Syncros through their paces

Just hope we don't end up hospital cases

We have all got those Syncro Blues

 

Syncro Blues, Syncro Blues

Man I've got those Syncro Blues

Syncro Blues, Syncro Blues

We've all got those.....Syncro Blues. 

 

Talk went to the next event when the Syncro is 35 years old. Looks like the event will be in Spain and there was a lot of excitement about the possibilities. My mind went racing ahead to a plan to bring my Syncro over for an extended European holiday. Could be fun. Hmmmm. Some thinking needed here!!!

Morning came and the sun was out as we chatted and talked about everyone's plans. Joachim was heading to Busfest in England like us and others were heading home. 

A photographer turned up at 10.00 to take some shots of the Tristar and talk to Hart. There will be a story in the German magazine, Autobild Klassik. Interesting that the Germans have taken up the phrase "old timers" to describe classic cars like our Syncros.

 

No one wanted to leave but eventually the goodbyes started and it was a pretty emotional time for all. We set off to Wentorf to Hart's old mate Harald's place and I think we are both really looking forward to sleeping in a bed for the first time in nearly two weeks!!!

On reflection, it was the most amazing trip to do a lap of Germany with only one minor mechanical issue in our nearly 30 year old cars. We saw beautiful landscape, castles, towns, villages, cities and lovely people. But there is no doubt the people of our tour group were the highlight of the trip. We all got on so well considering we were from Germany, Australia, Spain, France, UK, USA, France and Norway. Although not everyone spoke English we all managed to communicate and really bonded. Sad to see it all end but some lifelong friendships have been made.

Now for a rest before we head off next week to Malvern in England for Busfest at weekend.

 

 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 09 September 2015 12:41
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Hamburg to Oxford

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 08:18 AM PDT

Just posting this old blog now as I have wifi. Another one about Busfest with VW photos to follow. 

Spring has arrived in Australia but it's autumn in Germany. I am writing this update as we scream down the autobahn at 110 kph with Hart at the wheel of the trusty Tristar. Trucks are all around us and I thought it was bad driving from Port Macquarie to Sydney. There are three lanes on our road heading South towards our overnight stop at Arnhem in The Netherlands. On our outside is bumper to bumper semi trailers going at 100 kph and we are in the middle lane doing our 110 kph at times and on our left are are a variety of low flying jets!!! The occasional Porsche goes past but we barely see it. Except we have a traffic issue with a closed lane ahead so it's not quite so crazy. 

 

We have had a few days to recover from the Germany tour and clean out the cars, get some rest and enjoy the hospitality of Hart's long time pal in Wentorf, just East of Hamburg. His house is in a beautiful setting beside a golf course. We had a visit from Hart's godson who is a Lufthansa commercial pilot and enjoyed a BBQ or grille as they call it here. More local beer and wine. Caught up with Hart's brother as well and guess what, more wine. We both slept well that night. 

 

Poor Paul had some more issues with his exhaust and it needed more welding. He drove to Luneberg for a haircut but as well as the exhaust he broke a fan belt. Having no luck. He had the exhaust welded again and a second bracket put on. Bit nervous about his car so he headed off to Arnhem a day early just in case. He got there but more troubles as he found that the vibration that was causing the exhaust issues was a worn universal joint. He does not have a decoupler so he has had the prop shaft taken out and he is now in 2WD. But we think it will be better and he does not need 4WD anyway as were are on the highways. 

Yesterday I spent the day in Hamburg doing tourist stuff. Photos below. The Rathuas or town hall is a magnificent building and did you know there are more canals in Hamburg than Venice, according to the locals!!

 

 

 

 

 

Met up with a guy Ann knows from her South African days and checked out a local pub. Very interesting. I thought I was on the set of that old sitcom, Cheers. Everyone knew each other. Only issue was they all smoked which is so unusual for us in Australia. 

Some more photos of the autobahn and Tony Abbott wind generators.

 

We drove through Germany and then into The Netherlands. As expected it was very flat and surprisingly no wind generators. Their power comes from coal fired plants or is purchased from France's nuclear generators. 

Traffic was intense and we have never seen so many trucks. Just incredible the amount of freight being moved.

Our overnight stop was at the Netherlands gliding centre at Telet near Arnhem. An old friend of Ann has a nice cabin there. It's a large set up with 5 gliding clubs on the site. We estimated there were around 300 gliders based there. Our host Harold who is a 767 captain took us to one of the strips and we watched gliders being launched by a tow plane and also by winch. The winch had 5 cables so they were launching one after the other before a truck bought the 5 cables back. Harold took Hart up for a flight in the tow plane and they checked out Arnhem including the famous bridge from WW II. Was in the movie called "A Bridge too Far". 

 

After a very good meal at the restaurant in the gliding centre a well earned rest and it was off on our drive to Calais. More traffic and many more trucks even at 8.00 in the morning. Felt like we were in Sydney it was that bad!! Wonder what it will be like in 5 years time??

Our fellow traveller Paul has had more exhaust troubles and we have fingers crossed.

We headed to Calais and then the ferry across the channel. It's a 1 1/2 trip and it was so good seeing the white cliffs of Dover. One observation is that there is now another currency called ship dollars, or Euros. Just a small apple juice cost me 2.77 Euros. Worse than an airport!!

 

We reach the shores of Dover and I am in the land of my ancestors who came to Australia at His Majesty's pleasure on an ocean voyage!!

A drive to Oxford to stay with our friends Damaris and John and we experienced the mobile parking lot called the M25. Stuck for 30 minutes in slow traffic near the junction to Heathrow. We got to Oxford eventually and a beautiful home cooked meal and catch up with our friends. Very relaxing time ready for the excitement of Busfest on Friday. 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home.
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

 

Tristar goes Home

 

 

From: noreply+feedproxy@google.com [mailto:noreply+feedproxy@google.com]
Sent: 12 September 2015 12:16
To: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Subject: Tristar goes Home

 

Tristar goes Home


Busfest.....at last

Posted: 11 Sep 2015 09:35 AM PDT

Relaxing in Hamburg after a long few weeks so it's time to post a reflection about Busfest in the UK last weekend. 

The day finally arrived and after a lovely organic breakfast with our friends in Oxford we set the Tom Tom and headed through the beautiful English Countryside to the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Warwickshire, the site of Busfest. Of course we were quickly on a motorway surrounded by trucks so our idyllic drive was at an end. But when we turned off the motorway towards Gloucester it was just beautiful. Past houses and inns that had been built well before Captain Cook set sail to explore the South. Very green and lush and just a great drive. And of course we started seeing all types of VWs heading to the same place. 

A great photo from 2014!!!

 

We arrived at the main entrance and were met by Michael who was in charge of the Syncro display and he escorted us with a yellow beast that was previously owned by Bernd Jaeger, a German specialist in Syncros.  It has an Audi V6 with a very modified drive train. Here it is during one of the many exhibitions to show the crowd what it could do. Note the left front wheel in the air. 

 

 

There was a special spot for our cars. In front of the main arena which was set up for a Syncro display. 

 

 

 

Hart was quite the celebrity and two german film crews interviewed him for a story. Of course he had no troubles telling his story as he had been doing it all weekend! And it is a wonderful story. 

 

There were around 30 Syncros parked in the display and we all felt like special guests. We met Joachim from our tour who had travelled from Germany and James and Sally from England, also Steve who was also on part of our tour. Great to meet up again.

And then in they came. Every type of bus you could imagine from split windows through to the latest T5s. The Busfest program says over the three days around 5000 vehicles attend and around 25,000 people. 

It's the largest international bus festival in the world. The camping area is huge and here is a photo of the area map from the program.

Note the area in red marked No Entry. This was for VIP camping and we were treated as honoured guests with a VIP camping tent. The area had a number of very interesting tents called yurts with and Arabian theme inside and four good quality thermorest camping mattresses. Very nice indeed. And also a high class shower and toilet area. To top it all off there was a spa area amongst the tents. But no time to enjoy such luxury. We were very appreciative of such generosity from our hosts. 

 

And then there were the trade stands. Around 500 of them. Set up in the big sheds on the Showground and in alleyways like a shopping mall. Selling all sorts of VW stuff. There were parts, both new and old, carpets, clothing, sound equipment, camping gear, tents, new cars, old cars and just too many other things to mention. They also had a large kids zone which was great for parents who wanted a break from their kids. 

 

And after that, food and drink vans of all sorts. And at night there was music of all sorts in a large tent and other buildings on the site. It reminded me of being at an outdoor rock concert like the Blues Festival at Byron Bay. This is a photo of a DJ operating out of an open Kombi. 

 

 

The other observation we made was the amount of dogs that people had. Amazing. Someone said Busfest was actually a dog show for people who drove Volkswagens!! Check out how some people took their dogs around. And they used the same trolleys for car bits and/or children. The trolleys were for sale for £55. 

 

We wandered around all the trader stalls and bought various bits and pieces for our vehicles. Some good stuff that is hard to get in Australia or costs a lot in postage. And we made many contacts for future searches of parts. Very handy indeed. 

 

One of the daily events was called spit screen alley. Here is a photo of one that I am sure my dear wife will love given the colour!!

 

Sad news is that beautiful red and black splitty got rear ended on its way home on Sunday night. It is owned by the sponsor of the VIP camping area. We don't know the fate of the car but no one was injured thankfully. 

Events wound down late on Sunday and the few of us left had a lovely BBQ to wind up the event, including the German film crew and a lovely couple who lived locally and provided the charcoal grill. Then it was all over and we crashed into our yurt ready for an early start the next day.

 

We had a horror drive back to Dover on Monday morning in the traffic and although we had a two hour buffer before our ferry, there were two road accidents and we got to Dover just as the ferry was leaving at 12.15. Damn!! We got the next one and while we were waiting I had some wifi in the terminal. Checked Facebook and there was a post with a photo of our two Syncros in the boarding lanes!  Turns out a trader from Berlin we had met and bought some stuff was also at Busfest and was in the line near us. He is a good mate of Jörg from our round trip and he had posted on the round trip Facebook page. 

 

We had a good chat and sat with him on the ferry. Got some great tips about sourcing parts. We had a last look at the white cliffs of Dover as our ferry left for Calais.

 

A long drive to our overnight stop in Arnhem at the gliding centre in The Netherlands and we hit the sack after a cup of peppermint tea totally exhausted after an 18 hour day. 

 

Then it was back on the road to Hamburg amongst the trucks. They were doing some line marking near the Bremen turn off and the trucks were lined up for kilometres as we were down to one lane for a while. One thing we noticed was the lack of any road rage and all the drivers were just so courteous. Wish we had such manners on the roads in Australia. Have a look at the line of trucks and this was only a sample. 

 

We got to Hamburg at 3.30pm and just crashed. What a trip!!

Now a job for Hart and Paul to prepare their vehicles to be delivered to the Hamburg wharf for loading into a container. 

We fly home on Tuesday 15 September and we are both looking forward to getting back to Port Macquarie. 

In the meantime it's time to relax and check out the beautiful city and harbour of Hamburg. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are subscribed to email updates from Tristar goes Home.
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

Email delivery powered by Google

Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States