Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oslo, Norway

October 18, 2008

Caught an early flight from Copenhagen to Oslo, Norway.  Did a bit of reading on the airplane, and got caught up with the ins and outs of the city.  Seems like an awesome place!  After Margie and I found our place of lodging, we dropped our bags, and headed out to see the town.

It started with the Vigeland Sculpture Park, located within Frogner Park, sports 212 bronze and granite sculptures of people engaging in "various persuits." 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nurburgring Nordschleife

October 13, 2008

The Destination: Nürburgring Nordschleife

Getting off the airplane at 7:00, I needed to find something to do to keep me awake for the ENTIRE day in order to adjust to the jetlag.  Hmmm - something that requires intest physical activity - I know, racing!

So, I headed out to the Nürburgring Racetrack in Nurburg, Germany.  It was 3.5 hours away from Schipol Airport - perfect!

The poor rental car never saw it coming - a 2008 Saab 9-3 1.8t SportCombi (otherwise known as a "station wagon" in the US).  It sported a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 with a six speed manual gearbox.

Saab 9-3 2.3t

I met a nice Swiss gentlemen at the track with an E36 M3, sporting a 3.0 inline-6, gutted, fully caged, and ready to attack the track.  He was kind enough to take me out for a few laps on the 'Ring.

Kourt and his BNMW M3 E36

It was definately a tight fit into the racing bucket, complete with a 5-point harness.

Inside Kourt's M3

He said he'd go "slow" for me to make sure that I wouldn't get car sick.  I was a bit disappointed, until he hucked the M3 into the second series of corners.  Holy crap - talk about g-forces!!! We ended up clicking off a 8:45 lap time - anything faster than 10:00 was considered fast, and boy, was it!

I spent 70 Euro for 4 laps, and just went to town.  Hammered the Saab pretty badly.  The fastest lap was my 3rd lap, as I clicked off a 10:05 (averaging 62 mph!), down from an 11:45 on the first lap.  Boy, by the time I was done, the rental car was hammered.  On the 4th lap, the brakes were completely faded, the motor had been over revved at least 10 times, and the tires were sticky hot.  There was brake dust EVERYWHERE...

So, on my way out, I snuck a few photos of the other cars on the race track:

Nissan Skyline R33
Skyline R33 Mid Drift.

Pair of Lotus Elises
Pair of Elises.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
Skyline R34 GT-R coming out of the corner.

BMW M5 Estate E34
BMW M5 Estate - one of my favorite cars.

Nissan GT-R R35
Skyline R35 on the racetrack already!

Audi R8
A gen of a car - Audi R8.

For more pictures:

Europe Trip 2008 - The Beginning

Work sent me out to Eindhoven, Netherlands for some meetings with our European branch. I figure while I'm there, I might as well take a week off and see Europe too, right?  

The following itinerary encompassed my two weeks in Europe:

October 13: Arrive at Schipol Airport, in Amsterdam at 7:00 AM.  I need to find something to do to keep me awake until bed time.  I need to fight the urge to sleep.  The Nuburgring is rather close – that seems like a great option!!!

October 14-16: Meetings at our division in Europe.  Man, those days hurt there.

October 17: Fly to Copenhagen to visit Margie.  I slept the rest of the day…instead of visiting the city.

October 18:  Fly to Oslo, Norway. 

October 19: Take the train from Oslo to Flam, then a cruise through the Fjords to Gudvangen.  From there, it was the train into Bergen.

October 20: Explore Bergen.

October 21-22: Roadtrip to explore the Fjords! Drove in the Rental Renault Clio from Bergen to Songdal, doing a loop around the Sognefjord.

October 23: Fly back to Copenhagen.

October 25: Explore Copenhagen on bike!

October 26: Fly back home.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Travels of Denny

I travel quite  bit for work - actually, I travel a LOT.  And in my travels, whether personal or for work, I keep a journal of my adventures.  Well, there's no real way of sharing my written journal, so I figure this is a good way to keep a record of where I've been. I hope you enjoy!!!