10 years ago, I and a good friend decided that we had to put into our “have done” list another F1 race. My first experience had been “Hungarorin” and I have to say I had superbly enjoyed it.
This time, courtesy of the proximity of my friend’s home to the Hockenheim circuit, we decided we could not afford to miss such a great opportunity.
Again, the plan was set up quickly and executed swiftly.
I flew to Baden Baden direct from London and then took the train to Ulm. The first thing I checked was the Ulm Cathedral (Ulm Minster) which is – I have to say – impressive. If you have time and stamina do aim for the top … floor and I bet you will be rewarded plentifully. I was!
For the evening and night we spent 4 hours going around the city which mainly included some bar hopping and beer/wine tasting. It was a great and vibrant city but I remember I did have my reservations as to whether such happenings were occurring all around the year. Probably it had to be with the F1 race and the … summer. Still, we greatly enjoyed it…
The next day we woke up early and drove – we had rented an Opel station wagon – all the way to the circuit. Driving in the Autobahn was again such a great experience as it was a exiting experience watching in awe all kinds of German (mainly) super cars overtaking you as if you are not moving….
When we reached the circuit we aimed for the camping area. We had decided that the best way to appreciate the F1 experience was to camp near the circuit, enjoy the first day with a mix and match with outdoors eating and drinking sessions and watching the Saturday F1 preparations and pre-race event and qualifying.
And that was exactly how we executed the … first day. We checked the circuit twice, wandered around the camping area getting to know the … average German F1 addict that camped next to us and then, when we decided we had seen too much of F1 for the first day, we went back to our camping spot and prepared for the night by starting to … empty many bottles of wines while listening to music, appreciating a stunning sunset, watching fireworks, smelling all sorts of German … Wursts being burned in our proximity and feeling the vibes of all sorts of mini-happenings that were taking place in our camping neighbourhood.
The experience was great and just exhilarating. We spent many hours in a state of true happiness and joy until we … seamlessly (!) went straight to sleep in our sleeping bags around 2 am.
The next day we needed to get serious. We packed up all our things and aimed for the circuit. We watched all pre-race events and marvelled a great an utterly exhilarating and extraordinary race for all our senses, especially the ears. If you have never been to a F1 race, you never know how these monster cars sound. Of course in the last years and mainly this year, I don’t know if a … 1.6 lt F1 engine sounds the same as it used to be, but I have to say that back then in those days the hearing experience was probably the best of all!
The race ended and filled with sounds and images we drove back. I had to catch my flight back to London and I had no accidents.
During the flight I realised what a great weekend I had.
The F1 experience coupled with a one day beer and wine drinking in Ulm along with the super camping experience was all one could ask for!
I realized I need to do this once more.
Those were the days of fun and joy! Those were the glory days.
10 years later it is nice to look back and feel in your nerves even the slightest thrill that I felt back then.