Tag Archives: #mx5miataeurotrip

Dreamliner Euro Trip 2019

Its been a while since I chose a flight to book specifucally based on the airliner that flies that route. For my upcomming trip to Europe I will be going slightly out of my way (and way out of my way on the return) just to fly Boeing’s Dreamliner across the Atlantic.

It won’t be my first time flying this bird. I was booked on it twice already. First time using United Airline miles to fly partner ANA to Tokyo, but that flight suffered equipment change and I got to ride an old 777 instead. And a Scoot Air short hop between Bangkok and Singapore which wad so late at night and so short I don’t remember much from that experience. Much like my previous experiences hunting after booking Airbus A380 international flights I’m very much looking forward to a longer Dreamliner experience. On my way to Paris I will have to take a positioning flight to Chicago. And returning from Munich I will overshoot home by flying to Dallas and then take an Airbus A321 flight home.

Between France and Germany I plan to rely on European fast train options, but IF stars align I would snag a cheap short flight in a heartbeat.

Wish I didn’t let my Air France miles expire I had almost 10k sitting dormant at one point, but disapointingly I discovered that the only way to keep them was by flying, partner earnings (like dining and shopping) did not help.

I will share more info on my plans for this Euro Trip later. It has been an exciting experience already just trying to secure the reward booking from AA. I was just over 1k miles short for redemption, it took me more tham ten trips to various local restaurants for lunch to prop up my points balance via AAdvantage Dining… so glad those kind of options are out there.

more to come soon….

PS. I will be so pissed if my flight experiences equipment change again or if Dreamliners get grounded again for some reason this September.

Mazda MX-5: L’Auvergne a Paris Dinner with MX5France.com Miata Owners and Midnight Sightseeing Tour of the City of Lights

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. Fourth and Final stop on my trip was in France, a visit to Paris to have dinner with MX5France.com forum members.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

Paris was the very last stop on my three week Euro Trip and one I was probably looking forward to the most. The reason? MX5France.com forum members were most responsive to my invite to hang out with fellow Miata owners. One of the members there: Mike (the former president of the club) decided to organize the whole meet for me. He picked an awesome place: Auto Passion Cafe and we were set to have a great time, until someone busted our bubble by enlightening us that the restaurant is closed for the whole month of July and most of August for their summer vacation.

Not to worry Mike picked another amazing place: L’Auvergne a Paris. This place was especially special to me because I have family living in Auvergne: Clermont-Ferrand and Volvic. The place is also home to Michelin and lots of racing and Motorsport. The restaurant was full of Motorsport memorabilia, tons of model cars, wheels, plaques, helmets, and pictures. I loved the ambiance!

Besides the decor the restaurant was a real Paris hangout. No tourists here, lots of locals. And many of the MX-5 folks showed up after work with their significant others. We had almost a dozen people come for dinner and share their Mazda experiences. Some members were worried about coming as their English wasn’t great, and I speak hardly any French. But we had an amazing time nonetheless.

Of all the people that showed up I only managed to take pix of two cars. A beautiful NC2 and an NB that Mike brought.

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The best way to see the city of Paris is in a Roadster convertible!

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A prix fixe three course menu: (absolutely delicious!)

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Sightseeing tour of Paris by night:

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An interesting license plate from the Reunion Islands.

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The trip… both to Paris, France and Europe as a whole finished just like it started. Mike and I were cruising central Paris well into the night, arriving at the hotel around 1am (with an alarm set for 4am to rush back to the airport to fly home to the US). I was super grateful for the opportunity and absolutely amazed that so many people chose to come out and meet up with me, show me around, share delicious food and insightful conversations. Thank you one and all!

Mazda MX-5: Liège Foodie Tour in a Miata, Cruising the Belgian Countryside

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. Third stop was in Belgium but since no one was interested to meet up in Brussels I went to Liège, Wallonia.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

Belgium is currently my favorite place in Europe. I love coming back to Brussels for the awesome sightseeing, the delicious food and of course amazing racing at Spa-Francorchamps. But Belgium is tricky. The country is divided between the Flemish and French speaking people with Flanders to the north bordering the Netherlands and the French speaking Wallonia to the south. Brussels is a French speaking city in the middle of Flanders. Perhaps none of the very active Flanders and Limburg MX-5 owners didn’t want to come to Brussels because they don’t like French things… I don’t know. But when I saw that Brussels was a bust, I booked a side trip to Liege (which is much closer to Spa-Francorchamps) specifically to meet up with a fellow MX-5 owner Philippe (Phil as he prefers to be called).

Phil lives outside of Liege but he came out to meet with me and we quickly left the city to explore the countryside. It was as much a foodie tour as a sightseeing tour of the villages in Wallonia. First stop was an awesome pastry place. Next visit after that was to the smallest town in the world, which was very scenic.

And finally we had dinner in Liege proper after a little walk around the downtown area. It was pretty awesome seeing other MX-5’s either driving by or being parked in the streets. It was fantastic!

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Oh look… something we don’t have in the US… a cool Alfa-Romeo!

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And we’re back in Liege:

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The funny thing about our dinner, all the places recommended to Phil were closed, so we ended up walking around looking for proper Belgian food… proper Liege food. And we found it by stumbling upon a restaurant with a Miata parked right outside of it…

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Liege is best known for it’s waffles… not sure what bacon has to do with waffles, but this restaurant’s logo looked way cool!

And we found a place to have dinner:

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The food was absolutely amazing… the Liege style meat balls.

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Mazda MX-5: Nürburgring Miata Cruise and Dinner with NB Owner Maggie from mx5-roadsterfun.de

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. Stop 2.5 was also in Germany, and right at the race track. Maggie came directly to my post at Nürburgring.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

I have to admit that trying to organize this Euro Trip was quite a frustrating experience. Right up to my departure day I wasn’t sure whether or not I would actually meet someone. Germany is a country that embraces the MX-5 Roadster. For a place that has other fantastic convertibles like the Mercedes-Benz SLK or the BMW Z4 (Z1, Z3 and Z9 before it) as well as Opel Roadsters and a number of other European options, the Japanese Roadster is king! Well, one of the people that was very vocal in my posts about meeting up was Maggie who lives somewhere outside of Hamburg and wanted to meet up with me at the N-ring… but where could we meet? I generally didn’t think I would find WiFi while there, or have a phone number, etc.

What happened?

Maggie found me at the track! How? She spotted my American flag hanging on station, so after watching the practice on Saturday, she came right to the post to say hello. How awesome?!

From the N-ring we went for a little spirited drive around (not on track but literally around, using small country roads) the Nordschleife to have dinner in Adenau. It was fantastic! It was also my first time in an NB and I got to make a brand new friend in Germany who has a very nice web site: mx5-roadsterfun.de/

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The drive around the Nordschleife was amazing!

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The dinner was at what was my favorite restaurant Giulia’s… unfortunately she’s moved on to other things and her son changed the place completely… and now it sucks! But the view was great from our table… I didn’t even realize that the garage just outside near my old post for the Nurburgring 24 hour is a Mazda service center!

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What an awesome experience. Thank you Maggie!

Mazda MX-5: Düsseldorf from Köln (Cologne), via I.L. Motorsport German Miata Tuner and Dinner with MX-5.de Forum Guys

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. Second stop was in Germany.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

The plan for this stop over was to meet with at least one local MX-5 owner in Cologne before heading to Nürburgring for WEC 6 hour. Lucky for me not one but two owners showed up! David from Cologne and Andre from Dusseldorf who works in Cologne. David was kind enough to drive me to I.L. Motorsport in Hürth, a world famous Miata tuner based in just outside of Cologne. (the other business we didn’t get a chance to check out was Mazda Deutschland which is also just outside of Cologne).

I met David in Deutz across the river Rhine and we proceeded on a short drive to IL, which turned out to be a very impressive facility.

german mx5 visit 1

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After IL Motorsport we decided to head to Dusseldorf for dinner, the alternative was American BBQ near to Cologne, and that just didn’t fit my foodie plans at all… so off we went on a road trip.

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While looking for a parking in a parking garage we came across this gorgeous Niseko MX-5.

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The garage was full of other little gems… like this Abarth Punto and the Peugeot RCZ.

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mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport 27

PS. the food was delicious!

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Huge thanks to both David and Andre for an awesome time. David was super cool to pick me up and drop me off back in Cologne. And then on the walk back to the hotel, I stumble upon a nice ND!

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Mazda MX-5: Amsterdam to IJmuiden, North Holland Miata Road Trip Visiting a Dutch MX-5 Sport Tuner

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. First stop was the Netherlands.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

The plan was to meet up with an MX-5 Miata owner in Amsterdam and chat over lunch while checking out his car. I wanted to see as many Euro-spec Miata’s as I could find. So I arrived at AMS airport early in the morning before 8am, took a bus to my hostel, went to get some lunch to kill a little bit of time and waited for Vincent, the Dutch MX-5 owner to come from The Hague.

Lucky for me he showed up! Unfortunately not in his Miata, which was waiting for parts (heh heh). But the Renault Megane he came in was very comfortable and without wasting any time we went on a road trip towards the North Sea coast towards Haarlem (yep, the original city Harlem in Manhattan is named after). The mission for the trip was to check out MX-5 Sport specialist and all the Miata’s in his garage. www.mx5sports.nl We got there around lunch time which of course meant the doors were closed… Shoot!

I took some pix of the cars outside, and we went for our own lunch nearby at an amazing seafood place (which was right in the port town overlooking a canal filled with fishing boats).

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My favorite Miata was the NC of course…

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The delicious Dutch food!

amsterdam mx5 miata road trip seafood lunch in ijmuiden haarlem

Post-lunch we headed back to the tuner who runs a very impressive one-man operation. The NC we saw outside was getting new shocks and springs put on and we had a nice chat about modifying my car with some suspension components for our terrible NY/NJ roads.

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After a what seemed like an hour chat we moved on to the next stop… another MX-5 tuner about an hour’s drive inland.

mx5-winkel.nl was the place we wanted to check out, but they had moved to a new location which was about an hour away in another direction… so we decided to head back to Amsterdam and call it a day. There was lots of traffic on the A-road heading back into the capital, lucky for me I saw quite a few trucks (lorries) heading to Zandvoort for the DTM event. We saw a few Mercedes-AMG teams, and several BMW team trucks and buses.

First day in Europe was a huge success! Thank you Vincent!

Mazda MX-5: Euro Trip Awesome Miata Meet-Ups: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Köln, Germany; Liège, Belgium; and Paris France

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip


 

What an incredibly fantastic Mazda MX-5 Miata Euro Trip I had over the past month visiting a few countries and meeting owners in almost every city I went to. I can’t rave and rant enough about it. Incredible experience that I would highly recommend to anyone!

This post will highlight a few post cards I shared from the road and will be followed by a more detailed write up after I return from NASCAR at Watkins Glen this weekend.

Enjoy the pix!

Amsterdam & IJmuiden, Netherlands

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Thank you Vincent from The Hague for giving me a tour and an amazing Dutch lunch right by the waterfront!

Köln, Hürth, & Düsseldorf, Germany

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Thank you David and Andre for showing me around Cologne area and for the dinner at Dusseldorf it was amazing. The stop and I.L. Motorsprot was pretty awesome also.

Nürburgring, Germany

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Big thanks to Maggie for finding me at the Nürburgring and giving me my first ride in an NB Miata as we headed to dinner.

Liège, Wallonia, Belgium

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Huge thanks to Phil for giving me quite an amazing tour of Liège and Wallonia Province around Belgium. What a great experience.

Paris, France

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Huge thanks to Mike in France for organizing an amazing dinner with a dozen of his fellow MX-5 France Club members and for giving me an incredible tour of Paris by night showing all the big sights like the Eifel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triumphe and Notre Dam!

A super trip all around paired with incredible racing at Zandvoort for DTM, the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit for WEC 6 hour and Spa 24 at Spa-Francorchamp. I loved every minute of it!