This year marks the 10-year anniversary of a very important event in my life. No, not getting married (it’s 20 years by the way) or the birth of my son… no it marks the anniversary to my trip to the Nürburgring. My Petrolhead pilgrimage to this infamous track happened as part of a European family holiday in 2011. I set two days out on our two-week holiday for a stop over at the Ring as well as driving four laps during a Touristenfahren (Tourist drive).

The Ring

Now, I am sure that there is not much I can tell you about the Ring that you don’t already know. The Nürburgring (or specifically the Nordschleife) is a 20.8-kilometre racetrack, which is actually a public toll road with 33 left hand corners and 40 right hand corners. If you are anything like me, you have most likely watched a lot of YouTube videos about or relating to the Nürburgring, or at least lapped the track a couple of times in the many video games it has featured in over the years. For many Petrolheads, a trip to the Nürburgring and having the opportunity to do a lap or two is a bucket list item. But there is more to the Nürburgring then just BTG (Bridge to Gantry) lap times and Touristenfahren sessions.

Spy-shots and car spotters

You see, the Ring and all the areas around it, live and breath all things automotive. Every vehicle manufacturer worth its salt, has set up shop here to do testing, and every tuning company or aftermarket parts manufacturer has done likewise. This makes the Nürburgring and its surrounding towns like Adenau (with its curbs that are painted like the rumble strips of a racetrack) a dream for car spotters and spy-shot photographers alike.

trip to the Nürburgring

Every gas station forecourt and every Aldi grocery store or Hotel parking lot has the potential to turn into an impromptu car show. The regular industry testing sessions on the Ring are also the perfect opportunity to catch the latest creations by Porsche or BMW or the like doing their final testing before their release.

Fairy-tale forests and hilltop Castles

If you get tired of car spotting and taking spy-shots of heavily camouflaged Porsches there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails and cycle routes all around the magnificent forests surrounding the Nürburgring. If that is not your scene, then you can always visit the iconic castle sitting on the hill that has become a famous landmark of the Ring.

There are also various restaurants to visit, all with their own unique themes and menus, but almost all sharing the love of cars and the Ring. Many of them feature walls filled with photos of racing and people lapping this famous racetrack, some even have walls filled with signatures and memorabilia of those that drove and survived what is considered one of the fearsome racetracks in the world.

trip to the Nürburgring

A special place

Whether you go to the Nürburgring to tick off a bucket list item by driving the world’s most famous racetrack or to see if you can spot the latest and greatest automobiles from the world’s most popular manufacturers before they are released, or if you just want to go there to soak up the atmosphere and indulge in all things Petrolhead, the Nürburgring and its beautiful surroundings are a very special place to visit.

So once the world returns to some form of normal after the current pandemic related situation we find ourselves in, take a trip to the Nürburgring a visit… you will not be disappointed.

trip to the Nurburgring

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