Hockenheim 2000, F1 GP of Germany getting there
I had the good fortune to win the ORGA complimentary ticket to the German Formula One Grand Prix at the Hockenheim Ring. Although the ticket would have been valid for all three days of the meeting, there was a mix-up over collecting the ticket and in the end I was only able to attend the race itself on Sunday.
I elected to drive down on the morning of the race and so, I was up at 04:30 and I set out to find my hire car just under one hour later. It was very interesting wandering through Paderborn at that time on a Sunday morning. The transvestite bar on the corner of my block was still humming from behind its shuttered windows but the taxis were beginning to arrive to take the patrons home.
I had to walk out past the station to the hire car depot and as I did so, I spotted several interesting looking groups of people on their way back from what had clearly been a good Saturday night.
I saw one party of British Soldiers and their girlfriends making their way back to the barracks. I think that the girls had the more interesting tattoos and from the conversation about who was going to be sleeping in which bed, they clearly had no idea that the man walking quietly behind was an English speaking webmaster planning on writing up his day out for the web site. (In case they ever read this, I thought that the girl in the purple boob tube had the nicest tattoos.)
In contrast, the few Germans about appeared to be starting their Sunday rather than finishing their Saturday.
It was quite a long drive down in the little Blue Lupo that I had hired. With just me aboard, the car was not too bad but, it would only get up to 140km on the autobahn and at that speed, it was clear from the movement of the fuel gauge that I'd not make it all the way to Hockenheim without filling up so I elected to drive a little slower and hope to save time by not stopping for fuel.
Finally arriving at Hockenheim, I was pleased to note that there were none of the traffic jams that accompany the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Police were efficiently and politely directing cars to parking places on the outskirts of the town. It was only a few minutes walk to the track from there and the whole area was covered in signs directing the way.
I made my way to the centre of the town where the "VIP hospitality" was set up. This was not really so impressive as the brochure described being really a buffet in a restaurant with a desk where the GP race tickets were issued.
The people there could be separated into two groups. One group seemed to be ready to sit for the whole time at the tables eating and drinking while the enthusiasts took their tickets and a quick bite to eat and set out to make their own way to the circuit ahead of time.
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