After all the hectic excitement of the Hessisch Oldendorf HO17 show, it was nice to be back behind the wheel and on the road again, heading for a new destination. Wolfsburg here I come!
With no particular rush and plenty of time, it was good to select the ‘avoid motorways’ route option on the TomTom sat nav and make my way through the German countryside. My initial destination was the AutoMuseum Volkswagen in Wolfsburg. Although travelling on Sunday, I knew it was not going to be open tomorrow on Monday, but I had heard that they sometimes let you stay overnight in the car park if you ask nicely?
Fortunately, I made good time and was able to catch the museum just before it closed. Being English, and just to be sure, I asked if it was OK to stay over in the car park for the night and was very kindly told that it should be fine for the night which was great 🙂 So time for a spot of dinner and an early night, tomorrow was going to be a busy day! My plan was to visit the nearby Autostadt visitor attraction next to the Volkswagen factory first, and then come back to the AutoMuseum Volkswagen the following day (Tuesday) when they are open again (their opening times are Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm)
No need to set alarms for my early start, as it just so happened that it was the morning that the museum hedges/trees and general shrubbery were all getting trimmed by a petrol chainsaw first thing in the morning! So that woke me up nice and early! Time for breakfast then a short drive up the road to find the four iconic original VW factory chimneys and the new Autostadt Car Towers.
Whilst reading on their website, I found out that the Autostadt centre had designated camper parking spaces in their car parking with water and electric points, all for €3/night! Seemed like a great option for tomorrow night then, even if only just to top up my water supply! It’s pretty cool that they offer basic facilities for people to stop over. Apparently, if you arrive after 4pm and leave before 6am, you don’t even get charged! Places in the UK could learn a lot from this sort of thing. Europe is definitely a far more camper friendly environment. I parked up and bought my day ticket (nice to be able to get an SSVC club discount on the entrance fee!) to see what the 28 hectares of the Autostadt has to offer…
Even if you’re not into cars, the Autostadt has a lot to offer. Beautifully landscaped grounds, some nice places to eat, a brilliant exhibition focusing on sustainability, and yes, the car museum is also pretty spectacular!
Lots of cool cars to see from different periods of history, and a range of different manufacturers from all over the world.
Some beautiful iconic cars of style from 1950’s America…
…mingled with modern-day Italian supercars that looked like they were breaking the law even when parked! Stunning car! 🙂 Surprisingly hungry work looking at all these beautiful cars, fortunately, the Autostadt has this covered for you as well 😉
The whole park was beautifully landscaped, and a great experience just to wander around in. I particularly loved the amazing Scent Tunnel (Dufttunnel) at the Autostadt (a sensory experience by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson).
This is a beautiful art installation really engaged the senses. The bridge crosses a waterway in the landscaped Autostadt park that links the Audi and Lamborghini Pavilions. The bridge’s gently rotating tube has flower pots with wall flowers, violets, vanilla and lavender in, and is mesmerising to watch, and stunning to walk through!
The architectural design of the different brand pavilions was also pretty funky, and a great counterpoint to the landscape design of the site. The most dramatic being the design for the Porsche Pavilion by Henn Architects. In a way, the architecture was sometimes better than the exhibition exhibits they contained! Shame really as I thought the brands could have done better or more with the opportunity they had to engage with people in the pavilions.
Got to love some external typography, especially when it’s such a great quote!
After a pretty full on exploration of the Autostadt park, I came back to my bus for a tea break. Seems like my bus had managed to find a few friends whilst I had been away! Whilst having my tea break I was looking up at the Autostadt Car Towers and thought it would be cool to get a picture of my bus in front of those. Nothing ventured, nothing gained… so I thought I would ask the security guards if the would mind me taking the bus along the driveway for a photo… they very kindly agreed! 🙂
All in all, a great day out and a fantastic, highly recommended place to visit – I should sleep well tonight!
If you fancy seeing more of the cars and the park itself, I’ve put together a gallery of images from the day for you to enjoy…