Treffen 2013 Report
Having looked at the pictures on the gallery pages of the 2012 Teffen in Austria, I was keen to attend the 2013 event. When the event was announced I quickly filled out the application forms to try and get a place. There were 26 places available for g wagen owners. About 3 weeks later I received an e mail from S-Tec confirming my place on the event and at this point the planning began.
The first thing to do was to ensure the trip was enjoyable and to do this it had to be fun for the rest of the family, a brief look at the map confirmed that De Kempervennen, Netherlands was only a 28 mile detour and so it would make sense to drop the family at Centre parcs so that the rest of the journey could be made in a relaxed manner.
Leaving Centre parcs on the Tuesday morning I headed off via Koln, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and with a brief overnight stop at an autobahn service area found myself in Regensburg on Wednesday morning. Regensburg sits on the river Danube and is steeped in history, so much so in 2006 it joined the ranks of the UNESCO world heritage sites. The city was beautiful with fantastic architecture which could be traced back centuries. There are some examples of construction that can be traced back 2000 years. I stayed in the city for about 4 hours so could not really do it justice. Somewhere to stay next year!
Having refueled I left Regensburg & drove down to St Galen where the treffen was being held. I arrived about 19-00hrs on the Wednesday night and the S-tec team were making final preparations ready for Thursday morning registration.
Our hotel was Schloss Kassleg which was an ancient castle which had been restored about two years ago. After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast I sat and watched the various vehicles arriving. I was meandering amongst the vehicles when I met Adrian Cox the only other British attendee. It was Adrians 2nd Treffen and he thought is was great out attendance was up by 100%.
Having spent an hour or two chatting it was time to leave for our first event which was mountain/forest drive. S-tec had been fortunate to gain authority to use much forest area and tracks which would normally be completely restricted for motor vehicle use. The tracks took us to the summits of many mountains and the views were stunning. The descents were more challenging and so slippery that at some places it seemed having a steering wheel was completely pointless. Although there were detours available on the more arduous sections stiff upper lip prevailed and I made it through with just a few scratches and a change of underwear.(It would have been rude not to join in). After the event we returned to our hotel and after a briefing about tomorrows events we headed off to shower before the evening meal. We ate in the large courtyard and once the waitresses had served us the then got some instruments and gave a small concert whilst we enjoyed our food.
8.15 Friday morning saw us leaving the hotel heading to Erzberg quarry. The morning consisted of a guided tour of the mine and this was followed by a ride in a huge Komatsu earth mover to the quarry summit. Lunch was provided half way up the mountain and this opportunity was also used for a photo shoot. Friday evening consisted of a briefing before we relaxed and had our evening meal.
Saturday morning saw another 8.15 departure back to the quarry where we separated into three groups. We then used 3 separate courses where you were able to explore the limits of your vehicle, or your nerves. One vehicle ended up on its roof but most others were unscathed. In the afternoon there was a driving competition which was very enjoyable as well as challenging.
Back at the hotel there was a presentation evening at the large marquee along with a hog roast and live music. I was pleased to win the award for longest distance to attend and the evening went on until the early hours of Sunday morning.
I was on a tight schedule to get back to the family so left at 5.00AM to do the 650 mile drive to De Kempervennen to collect the family. An overnight at Centre parcs and we returned home via Brugge.
The total distance driven was 2445 miles and every one was a pleasure. The G did what I asked of it and was completely comfortable at all times. The cost to attend the treffen is about £400 which includes accommodation, all meals and entry to the various attractions. In all this was an extremely well planned event which I hope I may be fortunate enough to attend next year, who knows perhaps attendance will be up another 100% and I may see you there!