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Old 01-11-2020, 09:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 183

2008 Astra XR
Default Purchasing Opel Parts im Vaterland

In late November, I had the chance to take Mrs. General with me for an eleven day visit to central Europe, her first visit. We started by visiting an American friend of mine who practices dentistry in the Ramstein/Landstuhl community in the Rheinpfalz, a day in Nuremberg to enjoy their early Christkindlesmarkt, three days in Prague, back to Bavaria to Rothenburg o.d. Trauber for three days, a day in Heidelberg, and then jetted out of Frankfurt to SFO.

While in Germany, I was thinking how great it would be to source a set of original floor mats, those of which I could easily find on the German Amazon or EBay for a good price, but always had another 70-100 Euros added for shipping. I could not let Mrs. General know I was indulging in my Astra craziness while showing her the sites abroad, but when we checked into out Gasthaus in Rothenburg [], guess what was just across the street? []

We arrived in Rothenburg on Thanksgiving late in the afternoon. It was all about getting the Mrs. G into the walled city, dinner, a walk, a couple hours in a Veinstube, and then crashed. While she was doing her hair the next morning, I went to make friends at the Opel parts counter. I'm certain everyone there spoke good to great English, but they played along and allowed me to complete my transaction in German. I had to make clear I wanted the plusher type for a Mk V hatchback, all went well. They asked me to return around two o'clock, and so I stopped by after a late lunch and they had them available, having come from Munich. Of course I had to take a few photos of the current Astra offering:


I hope the new Opel owners continue offering something distinctive and not just roll Opel into their other operations. If I lived in Europe, I could see buying one of these.

Warning, Non-Astra Content below

Just so you say I did not warn you, the rest is on the driving experience while there. I was a soldier in the Rheinpfalz from 84-88, sometimes training with Canadians stationed in Lahr. I have made three trips back since then but only one where I rented a vehicle and drove a bit, not nearly enough.

The traffic on the autobahn has increased quite a bit, with fewer zones where there were no limits. When we found ourselves in them, they were 30-60 kph faster on average than what I recall from the 80's. We mostly went back and forth on A6 and after leaving Ramstein-Landstuhl and getting east of Heilbronn, we encountered no limitations, save for road construction (baustellen) areas.

Our rental was a diesel powered Volvo SUV. It cruised at 160 kph@2800 rpm. []

Mrs. G drove a good leg on the way to Prague. Below is a picture of her warming up at 135 kph before she blitzed a segment of 300 km averaging 185 kph. And not to worry, for that part she was assuming a proper Dan Gurney drive position and hand-hold on the wheel with eyes front.

Thanks for indulging me and letting me tell my parts acquisition story.
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