Porsche Parade Europe 2010 report
Every 2 years a European Porsche club is chosen to organize the “Porsche Parade Europe”. This year, Austria was selected. They submitted a program that looked attractive. The number of registrations grew fast, and in February, the organizers closed the doors with already 376 cars on the guests list! Fortunately my wife and I were within the guests, and It is with some excitement that we loaded the 993 and left home on this cloudy Wednesday 2d of June. Destination Vienna. Night stop in Münich, and on the Thursday afternoon, we were at the Savoyen hotel to receive our welcome package, badges, stickers, etc…
First rendez-vous: 6.30 pm at the Mancini banquet hall at the Savoyen hotel. The program stated: dress code sporty yet elegant… and when the doors opened, the flow rushed into the large dining room for a welcome speech and a buffet dinner accompanied by a local artist: Mr Robert Werner at The piano. Members of the Porsche family honoured the Parade by attending all of the events.
Friday morning we were bound to the Prater area for the “Concours d’Elegance”. The Prater Park is an old attraction park dominated by the well know Prater wheel (Riesenrad).
The “Concours d’Elegance” was a very serious one! Judges scrutinized all cars and gave notes on a large panel of items ranging from the color quality to the cleanness of the glove box! Needless to say that after 1200km mostly under the rain, my car needed a little attention… Unfortunately, only a carwash downtown was available. Black car owners will understand why I didn’t use it. Nevertheless, the early morning rain helped me cleaning her gown. The inside was like it was and the judges didn’t stay long around my lovely 993 .
“…oh and you don’t have Porsche wheels sir! This is bad!”
Then lunch time at the Schweizerhaus where 2 local specialties were tested…and appreciated!
In the afternoon, we were supposed to form what our Austrian friends called a “Ringstrassen Parade”. Literally a parade downtown Vienna. Dr Wolfgang Porsche was leading in a 356.This could have been funny with a police escort, but Vienna is just like all other cities in the World on a Friday afternoon: everybody wants to go home! This ended in a “Traffic jam Parade” where most of the cars went stuck in the traffic. After a while, we just quit and followed our GPS back to the hotel.
On the evening, a bus pick up was arranged to drive the participants to a little charming village called Gumpoldskirchen. On the small market place, we discovered some nice Porsche car pictures while sipping a refreshing aperitif as introduction to the “Typical Austrian evening”.
The different clubs followed the received instructions, and proceeded to their respective tavern.
The number of participants had force the organization to split the group in 2. Here we could debate at length on the decision not to mix the different nationalities. The result was that all German speaking participants were in one tavern, while the other were crammed in another but still not mixed. The Italians with the Italians, Dutch with the Dutch, etc.. Making it not easy to fraternize with Porsche fans, different than the one you meet at home…
We took the first bus back to the hotel.
Saturday 5th. This time a road tour was going to bring us to the Wachau wine region. The drive was about an hour and a half under a superb blue sky and shining sun. In Dürnstein, the destination village, several choices had been proposed at the registration: 1) mini cruise on the Donau river; 2) a train tour in the vineyard area; 3) a tour in the medieval village. On the vineyard parking, a crane was going to lift us up to a dizzying height were we could enjoy the view on the village. To make it short: nothing of this happened except the walking tour in the village. The mini cruise was cancelled due to high waters; the train, which was in fact a tractor with 2 trailers was out of service since two month and there was no crane on the horizon…
Thanks to the local guide, we enjoyed the tour and discovered some of the village particularities before having a nicely served lunch in the vineyard premises. We had the honour to have a table beside the Porsche family. We also shared our table with a friendly German couple. They seemed much more informed than us on the organization, and we learned the causes of the previous day “Strassen parade” flop. We discovered also that a good part of the the German would have appreciated to mix with the other nations represented!
Back on the road to Vienna.
That evening, the “Porsche Gala Night” was the place to be. Organized in the well know “Schönbrunn Palace” in Vienna. A little train carried our ladies to the dining gallery, and the still sunny and hot evening authorized an aperitif in the garden…
Sunday morning saw everybody for a brunch and award ceremony. We enjoyed the brunch, kissed good bye our friends and drove to southern Bavaria to enjoy a few days of vacation.
So what are our conclusion on that European Porsche Parade? A mixed feeling about the organization. For the number of participants , they did chose the “quantity” option. This totally impaired the quality of the Parade. The program was not respected, sometimes due to external elements, but nothing was done to replace the cancelled options. A complete lack of communication with the different nationalities left us ignorant of the problems, with a feeling of being not really part of a group. Handling such a large group of participants leaves no place for improvisation, and I must admit that the Spanish did it in an outstanding manner in 2004. Most of the time also, the international aspect was forgotten, and German was the only language used during the different ceremonies. Two important exceptions to be mentionned: Dr. Porsche and the CEO (sorry but I didn’t get his name). Thank sirs!
But unfortunately we will not remember Vienna as a good edition.
Now the news: the next edition will take place in Evian (F) in 2012. Prepare you French dictionaries
JP & Carmen