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My companion and I flew Ryanair from Farranfore to Frankfurt-Hahn (42 Euro return) on May 14th. From Hahn we detoured through Bern Kastel on the Moselle and reached our base in Adenau in late afternoon. We purchased a three day ticket for the Nurburgring (52Euro) and watched cars racing from a hillside vantage point across the road from our hotel among large numbers of campers with exotic accommodations and much Beer. Dinner was at the Bleau Ecke Restautant-tasty and reasonable (004926912005)

On May 15th we spent a few hours at the Events Centre, admired the latest offerings (including the Porsche GT3 Hybrid) and engaged in a little Retail Therapy.From there we had an unrestricted wander around the Paddock and Pit Lanes before the start of the Race, Maybe we should not have been there but everything appeared laidback. After observing the start of the race from packed stands we climbed the WEHRSEIFEN and watched the Race for a few hours before dark and again after dark before retiring around midnight.My companion considered getting up at 4am for more night racetime but I think common sense prevailed.

On Sunday am May 16th. we parked on HOHE ACTH and walked for over a mile through the forest to observe the race at the KARUSSEL where a notable Irish petrolhead is reported to have vaulted the Armco. Until now the whole event was awesome but nothing prepares one for the sights and sounds of the KARUSSEL!

By midday patrons and campers had begun to drift away. We watched the finish of the race in near-empty stands and a sense of anti-climax was palpable. The Race was won by a BMW M3. The Porsche GT3 Hybrid retired after 22 hours.

After the race we again wandered around the Pit Lanes and Paddock among the cars, car teams and support trucks. It was then on to dinner at Sabine's Pistenclause (0049 269 192200) in Nurburg which was also hosting Team VW celebrations. On Monday we retraced our steps to Hahn, Farranfore and Cork.

Summary: The Nurburgring experience was beyond awesome for me - a first-timer. No description could have prepared me for the excitement , the volumes of people (?250,000), the extensive and varied campgrounds, the sights and sounds of cars performing at the edge, the ever-present Armco and the sheer scale of the place. It probably helped that I had a private tour guide for my trip! I can't wait to go back.

Bill Cashman