#CitiTour Day 3: Men In Black and Hooters!

Time 8:40 pm, May 31, 2012

DAY three of our #CitiTour and we’re feeling a little jaded. The miles, the rain and the Germans have all taken their toll.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good German. It’s just I haven’t met any yet. Today started in Prague, a stunning city, full of happy smiling locals and tourists. And it’s ended in Hannover, after a stop-off in Berlin. Both of which seem to be home to grumps.

Anyway, back to Prague. Last night was an entertaining evening. We took in the delights of the city and ate at an extremely traditional Czech restaurant… Hooters.

For Batch it was an eye-opening experience. Obviously I’m referring to the way the ham and cheese sandwich he devoured was prepared and not the scantily-clad women who served it to him. Obviously.

Bless him, look at him in that picture. Doesn’t he look happy/shocked/appalled. And all in the one facial expression. Amazing.

This morning we captured some Prague delights on camera. And learnt that happy dogs were banned from the city centre and that the Men In Black like the Citigo (don’t ask). You can’t blame them, it’s a bleeding good little motor.


Berlin was the next stop of the day. The architecture was as you’d imagine. Grand, over the top. All a little bit shouty if I’m honest. We managed to park our Skoda slap bang in front of the Brandenburg Gate for some shots too – it’s amazing what you can get away with when you’ve got foreign number plates.

After indulging in a traditional German lunch – huge sausage mit curry sauce – we tackled the last leg of our trip to Hannover. Batch informs me these last 170-odd miles were mostly travelled in a biblical rain storm. I wouldn’t know as I was asleep.

Our Citigo has performed (near) faultlessly throughout. We’ve managed to max it on the Autobahn (I think 120mph is the fastest I’ve ever been while driving bare foot), the heated seats made up for my wardrobe error of wearing shorts, and the sat nav has got us to our three destinations with only a couple of hiccups.

However, I do have one grumble. The Citigo’s Navigon optional sat nav and entertainment unit can be a little flaky at times. Infuriatingly it keeps forgetting my phone, which has been streaming music it to it via Bluetooth, whenever we stop the car. And sometimes it just stops working altogether. If there’s one thing dealers will have to prepare for it’ll be complaints about this unit.

And that’s a shame because the rest of the car is brilliant. Tomorrow we’ve got even more miles to tackle. From here it’s on to Amsterdam and then London before returning to the centre of the universe… Gosport. Wish us luck.



Batch’s blog

IT’S happened. I knew it would. My good mood has descended in to one of a child’s when they have to go to bed.

I’m not really to blame though. The day started extremely well with some lovely hours spent filming the Citigo on Prague’s gloriously pretty streets. It was thoroughly warm and decidedly pleasant.

But things took a turn for the worse as we entered Germany. I don’t want to sound like a traditional Brit, but unlike the other capitals and cities we’ve visited, Deutschland had a rather unlikeable atmosphere. I’ve been to Germany before, but it’s never felt like this.

Our Skoda cavalcade, resplendent with British plates, was slightly frowned upon in Dresden (I gave Baggott a history lesson on why this could be), and Berlin, though particularly touristy and home to a few cars of other nationalities, wasn’t an easy place to do some filming in.

Although we do think we saw the German chancellor in her own cavalcade (although it could possibly have been The Hoff), Angela’s was rather Bavarian in nature, and therefore lacking in style.

The long trek from Berlin to Hannover wasn’t particularly smooth either. It seems Britain’s entire rainfall over the past two months along with France’s and Italy’s barraged us and the Citigo this evening.

I mean, describing it as a monsoon doesn’t begin to cover it. Put your head in your Beko washing machine and you’d be halfway there. And it would seem the Germans still carry on flat out on the de-restricted parts of the autobahns despite rivers of water and an agitated Citigo in their paths.

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This hour-and-a-half of total concentration to prevent us from a watery death has broken me. I’m totally exhausted, and now thinking this blog makes me out to be a German-hating Anglophile. Which I’m not. It’s just that things haven’t gone entirely to plan.

Still, today’s 640km is nothing to the 1,000-odd tomorrow. I’m going to need a large supply of that famous cow-like energy drink to get me through.


James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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