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Model S roadtrip: From Germany to Israel and Jordan

The next day...

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Let's visit Petra:

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Horseback riding is included in the entrance fee they all were yelling. Really? Ok then. But immediately followed by "Baksheesh!" (tip). Ok. Wife rides horse. At the end of the short track she says "Thanks" and the guy replies "Baksheesh!". She gives him a couple of coins. Guy: "7 dinar!!!" Hehehe.

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I ask the guy on the WiFi-camel whether it's OK to take a picture of them. He: "1 Dinar!" Me: "Ah, no thanks then." He: "I'm just joking!! Put it on Instagram!"

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First, the cat brushes up to me, then the kid. The kid follows us around for a while until my wife presents him some small pen she was carrying with her for some years. Visa and Mastercard acceptance even in the deepest Bedouin land. :D

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Top right: The Monastery

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Pest... I really hope that's just a typo and they meant to write Best as in Best View. ;-) --- Bottom right: End of the world coffee shop.

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Wife insisted on riding a donkey. We didn't have much time left. Up to the Monastery it's 850 steps. The guy promises to get us up there within 20 minutes by donkey-express. Hiking would take 1 hour. Hmm. 20 Dinar per person, for up and down. I didn't have that kind of cash in my wallet anymore. He: "No problem, I take Visa and Mastercard. :D --- up at the station my sister is waiting, she got a card reader." I'm worried about the donkeys health and ask for the maximum donkey payload. 200 kg (440 lbs). Ok, I'm 125 kg (275 lbs). Guy promises this is a piece of cake for the donkey. Ok, let's do it. Up, up, up, you really got to have a good balance and grip not to fall off. There's nothing relaxing about that. The way the donkey dashed up those stairs with me on his back - respect to the donkey! But I didn't want to put that stress on him again (and neither on myself) on the way back, so I walked down.

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Supercharger Aqaba - King Hussein International Airport

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Finally, a Jordan Tesla in the wild! The guy is happy when I tell him we came all the way from Germany, but also for him it doesn't seem to be a big deal. :D He tells us that there are 800 Teslas in Jordan but almost all of them are based in Amman, that's why you won't see many throughout the country. Then, 2 women exit the Model S, enter the guys fossil car and they're driving off god-knows-where while their Model S 75 is charging.

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Sandy... by the way, all Jordan SuCs have Type2 DC-MID (EU) plugs and no US plugs, in case you were wondering:

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Here, at the last SuC in Jordan, which is also the last SuC for us on this trip in the Middle East, we're charging up to 100%, that means to 392 km / 243 miles typical. My 85D won't charge higher than that anymore.

(Note: Odometer 05/2018: roughly 250.000 km / 155,000 miles. To compare: 440.000 km / 273,000 miles as of 01/2020 and 340 km / 211 miles typical is maximum these days because of degradation and batterygate :) So basically my 85D has become a 60D).

It's 321 km / 199 miles to Ashdod. That should be doable in this moderate warm climate and when driving slow. We're here at the southernmost border passing. There are only 3 passings between Jordan and Israel. This one closes at 20:00. We arrived at the SuC at 17:00. Our flight back home departs from Tel Aviv tomorrow afternoon. OK.

We spent around 2 hours at the border. On the Jordan side everything was uncomplicated. We had to give them a document which we got when we entered the country, thanks, bye. By the way, do you remember the Carnet and the 7,500 EUR deposit that was required to get it? The document which was supposed to be required to enter Jordan? The border officer looked at it for about 3 seconds, then put it aside disinterested like "What do I need that for..." :)

On the Israeli border side we had to remove every single item from the car, except for the charging equipment. Then the car was driven into a garage, for an in-depth security check. The garage was closed afterwards so that no one could have a look what the officers were doing with the car and we weren't allowed to stay inside the garage, of course. But back in Germany I remembered that my dashcam was running 24x7 and I had taken the memory card with me back home. I had a look and it went like this: At first, they almost drove the car into the pit below the car, one officer was gesticulating like "Oh *sugar*, that was close!". Then some selfies, pics, smiling. I suppose Googling until they figured out how to open the frunk. Looked into it, removed the cover, put it back in, closed the frunk again. That was it, basically. They returned the car to me with the comment "Amazing car!", which triggered me to offer them an acceleration test. At first they didn't want to - "It's not allowed here!" - but then they changed their mind. :D So, accelerating to 80 km/h from 0 in the middle of the border control point. They're shrieking out of joy and are happy like little boys. We're all high-five'ing and they ask us to come back again with the faster model (P100DL), hehehe. A small highlight for everyone involved. :)

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I drove constantly with TACC at 80 km/h (50 mph), the last third with 60-70 km/h. Consumption was being shown at below 100 Wh/km but still, something was weird and the range dropped quickly. Driving slow like that I was hoping we would reach Ashdod with 100 km typical left in the battery, which would be hopefully sufficient for the car to be parked a couple of days at Ashdod harbor and then also for making it back to Monfalcone, Italy, onboard the vessel and not arriving at Monfalcone completely empty. In the end, we arrived with 66 km typical in Ashdod. Hrmpf! That meant I had to look for a charging possibility the next day. On the way to Ashdod I tried several gas stations and malls but didn't find any CEE 3-phase red plugs.

At 08:30 in the morning we sat again in the office of our favourite customs officer back in Ashdod. But then terrible news: "Our" customs officer isn't at work today. Just his stand-in. Panic at first, but then happiness! Because, it couldn't get any worse with the stand-in, impossible! And indeed, the stand-in was uncomplicated, in a good mood and very cooperative. The only problem was that we weren't supposed to be at the customs office just yet. Instead, we should have driven to our customs broker Olaf, who was supposed to issue an export form for us, which we then had to present here. Exactly the opposite of what our favourite customs officer had told us a couple of days ago. I wasn't surprised anymore. So, Olaf's office was just a few km away but every km of range was precious at that moment.

Upon arriving at Olaf's office just his secretary was present. Olaf isn't in the office yet, and neither is Melanie. When we last spoke with Olaf a couple of days ago, he asked at what time our flight would leave from Tel Aviv and promised that he would take care of everything first thing in the morning so that there wouldn't be any problems. I guess he changed his mind. :) Finally he arrived but couldn't do anything because he said he needed Melanie for this. He mentioned Melanie was at the Allal*uf office taking care of our stuff as we spoke. Yeah, right. At 11:00 Melanie enters the office, really relaxed, at a pace of 1 mph or something :) Only God knows where she was the last few hours or what she did. Chilling, probably. :D Then, she needed exactly 1.5 hours to prepare that friggin' form for us. A joke here, a little chat there, booting her computer, oh, a note fell down to the floor, picking up the note realllyyyy slow etc. etc. etc. Inside, I'm going nuts because I already see the plane taking off without us, and I know that I still have to charge the car somewhere or I'll be in trouble when it arrives empty in Monfalcone. The harbor is the only place where charging could be possible now. At 14:30 we have to be at the airport in Tel Aviv. Ashdod to Tel Aviv is approximately 40 minutes by taxi. That means we have to leave Ashdod at 13:45 at the latest. Alright, at 12:30 we're leaving for the customs office, together with Melanie. The customs office is directly next to the harbor and a traffic jam of dozens of huge semis is blocking the entrance. Everybody wants to get into the harbor. Totally jammed, no chance. Melanie thinks she's smart and takes another route, which leads us into an even bigger traffic jam. She's in her Mazda, I follow her in the Tesla. Reverse... but there's already another semi coming from behind. No chance to drive back now. 5 minutes which feel like 5 hours nothing is moving at all. My wife exits the car, I take the documents from Melanie and give them to my wife, asking her to proceed on foot to the customs office (few hundred meters) to try and see if she can save us some time even if the Tesla isn't there yet. Melanie asks the semi driver in front of her if he could move aside. He replies: "No". I mean, where should he drive off to? There are like 10 other semis around him. But Melanie just shakes her head in protest and lack of understanding. Anyway. I exit the car and take a closer look at the median strip that is separating our 2-lane-road from the other 2-lane-road going into the other direction. Curb is about 20 cm high and then some plants/weeds growing up to 30 cm. Well, what else to do, in theory we could be here for hours without any progress. So I decide to cross the median and get onto the other road. I politely ask the 2 semis in front-left of me whether they could both just drive like 2 meters forward. And they do. I had already told the semi left of me that I'd like to pass, and he leaves the spot which was just created open for me. I set the air suspension to VERY HIGH and drive really slowly over the median. Melanie sees what I'm doing and wants to follow me. But I don't care a tiny rats ass about her in that particular moment and drive off like a madman. Back at the other entrance everything is still blocked and I finally lose my temper. There's a totally empty road into the customs office, but it's there to access the harbor FROM the customs office, and not vice versa. Anyway, I drive into the EXIT of the harbor in order to reach that road and 2 officers stop me immediately. A security guy runs towards me immediately, pointing his machine gun at me. One of the officers yells at the security guy like "Everything's OK, don't panic!". They ask for my passport and ask what I'm trying to do here. I explain the situation and that I urgently need to get to the customs office but the road is totally blocked. I ask if I could pass through here, they say no but at the same time offer to clear the regular road for me and escort me to the customs office. So, one of the security guys hops into his jeep and drives in front of me, blue lights on, and the semis make way after a while. Oh man. I get to the customs office and Melanie is already there. What the hell! My wife asks me what kind of bullsh*t I'm fabricating here and honestly, in that moment, I ask myself the very same question. :D

The stand-in of our favourite customs officer needs just 3 minutes to check the form. Great, now we're allowed to proceed to the harbor. Suddenly, everything moves really quickly. The good guy Guy is there for us again and picks us and Melanie up and brings to the next checkpoint where some documents will get checked. But, the security jeep is back and tells us that Guy was a little bit too fast, we would first need to have all our luggage checked (It was the same the first time when we left the harbor - so that's OK). Ok, quick, quick, quick, everyone involved is helping to carry the luggage, except for Melanie who prefers to sit in her car and chill. It's 13:30 by now. The luggage check is quick and Guy escorts us to a warehouse where we start a discussion with the boss there whether we're allowed to charge our Tesla there for 2 hours. Boss is skeptical. Time is ticking. Guys brings us to another warehouse where there's a CEE red 3-phase 32A plug. I plug in. It's charging. I manually adjust to 16A. Better safe than sorry. We can't afford an interruption now. It's 13:50 and we have to get hold of a taxi. I explain to Guy how to stop the charging process and how to restart it in case it drops. He says OK, he'll take care of it and is going to stop the charge in about 2 hours from now. I say thanks a thousand times and feel happy and relieved that there's a solution. Melanie kindly calls a taxi for us and drives us out of the harbor, to the taxi meeting point. We say goodbye and we're off to Tel Aviv. I call Guy from the taxi and remind him to first disconnect the car side, then the wall side.

I have no idea whether this actually worked. I don't know the current SoC of the car. When we dropped it at the harbor, it had 31 km typical left. Does it have 25 km typical now? Or 150? Or 300? No clue. The car is now parked for up to 2 weeks at the harbor in Ashdod. Then the vessel arrives and the car will board. After that it takes another week or so for the car to get shipped back to Monfalcone. This is where I'll pick it up and then find out whether it's still driving or not. :D

Guy to the rescue!

We did catch the plane. It was delayed 1.5 hours because of a thunderstorm. :D

That's it for now. Tomorrow, there'll be a bit more. Videos and the process of getting the car back... :)


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Active Member
Dec 24, 2018
The ship was scheduled to depart on April 24th in Monfalcone, Italy, so we had 2 days left to spend somehow. Therefore we made a short visit to Verona and Venice and visited all of the SuCs on the way. Charging-wise it wasn't necessary to visit all of them, but I wanted to see them (again). :)

SuC Brennero, Italy:

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SuC Trento, Italy:

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SuC Affi, Italy - this is where an Italian approaches me, in a Mercedes or Audi sedan with a German car dealership license plate and says "Bellissima machina ... do you want to sell this car?" :)

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SuC Verona, Italy (no pic taken) - Verona in the evening:

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I wish Tesla still offered this good looking blue.


Active Member
Dec 24, 2018
I'm glad your trip went as well as it did, despite the problems.

Taking the Tesla was an adventurous choice vs. flying to Amman and renting a car, but then you wouldn't have had your Tesla.

I also rode a donkey up to the Monastery and walked down but for a different reason. I had seen pictures of the stairs beside a big drop-off. I'm afraid of heights and riding down the stairs on a donkey seemed like too much.
Thanks Fred.

The story wasn't over yet, so here it continues...

First, the promised videos. Actually, it's just 1 looong video - 18 hours - simply all dashcam recordings put after another (except parking). But, most likely no normal human will watch a 18-hour long dashcam video, so here are the highlights with timestamps. :)

Model S Road Trip: Israel + Jordan - Part 1 (10h)

58:15 - Border Israel
1:13:50 - Border Jordan
1:40:15 - The first feet in Jordan
3:01:40 - Supercharger Irbid
4:06:20 - Amman at night
4:28:35 - Amman at daytime
4:58:16 - Tesla Service Center/Store Amman
5:31:15 - On the way to the Dead Sea
6:15:01 - Next day, heading on to Petra
7:49:00 - Supercharger Al Qatranah
7:59:50 - Small whirlwind
9:50:37 - Area around Petra, mountains

Model S Road Trip: Israel + Jordan - Part 2 (8h)

14:02 - Short ride from hotel down to Petra (nice view)
51:50 - On King's Highway heading south
1:28:38 - Camel crossing
1:35:15 - View
1:49:35 - Supercharger Gweirah
2:01:20 - The area around Wadi Rum ... worth watching here for a few minutes ... Wikipedia link
2:20:00 - Wow ...
2:29:36 - Supercharger Aqaba/King Hussein airport
2:50:50 - Border Jordan
3:04:10 - Border Israel
3:11:30 - "Security check" of the car
3:13:32 - Car almost drives into the ditch
3:31:20 - Acceleration test with border guard #1
3:33:10 - Acceleration test with border guard #2
3:47:58 - Back in Israel... slow driving towards Ashdod at night... 5 hours...

PS: The recording ends near Ashdod the evening before shipping back the car, therefore the stressful time at the customs is not included, fortunately, maybe.

PPS: Timestamps and date captions are wrong in the video.
On May 24th 2018 the vessel "GRANDE DETROIT" departed from Ashdod, heading towards Italy. First stop: Turkey. At that time, nobody knew how long it would take to get to Italy.

On May 30th 2018 GRANDE DETROIT arrived in Italian waters, but it first cruised on the Southern side of Italy. Anyway, the car had internet access via LTE again and I couldn't resist and had to open the app...


Back then I was hoping that it wasn't a mistake to open the app and thus waking up the car from its deep sleep mode and got a bit of range anxiety, or rather anxiety that the car won't be able to drive off the vessel by itself. But, I was hoping that Tesla had taken care of such really-low-SoC-cases and would send the car into some kind of very-very-very-deep-sleep mode to save even more energy.

It would still show Ashdod as location. The real location will be updated once the car drives a few meters:

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On May 13th we left the car with 31 km typical range at the port of Ashdod. I assumed that afterwards it was charging for about 2 hours, leaving the car with approximately 130 km of typical range.
On May 24th the vessel left Ashdod with the Tesla on board.
On May 30th I checked the SoC via app, once. It had 28 km left (7%).
On June 8th the car arrived in Monfalcone, Italy. I didn't know the SoC and intentionally didn't check via app so as not to wake the car and maybe cause exactly the loss of energy that would be required to drive it off the ship.

I communicated with the Italian shipping company via E-Mail and told them that there might be a possibility that the Tesla won't be able to drive off the ship by itself. I prepared two PDF documents (How-to's) for them that explained two ways to fix: a) Charging the car and b) Giving external 12V power to the 12V battery, thus booting the computer and activating tow mode -> then towing/rolling the car off the ship.

Fortunately, none of these PDFs were required in the end. :)

The vessel arrived on Friday, June 8th 2018, at 12:30 CET in Monfalcone. I arrived at the port 14:30 CET ready to welcome back my car. I got an E-Mail the evening before from the Italian shipping company, telling me that the car would be ready for pick-up on MONDAY. Wait a minute, I had especially asked whether the port was open on Fridays and weekends, and the answer was: Yes, 24x7. And I told them that I was already on my way there and had booked a non-refundable hotel room. "Fine" was the answer, and they wrote they'd try to give me the car already on Friday. So, 15:30 they gave me a sheet of paper that allowed me to pass through the security check/customs and I was already in the port area. As I was walking to the warehouse that they described to me suddenly I saw this:

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Yesss! There, to the right, in blue, my Model S! It really had made its way from the vessel to the port - incredible. And apparently without external help. I was happy and flabbergasted because mentally I had already prepared that the battery would be totally empty and the car wouldn't drive. I had even brought a tiny 12V starter assistance device in my backpack in order to save the tow truck. :)

Then, at the warehouse/agency they directly gave me the keyfob and 3 employees and myself walked down to the car. Apparently it wasn't a special event just for me. Arrived at the car: Door handles extend by themselves, I open the door. Screens are dark, but after 30 seconds something happens. It's booting up. I see the remaining range: 0 km. Did the car roll there on its bricking reserve (4 kWh?!) or was this just a very close call... who knows. Oh well. An agency employee had never seen a Tesla in reality before and since she was driving a plug-in hybrid herself she was curious. I invited her to drive the 30 meters from here into the warehouse with me and she accepted. But I drove extra careful, no acceleration at all in order to avoid a system shutdown. Previously I had arranged via E-Mail that I would be allowed to charge the car in their garage and they told me they had a CEE red 400V 16A or 32A 3-phase socket for me. Indeed they did have it, but with a strange Italian 4-PIN mapping and I didn't have an adapter for that. So, I had to use the next best: CEE blue 230V 16A 1-phase:

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The Italians at the agency were in a really good mood, friendly and helpful. We were joking around and were exchanging EV stories, as they also had some experience with shipping EVs and there were some odysseys... BMW i3 shipped to Cyprus, but there it couldn't drive off the vessel because its drive battery was empty, so it stayed on the vessel and was shipped back to Monfalcone from where it was towed into the next BMW garage. Anyway, at 17:30 the Tesla had charged to 18 km typical range and I had to get out of there because customs would close at 18:00 and then the car would be locked there until Monday. I paid the 265 EUR "unloading fee", they gave me another sheet of paper for the customs who basically just waved me through but kept the paperwork, and the car was back in Europe! :) Yeah! All in all a flawless experience, it went smooth, efficient, fast and professional. If this was day, it was night over there in Ashdod. :)

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Back there, the yellow vessel, you can see "GRANDE DETROIT":

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But, what am I gonna do with 18 km typical range? Not much, that's for sure. The next Supercharger in Palmanova was 30 km away. Unreachable even in turbo slow mode, and I didn't want to be a moving traffic block. So, heading to the next PlugShare station: 8 km away at the Trieste airport. I arrived with 7 km typical but the charger was blocked by an Italian Model X P100DL whose owner apparently flew into holidays and left their car there, charging... But, according to airport employees there were 2x 3 new chargers spread across the parking area...

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Found it. But, no RFID worked. I asked the airport staff for help, and even though they tried hard and made some calls, they also couldn't figure out how to activate it.

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I show to the parking guard which kind of adapters I got with me and based on that he offered me to charge at a CEE blue 230V 1-phase 16A socket next to his office. And this is how it worked out in the end. However, reliability was poor and I had to go down to 10A and even then the charging process was interrupted every 30 minutes and I had to restart. I spent several hours here until I finally got to 33 km typical, a small buffer, and drove off to the Supercharger Palmanova which was 22 km away.

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Late in the evening at 22:30 finally Supercharging again - what a blessing! Afterwards, I returned to Monfalcone in order to wash the still sandy car and to sleep. For the next 2 days I slowly cruised home with intentional detours via Venice - Bologna - Milan - Turino - Supercharger Aosta - Little St Bernard Pass - Chambery - Geneva - Basel - Frankfurt, enjoying the smooth ride :)

It's good to be home!

Dirty car @ Trieste airport

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Supercharger Aosta, Italy. 12+4 stalls:

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Mont Blanc

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Little St Bernard Pass

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This is the last post and the road trip ends here. I hope you enjoyed it. By the way, I got the Israel cash deposit back on July 5th, but it was again an ordeal dealing with it. But in the end, everything was good. :)


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