28 Apr 2017 Purkshof, Rostock
29 Apr 2017 Rügen
29 Apr 2017 Stralsund
30 Apr 2017 Wismar
30 Apr 2017 Paderborn
Planning a trip
The typically poor flying weather characteristic of northern Europe requires flexibility from the recreational General Aviation pilot. The Dutch King's birthday on April 27 is an official holiday in the Netherlands, and this year it fell on a Thursday. We had taken the Friday off, so we had four days from Thursday to Sunday available to make a trip. The idea was to fly south, somewhere like southern France or to Italy, but we would make a decision pending the weather.
When the date of the intended trip arrived, there was a lot of poor weather over Europe, with more poor weather to arrive from the Atlantic in the days ahead. The south of Germany, the Alps and northern Italy were not attractive due to the weather. France would see bad weather on Sunday, and it was already quite windy in the Mediterranean parts in the south of France. The best weather appeared to be to the north-east, although it was rather cold, with the best weather day on Sunday. We did not fly on Thursday, but instead we planned a trip to Rostock and Stralsund on Friday and Saturday, with a visit to Schwerin on Sunday on the way back.
Weather charts 27/30 April 2017
Satellite pictures 27/30 April 2017
Meteo alarm 30 April 2017
From Paderborn-Lippstadt to Rostock
On Friday morning we drove to Paderborn-Lippstadt. We had made a flight plan to Purkshof, an airfield north-east of Rostock, to visit Rostock. The route was east of Hannover, and we overflew Schwerin for some sightseeing. When we approached Rostock, we overflew the city centre, and then along the west side of the city along the Warnow to Warnemünde.
On the way we passed Rostock's Schmarl neighbourhood, in the past known as Marienehe, and also the location of the former Heinkel Flugzeugwerke and the factory airfield. The world's first turbojet aircraft, the Heinkel He 178, had its first flight from Marienehe on 27 August 1939. Starting in 1953, the location was used for glider flying at Rostock after it was allowed again after the war. Because of housing and industrial development at Marienehe that started in 1954, gliding was no longer possible there. Following many negotiations the gliding activities were allowed to commence from Purkshof in 1957. Purkshof had been a Heinkel-Werke glider airfield, and probably an alternate airfield for the Luftwaffe, until 1945.
Further north of Marienehe was the Warnemünde factory of the former Arado Flugzeugwerke. Arado was the supplier of the Luftwaffe's most used trainer aircraft and the Ar 196 reconnaissance seaplane that became standard equipment on all larger German warships. Perhaps Arado's most celebrated aircraft of the war was the Ar 234, the first jet-powered bomber (More).
The Breitling is a 2.5 km wide opening in the lower Warnow just before its mouth on the Baltic Sea. Its north to south extent is about 1.5 km. The maritime base Warnemünde in the Breitling is a base of the German navy in the district Hohe Düne.
After landing on runway 22 and parking the plane at the old Purkshof airfield we called for a taxi to Rostock.
René fuelling the Cessna before departure
Veleda at Purkshof airfield
Rostock is the largest city in the north-German state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The city lies on the Warnow River, and stretches to the Warnemünde district on the Baltic Sea cost. During World War II, the historic centre of Rostock was heavily bombed. Churches and other historic structures in the Hanseatic city were heavily damaged.
The St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche) is the biggest of the three town churches found in the city of Rostock. A fourth, St. James' was heavily damaged during the war and subsequently demolished. The Marienkirche is the only main Rostock church to survive World War II unscathed. Behind the main altar, the church's 12m-high astrological clock was built in 1472.
Rostock's large central Neuer Markt square is dominated by the 13th-century Rathaus. The building's baroque facade was added in 1727 after the original brick Gothic structure collapsed. Opposite the Rathaus is a series of restored gabled houses and a sea-themed fountain, the Möwenbrunnen. Kröpeliner Strasse runs from Neuer Markt west to Kröpeliner Tor.
In 1265 three sovereign city districts were united into Rostock, and a city wall was built around the new city centre spanning 3 km and originally containing more than 20 city gates. Due to the bombardments during World War II the wall was seriously damaged, or parts were dismantled after the war. The gothic style Kröpeliner Gate was built as the westernmost of the four great gates of the Rostock city fortification around 1270. It represents the western end of the Kröpeliner Strasse. The building was extended by five further storeys in around 1400 and thus reached its height of now 54m.
Sights of Rostock
From Rostock to Rügen
While planning the trip on Thursday, we also thought to visit Stralsund. The airfield there is Prior Permission Required (PPR). We sent an e-mail on Thursday to ask if Stralsund would be available on Friday or Saturday. We received an answer the same day that landing at Stralsund would be possible, but to send a new e-mail when we knew the time of arrival because the airfield was not manned all the time. On Friday evening, we sent an e-mail from Rostock with an ETA for Saturday morning, however that e-mail received no answer by Saturday morning, and we also could not reach the airfield by phone. As we intended to make a sight-seeing flight over Rügen, we would pass Stralsund on the way up, and we would try to call the airfield on the radio.
We took a taxi to Purkshof airfield, and after checking the plane we took off from runway 27 upon request of the Flugleiter. When we passed Stralsund airfield, there was no response on the radio. We overflew the city of Stralsund, and then crossed the Strelasund to the island of Rügen. When we passed Rügen airport, we called Rügen Info to verify Rügen airport was indeed open. We received an affirmative, and told that we would be landing there in about 15 minutes. We first flew along the Prorer Wiek bay to see the colossal Third Reich's intended beach resort.
Then we headed west, and after a few minutes we landed on runway 27 of Rügen airport. After fuelling, we had a coffee and we called Stralsund airfield by phone. This time the call was answered, and we were told that they were busy at work at the airfield, but that they would now be prepared for our arrival.
Leaving Purkshof on Saturday morning
Arrived at Rügen
Prora was built between 1936 and 1939 to be a beach resort on the island of Rügen. The eight identical buildings extend over a length of 4.5 km, but were never used for their original purpose. During the war many people from Hamburg took refuge in one of the housing blocks, and later refugees from the east of Germany were housed there.
In 1945 the Soviet Army took control of the region and established a military base at Prora. The Soviet Army occupied block 5 of Prora from 1945 to 1955, and then stripped all usable materials from the building. Two housing blocks were demolished in the late 1940s and the remains mostly removed. In the late 1950s the East German military rebuilt several of the buildings and used these.
After German reunification, the Bundeswehr took over the building. From 1992 to 1994 a part of the building was used to house asylum seekers from the Balkans. The complex has a formal heritage listing as a particularly striking example of Third Reich architecture. Since 2004, blocks of the building began being sold off for various uses. Currently, four of the buildings are in the process of redevelopment, a fifth is used as a youth hostel while the remaining three are in ruins.
From Rügen to Stralsund
We took-off from Rügen runway 27, and after a few minutes we arrived at Stralsund airfield where we landed on runway 23. Because of possible rain and lightning storms later in the afternoon, we decided to stay overnight in Stralsund. We booked a hotel, and went to the city centre with a taxi.
In Stralsund we walked the historic city. There was a drop of rain late in the afternoon, but no trace of the possible lightning storms that were mentioned in the weather forecast. In the evening it was very quiet in Stralsund centre, especially for a Saturday afternoon.
René at the fuel station at Rügen airport
Departure runway 27 Rügen airport
René at Stralsund airfield
Stralsund was once the second-most important member of the Hanseatic League, after Lübeck, and its square gables interspersed with Gothic turrets, ornate portals and vaulted arches make in one of the leading examples of classic red-brick Gothic gabled architecture in northern Germany. It is located at the Southern coast of the Strelasund, a sound of the Baltic Sea separating the island of Rügen from the mainland.
The historic Stralsund old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The heart of the old town is the Old Market Square (Alter Markt), with the Gothic Town Hall. It is one of Stralsund's oldest and most beautiful buildings. The upper portion of the northern facade, or Schauwand (show wall), has openings to prevent strong winds from knocking it over. Its origins date back to the 13th-century.
First mentioned in 1276, St. Nicholas (Nikolaikirche) located on the Old Market Square is Stralsund's oldest parish church. Its distinctive double steeple and the direct situation next to the Town Hall make this church a unique landmark. The baroque altar, the astronomical clock and the pews of the Nowgorod seafarers are among the most significant fittings of this church.
Gorch Fock I is a German three-mast barque, the first of a series built as school ships for the German Reichsmarine in 1933. It was constructed at the shipyard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg. The Russians took her as war booty and from there she went to the Ukraine and the UK before ending up back in Stralsund, her original home port. She is a museum ship, and extensive repairs were carried out in 2008.
Sights of Stralsund
From Stralsund to Wismar
On Sunday morning we made our plan for the day. It would become windy, with Hannover airport on our route to Paderborn-Lippstadt forecasting winds gusting to 30 kts. We decided to fly to Wismar, and after visiting the city we would decide if we would stop at Schwerin airfield. We took a taxi to Stralsund airfield, and after checking the plane we took-off from runway 23.
The straight line distance from Stralsund to Wismar is 60 nm. On the way to Wismar, we passed the city centre of Rostock again. When we arrived at Wismar, we first made an orbit over the city before we landed on runway 08 of Wismar airfield. We asked for a taxi for the short ride to the city, and there we made a walk through the centre of Wismar.
Departure from Stralsund runway 23
Flying further to the west
Final runway 08 Wismar airfield
Wismar is a port and Hanseatic city on the Baltic Sea. Wismar has been included in the UNESCO list together with the historical core of Stralsund. Wismar's cobbled streets lined in red brick edifices are characteristic of Baltic architecture. But although it joined the Hanseatic trading league in the 13th-century, it spent most of the 16th and 17th centuries as part of Sweden.
The Church St. Nicholas (Nikolaikirche) was built from 1381 until 1487 as a church for sailors and fishermen. The red-brick church is the highest brick basilica in the world after the church of St. Mary in Lübeck. It has elaborate carvings and a font from its older sister church, the Marienkirche. The linden-tree-shaded churchyard is next to a small canal.
Of considerable size, the market square (Marktplatz) is dominated by the white silhouette of the town hall. The houses round about date from different periods. In the middle of the Markt is the eye-catching 1602-built Wasserkunst (waterworks), an ornate, 12-sided well that supplied Wismar's drinking water until 1897 and is the town's landmark. Behind it stands the red-brick Alter Schwede.
St. Georgen Church (St. Georgen Kirche) belongs to the most significant historical monuments of North German brick Gothic architecture. It was constructed in a long period spanning the Late Middle Ages and the Reformation, undergoing several design changes before its final completion in 1594. The church was heavily damaged by an air raid in April 1945. Since 1990 the church was restored, and in 2014 major work in the church was finally completed.
Sights of Wismar
From Wismar to Paderborn-Lippstadt
After visiting Wismar for two hours we went back to Wismar airfield. We decided to return directly to Paderborn-Lippstadt, and leave a stop at Schwerin-Pinnow airfield for another time. This also to avoid stronger winds that would develop during the day. The wind would not be too strong, but it could bring some avoidable inconvenience. After 1:25h we landed at runway 06 of Paderborn-Lippstadt airport. After storing the Cessna in the hangar we drove back home. It had been a nice trip.
River Elbe, Elbe-Seiten Canal
Final runway 06 Paderborn-Lippstadt
Veleda and René