Trip to the Bodensee
The plan was to fly to Stahringen on Sunday, and then to Locarno on Tuesday morning to surprise our son Maurits who would have just finished his flying exams. On Thursday there would also be an SEP exam, but that was an extra. The main two exams for the CPL ME and IR were on Monday and Tuesday.
On Sunday morning we drove to the flying club at the Paderborn-Lippstadt airport. We refueled the plane, and then flew to Stahringen.
There were no special things to mention about the flight. We had already flown the route many times. After one hour and fifty minutes we landed at Stahringen airfield at the Bodensee. We had already booked a hotel in Bodman-Ludwigshafen, and we could borrow bikes from the airfield to go there.
Normally the airfield is closed during the week, but we agreed with Alex to open the field the next day so that we could fly to Donaueschingen, and from there to Locarno. In Donaueschingen it is possible to pass customs, which is mandatory for flying to and from Switzerland. Then we would also stay one night in Donaueschingen.
While we were in Bodman-Ludwigshafen a number of planning issues came along that forced us to change course. The next day we flew back to Paderborn-Lippstadt. Maurits did not know that we would surprise him, so that was no problem. In any case, we had made a nice visit to the Bodensee.
The next week we went by car to Locarno to pick up Maurits. He had too much luggage to take it in a small plane. So now he is back again, on his way to the next phase.
From Paderborn to Stahringen
The route to Friedrichshafen was known. We first flew in the direction of Hanau am Main, east of Frankfurt. There we could pass under the TMA which started at 3500 ft. Between Zellhausen and Mainflingen we noticed the antenna park of the Mainflingen transmitter.
Departure from Paderborn-Lippstadt airport
Antennas of DCF77 in Mainflingen
Mainflingen longwave transmitter
The Mainflingen longwave transmitter is a large facility for commercial longwave transmissions at Mainflingen, about 25 km south-east of Frankfurt am Main. The DCF77 signal is the legal time signal of the Federal Republic of Germany and is derived from the atomic clocks of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig.
The signal is distributed by long radio waves at a frequency of 77.5 kHz, within a radius of 2000km. There are 2 transmitters installed, so in case of failure of the first one it is possible to use the reserve system.
DCF77 stands for D=Deutsch (German), C=long wave signal, F=Frankfurt, 77=frequency: 77.5 kHz.
The coded time message includes the current time of day, date of month and day of week and is transmitted once every minute in coded one-second pulses.
The DCF77 time signal is used by organizations like the Deutsche Bahn railway company to synchronize their station clocks.
South of Frankfurt we climbed again to a higher altitude. Near Stuttgart we flew under the western part of the Stuttgart TMA with its lower limit at 5500 feet. From there we continued over the Black Forest. We passed Neuhausen ob Eck, where we had used the airport as a base for our vacation in 2006.
Danube in the Black Forest
Neuhausen ob Eck Airfield
Not long after that we arrived at Stahringen. After landing on runway 19 we parked the plane, and first we went to have lunch at the restaurant at the airport. We could use bicycles from the airfield, and after lunch we cycled to the hotel in Bodman-Ludwigshafen.
Veleda at Bodman-Ludwigshafen
From Stahringen to Paderborn
The next morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we cycled back to the airfield. We had enough time, because we didn't meet Alex until twelve o'clock. At the airport we were getting ready for departure. At noon Alex arrived, and we could leave. After departure we first made an orbit around Bodman-Ludwigshafen and Bodman, and then headed north.
René with the bicycles
The route on the way back was almost the same as on the way there. Between Stahringen and Stuttgart we saw the Hohenzollern Castle. We made a small detour north of Stuttgart to make an orbit around Heidelberg, a historically interesting city in Germany. We had visited Heidelberg in 2016.
Burg Hohenzollern (Hohenzollern Castle) is a castle about 50 kilometers south of Stuttgart. It is considered the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, which emerged in the Middle Ages and eventually became German Emperors. The castle is located on top of Berg (Mount) Hohenzollern at a height of 234 meters (768 ft) above surrounding Hechingen and nearby Bisingen to the south. It was originally constructed in the first part of the 11th century.
The castle was completely destroyed after a 10-month siege in 1423 by the imperial cities of Swabia. A second, larger and sturdier castle was constructed from 1454 to 1461 and served as a refuge for the Catholic Swabian Hohenzollerns during wartime. By the end of the 18th century, however, the castle was thought to have lost its strategic importance and gradually fell into disrepair, leading to the demolition of several dilapidated buildings. Today, only the chapel remains from the medieval castle.
The third version of the castle, which stands today, was constructed for Frederick William IV of Prussia between 1846 and 1867. Since 1952, the castle has been filled with art and historical artifacts, from the collection of the Hohenzollern family and from the former Hollenzollern Museum in Schloss Monbijou. Hohenzollern castle is still privately owned. It one of the most visited castles in Germany.
Germany's oldest and most famous university town is renowned for its Old Town, beautiful riverside setting and the ruins of the Heidelberger Schloss. As Heidelberg was neither an industrial centre nor a transport hub, it emerged from WW2 almost unscathed. The offer on cultural activities in Heidelberg is more diverse than in any other city of comparable size.
Heidelberg Castle is the landmark of Heidelberg, overlooking the Old Town. The castle ruins are the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. It is a steep but short hike from the Old Town. The construction lasted over 400 years. The two dominant buildings at the eastern and northern side of the courtyard were erected in the 16th century.
The Heiliggeist Church (Church of the Holy Spirit) is the most famous church in Heidelberg. The church was constructed between 1398 and 1515 on the site where before two older churches existed. In the course of its history, the Church of the Holy Spirit was used by both Catholics and Protestants, even simultaneously.
The house Zum Ritter Sankt Georg (Knight St. George) is one of the few buildings to survive the War of Succession. Standing across from the Church of the Holy Spirit, it was built in the style of the late Renaissance. It is named after the sculpture at the top. It was erected in 1592 by Charles Belier, a Huguenot who had emigrated from France to Heidelberg.
Church of the Holy Spirit
Zum Ritter Sankt Georg
After Heidelberg we continued in the direction of Hanau. Because of the small detour around Heidelberg we passed Otzberg Castle with its white tower this time.
Less than an hour later we arrived at Paderborn-Lippstadt airport. We cleaned the plane, and let maintenance know that the plane was due for its 50 hours service inspection. Then we went home.