From Hilversum to Treuchtlingen-Bubenheim
It had been five years since we were last in the Bavarian town of Pappenheim for family visits. Then we went with six people, but of the aunt in Pappenheim we visited with two brothers and a wife since passed away. Throughout the years, we visit there from time to time, such as on our way or back from vacation. And Margaret had also been with us in 2019, and then we made a visit to Zaltbommel.
Saturday promised to be a hot day. We had agreed to arrive early, also with the operator of the nearby Bubenheim airfield, which is normally closed during the week, and only open on Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons.
Treuchtlingen-Bubenheim has no fuel, but for the return trip René had called the nearby Gunzenhausen airfield to ask for permission and fuel. That would be possible on Saturday afternoon. So everything was arranged, and we could go on our way the next morning.
Mom slept at our house from Friday to Saturday so we could get on the road early before it got too hot. When we arrived the next morning, the plane was still outside, with the bag with aircraft papers and keys from the plane at the airfield office, as we had requested from the users the night before. We had to refuel a bit, but we were done with that in no time, and then were able to get on our way.
We took off before 8:30, and it was a quiet flight. Only at the end of the flight would there be some turbulence due to the heat. Our route was almost point-to-point. Only near Düsseldorf was there a faint curve in the route to stay clear of the airspace there.
We passed the Pyramid of Austerlitz in the morning sun. We have told about the Pyramid several times. So we'll just leave that here.
Mom and Veleda at Hilversum airfield
Pyramid of Austerlitz in the morning sun
After about an hour we passed over the Ruhr area. We crossed the Rhine near Duisburg, and passed the Essen-Mülheim airport and Villa Hügel on the north side of Lake Baldeney. We have been at Villa Hügel once, which we have talked about in previous trip reports. In the box below is a brief recap.
Then we flew over Wuppertal. That's a destination we haven't been to yet. In Wuppertal is de Wuppertal suspension railroad. It is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars in the world and is a unique system in Germany. The installation with elevated stations was built in Barmen, Elberfeld and Vohwinkel between 1897 and 1903. The first track opened in 1901.
Villa Hügel in Essen
Villa Hügel in Essen is where the Krupp family made its home from 1873 to 1945. It was built by Alfred Krupp as a residence. After World War 2, the Villa Hügel has housed the offices of the Ruhr Cultural Foundation, as well as an art gallery and the historical archive of the Krupp family and company. We visited the Villa in April 2016.
The house has 269 rooms, and overlooks the River Ruhr and the Baldeneysee. The Villa Hügel provided the stately frame for representation, receptions and festivities. Emperors and kings, international businessmen, politicians and heads of state visited the Villa Hügel.
Rene at Villa Hügel
Veleda in Villa Hügel
We crossed the so-called Bergisches Land. The region became famous during the period of its early industralisation in the 19th century. At that time Wupper Valley was a historical Silicon Valley. Its twin cities Barmen and Elberfeld were the trading- and industrial capitals of Prussia at that time. This economic upswing caused the expansion of the Ruhrgebiet as coal-mining area and gave birth to research on, and the theoretical underlining of social entrepreneurship and socialism.
Castle Dillenburg, in the provincial town of Dillenburg in Hesse-Nassau, is situated on a hill (elevation 958 feet) above the Dill river
The town of Dillenburg with its half-timbered houses is the original home of the Dutch royal family. In the honour of William I of Orange the citizens of Dillenburg built the Wilhelmsturm between 1872 and 1875. The tower now contains the Oranien-Nassau Museum devoted to the links between the house of Nassau-Dillenburg and the Dutch royal house.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town, a destination for tourists from around the world. With its web of cobbled lanes, higgledy-piggledy houses and towered walls, the town is the archetypal fairy-tale Germany. We visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber in 2020 when we returned from Mensanello.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
We had agreed to arrive at Treuchtlingen-Bubenheim airport at 11:30. Someone had to come specially to formally open the airport for landing. Since we were a little early, we first made a small detour past Gunzenhausen, Weißenburg and Wülzburg.
The old town of Weißenburg is one of the most impressive city centers and monumental monuments in the region. We had visited the town in 2017. At that time we had also visited Wülzburg and the nearby airfield.
Margaret, Mom, Veleda at Bubenheim
Wülzburg is a historical fortress on a hill about 2km east of the center of Weißenburg. It was originally a Benedictine monastery dating from the 11th century, and converted into a fortress from 1588 to 1605. Today it is part of the city of Weißenburg, and one of the best-preserved Renaissance fortresses in Germany. During World War I, Charles DeGaulle was imprisoned at the Wülzburg. Also during World War II it was used as a prison camp.
Shortly after we landed, Margaret came to pick us up. It was a short drive from Bubenheim to Pappenheim. We visited Mom's sister-in-law and had lunch there. After lunch, the Gunzenhausen airport was also open. Just to be sure, René called to confirm. Then we went back to the airfield for a short flight to Gunzenhausen to refuel.
The famous 18th-century poet and playwright Friedrich von Schiller made the village Pappenheim famous in his drama "Wallenstein's Death," set during the Thirty Years' War. "That's how I recognize my Pappenheimer," says General Wallenstein when a group of loyal, courageous soldiers are led in by Duke Gottfried Heinrich zu Pappenheim. Wallenstein knew he could count on them. Since then, the expression has lost its positive connotation, however. Nowadays, a "Pappenheimer" is someone who can be counted on to be naughty.
Refueling in Gunzenhausen
It was a short flight from Bubenheim to Gunzenhausen, and René expected to be back after half an hour. However, after René arrived at Gunzenhausen to refuel, the operator said that the fuel was not for visitors. It was a great effort to convince that the day before it had been arranged to fly to Gunzenhausen to refuel. After some back and forth, it was allowed to refuel a limited amount of fuel.
Short hop to Gunzenhausen for refueling
René returning from Gunzenhausen
From Treuchtlingen-Bubenheim to Essen-Mülheim
Given the headwind, it was not completely certain whether we had enough fuel to make it to Hilversum in one go and still have sufficient reserves. Therefore we planned a stop at Essen-Mülheim to refuel. The next morning we set off early, as there was a chance of thunderstorms and rain showers later in the day.
After breakfast, Margaret took us to the airport. Since there was church service at Bubenheim on Sunday morning, we left with a slight tailwind from runway 33 so we didn't have to fly over Bubenheim. The way back was more or less the same route as on the way out. Again we passed the old town of Aub.
Take-off runway 15 Treuchtlingen-Bubenheim
At Altenstadt we noticed an ad (position N50°17'56" E008°56'04") one can only see from the air for adventure farm 'Erlebnis-Bauernhof Vogler'. North of Frankfurt, clouds increased, a harbinger of the cold front we would later pass.
Large ad for an adventure farm
Autobahn 45 viaduct at Siegen
Again we passed the Bervertal reservoir. The Bevertal dam is mentioned in the page about Operation Chastise; the attack on dams by the British at the time of the Second World War. A crew that was going to bomb the Ennepe dam probably attacked the Bevertal dam by mistake, without causing any damage to the dam.
After some time, we arrived at Essen-Mülheim. At the fuel-station René checked the amount of fuel in the tanks. There was a total of about 18 US Gallons left in the tanks. We added another 8 US Gallons, and after a coffee we continued on our way.
Left downwind runway 06 Essen-Mülheim
Arrived at Essen-Mülheim airport
A coffee after refueling
From Essen-Mülheim to Hilversum
Shortly after we took off we passed some rain splashes, but these were not to be called significant. By the way, the airship normally based at Essen-Mülheim temporarily has no hangar. The old hangar was demolished earlier this year and a new one will be built, which should be ready this year.
Departure from Essen-Mülheim
Airship temporarily without a hangar
Immediately north of Mülheim we passed Oberhausen, which includes the shopping center where the traditional Christmas market is held at the end of the year. At the time of the Corona crisis, we didn't go there anymore, but otherwise we went there regularly with Marcel and Angela.
A little further on we more or less followed the Rhine downstream to the Netherlands. We flew over Wunderland Kalkar, a nuclear power plant that never went into operation converted into an amusement park.
Shopping center CentrO in Oberhausen
Wunderland Kalkar is an amusement park in Kalkar in Germany near the border with the Netherlands. It is built on the former site of a completed €3.5 billion nuclear power plant that never went online because of construction problems and growing protests following the Chernobyl disaster. Many of the facilities constructed for the plant have been integrated into the park and its attractions, including the cooling tower, which features a swing ride and a climbing wall.
Shortly thereafter, we arrived in the Dutch FIR, where we have already flown plenty. Nice to mention is Doornenburg Castle, where footage was also shot for the 1960s TV series Floris. Recently, we had also visited Hernen Castle, which was also used for this TV series.
We landed on runway 36 of Hilversum airfield. After filling out the journal and cleaning the plane, the trip had come to an end.
Landing runway 36 Hilversum airfield