Maurits returning the glider
Maurits had been allowed to take a glider from the Dutch Junior Gliding Team with him from March until sometime in May for soaring over the Alps. At the start we had brought the plane to the border of Germany and Switzerland, where Maurits took over (trip report here).
Maurits and Veleda in March
Immediately assembled the plane in Switzerland
On the weekends when the weather was good Maurits made a number of long flights over the Alps for a total of about 44 hours.
At the end of the period Maurits brought the plane back with the car plus trailer. On Saturday, the day before Maurits went back by train, we took a little trip in Germany around Thuringia.
From Paderborn-Lippstadt to Mühlhausen
We first flew to Mühlhausen, a handsome medieval town that sits at the country's geographical heart. Mühlhausen has a great variety of historical buildings with one of the largest medieval city centres remaining in Germany. The Gothic Divi-Blasii-Kirche was built by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th and 14th centuries. Johann Sebastian Bach worked here as the city's organist in 1707-08. The current organ, built in 1959, reproduces his personal specifications.
Maurits fueling the C182
Take-off runway 24 Paderborn-Lippstadt
C182 at Mühlhausen airfield
From Mühlhausen to Allstedt
After Mühlhausen we continued to Allstedt. On the way we passed Obermehler-Schlotheim airport that we had visited in 2009, and Bad Frankenhausen, where Maurits had a soaring camp in 2013. We picked him up there for vacation to Austria.
Allstedt airport was built for the Soviet armed forces in the 1950s. In the following years it was repeatedly expanded and was the home of a reconnaissance regiment. After the withdrawal of the Russian troops in the early 1990s, the field has been used for general aviation since the mid-1990s.
Take-off runway 26 Mühlhausen airfield
Passing Obermehler/Schlotheim airport
Passing Bad Frankenhausen airfield
Maurits at a Soviet shelter at Allstedt airport
From Allstedt to Arnstadt
After take-off from Allstedt we first flew a bit to the east to get a look at the castle in Querfurt. After rounding the castle we continued to Arnstadt. René and Charlotte had already planned to fly there in February, but low clouds then prevented us from flying further. We then made a round-trip flight.
Lining-up runway 25 Allstedt airport
Further along the way to Arnstadt we passed an eye-catching tower. Back at home René looked it up, and it turned out to be a memorial to Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp and after the war a Soviet concentration camp. More than 56,000 people died here in the Nazi period, and more than 7,000 people died here in the Soviet period.
National Buchenwald Memorial
René at Arnstadt airport
From Arnstadt to Paderborn-Lippstadt
We had a coffee at Arnstadt airport, and after paying the fees we started our return flight to Paderborn-Lippstadt. After take-off we first headed to the city of Arnstadt to make an orbit over the city.
Arnstadt is the oldest place mentioned in records in Thuringia (first mentioned in 704). Members of the musical Bach family lived in Arnstadt for several generations. The young Johann Sebastian Bach was the organist in today's Bach Church from 1703 - 1707.
Then we headed to Fulda to make an orbit over the city there. On the way we passed the Thuringian Forest with the Schmalwasser reservoir. Measured at 76 m above the valley floor, the dam is the highest dam in Germany.
Arnstadt, Bach Church
Fulda lies on the Fulda River between the Rhön and Vogelsberg mountains. It developed around a Benedictine abbey founded in 744 by Sturmi, a disciple of St. Boniface. Most of Fulda's noteworthy buildings form an integrated Baroque district.
The Cathedral is the most significant baroque church in the state of Hesse. The church contains the tomb of St. Boniface. Still today it is an important place of pilgrimage.
After Fulda we continued to the north-west. We flew over military airfield Fritzlar Air Base which René had visited in 2018. Construction of the airfield began in September 1935.
Fritzlar Air base
North of the air base lies the town of Fritzlar. St Boniface established a church and monastery dedicated to St Peter in Fritzlar in 724, reportedly from the wood of an oak tree devoted to Donar.
Not much later we landed on runway 24 of Paderborn-Lippstadt airport. After we washed the plane, filled out the journal and put the plane back in the hangar we went back home.
Maurits and René at Paderborn-Lippstadt