From Paderborn-Lippstadt to Blaubeuren
No nice weekend flying days had come by yet this year, but the weather on the weekend of February 12/13 looked nice for a trip. We made our first little weekend flying trip of the year to Blaubeuren in the Swabian Jura in Baden-Württemberg. On Saturday morning we drove early to Paderborn-Lippstadt airport so we could leave in time and still have the day to look around. For the way out, we had a flight directly to Blaubeuren. On the way back, we did some sightseeing.
René refueling the Cessna 182
View of Paderborn-Lippstadt airport
The snow in the Sauerland south of Paderborn-Lippstadt gave a beautiful sight. Here and there were still areas in low clouds where the hilltops towered above. We passed Amöneburg, a small town on a 365m high mountain 16 km east of Marburg. In 721, Boniface founded a monastery cell below Amöneburg Castle, which he expanded in 732 with a church dedicated to Archangel Michael.
After one hour and thirty-five minutes flight time, we arrived at Blaubeuren airfield. After landing on runway 10, we tied-down the plane and walked from the plateau to the town about a thousand feet below. There we checked-in at the hotel and began our city tour.
Final runway 10 Blaubeuren airfield
The Cessna 182 at Blaubeuren airfield
It was the ancient Danube which meandered through the area and dug the valley where Blaubeuren is situated. The historic old part of Blaubeuren is one of the best preserved medieval town centres in the south-western part of Germany. Its half-timbered houses, the remaining parts of the old town wall, twisting lanes and hidden places add up to the allure of the town.
The fountains in the town are a sign that, in contrast to the villages on the Alb plateau, Blaubeuren has always had plenty of water. This was the reason for the foundation of the town and the monastery in this location. The market square and the market fountain are right in the centre of the town. The square is flanked on all four sides by important secular buildings like the town hall, the old customs house and inns.
Sights of Blaubeuren
The small town of Blaubeuren lies in the valley of the ancient Danube. The almost 22m deep funnel-shaped Blautopf (Blue Pool) is Blaubeuren's best known sight. Every now and then the Blautopf 'boils over', which means that huge quantities of water gush out. The bedrock at the foot of the southern rim of the Swabian Alb is limestone and precipitation drains away very quickly. In the course of many millennia a vast cave system has been washed out in the belly of the mountain behind the Blautopf. Speleologists have so far explored and mapped more than 14 km of passages and shafts. Next to the Blautopf there is a water-powered drop hammer mill which is now a museum.
Caves in the Swabian Jura
Former drop hammer mill
In the Middle Ages, Benedictine monks founded one of the most important monasteries of Württemberg, with its particularly fine double-winged high altar with painted wooden panels and statues. It is an altar-piece of abundant ornateness and splendour, which makes it one of the most important gothic masterpieces in Southern Germany. Apart from the cloister and the church there are medieval working quarters and store houses, the administration building and the bathhouse of the monks. These late gothic style buildings were erected between 1466 and 1510. After the Reformation the Catholic monks left Blaubeuren and the monastery was transformed into a Protestant monastic school.
The Museum of Prehistory is the central Museum of Ice Age Art of the Swabian Jura. The museum is home of the original Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest depiction of a human worldwide. It is carved out of mammoth ivory. Also in the museum are the world's oldest flutes, about 40,000 years old. One flute is carved out of a swan bone, one of a griffin vulture and one made of mammoth ivory.
The Venus of Hohle Fels
From Blaubeuren to Paderborn-Lippstadt
On Sunday morning during breakfast, we talked with Maurits in Switzerland over the phone. Maurits was to fly from Locarno to Altenrhein in the afternoon with a student, and we discussed whether we could go there or meet at the nearby Hohenems airport, just across the border from Austria. It was not possible to fly directly from Blaubeuren to Altenrhein because of customs restrictions.
Since the flight was also to prepare the student to fly solo to Altenrhein we decided not to do a rendezvous. Instead, we decided to fly back to Paderborn so we would be back home in the afternoon. Before heading to Paderborn we would do some sightseeing from the air in the area where we were.
We had asked for a cab to take us back to the airfield. Although it is not far, it is quite a climb, and we had some luggage to carry. A cab could not be reached, but someone from the hotel took us to the airfield.
Quite a bit of snow had disappeared since the previous day. After we had removed the tie-downs and checked the plane, we called the flugleiter to come to the airfield so we could depart. We took-off from runway 28, and then started the sight-seeing over Blaubeuren.
René at Blaubeuren airfield
Then we flew a short distance east to Ulm to take a look at the Ulm Minster. With its steeple measuring 161.5 metres it is the tallest church in the world.
Located in the historic square of Ulm stands the most crooked house in the world, as registered in Guiness World Records. The Museum Ulm holds the oldest-known zoomorphic (human having the form of an animal) sculpture in the world (aged 35,000-40,000 years). Ulm is the birthplace of the physicist, Albert Einstein.
The next point of interest we flew to was Hohenzollern Castle. Dating to 1867, this neo-Gothic castle is the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, the first and last monarchical rulers of the short-lived second German Empire (1871–1918). The castle is privately owned by the House of Hohenzollern.
The last sightseeing spot that we flew to was Tübingen, the university city in central Baden-Württemberg. Tübingen's historic Altstadt (old town) survived World War II intact. Tübingen has crooked cobblestone lanes, narrow-stair alleyways through the hilly terrain, streets lined with canals, and traditional half-timbered houses. The local castle, Hohentübingen, has records going back to 1078 and is now part of the University of Tübingen.
After making an orbit around Tübingen, we flew back to Paderborn-Lippstadt. After cleaning the plane and filling out the journal we headed back home. The flying year was now truly underway with a good first flying weekend.
Landing runway 24 Paderborn-Lippstadt