Visit from England

On my trip to Edinburg I met one of the other Pinkster Forum members, nicknamed "Thumpango" or Thumpy for short. It so happened that toward the end of my vacation he also had a few days off, so on a relatively spontaneous whim he decided to fly over to Germany to visit.


Thursday, February 17

I got up early and was glad to see nice dry weather. Instead of the train I had decided to pick him up with the car and drive him down to my area. I had developed a bad cold and lost my voice and felt I better see my doctor... couldn't do that if I stayed in Cologne!

His plane was expected at 9:15 at the Cologne Airport but he told me not to hurry. Originally I had planned to leave around 07:00 considering possible busy rush hour traffic, but instead I took my time, got the car refueled, then was on the way about 07.45.

Needless to say, I arrived punctual as always!! I parked the car in the big parking garage and went looking for the arrivals. I had never been to Cologne airport before so it was interesting for me to see.

Soon he came through the doors, surprised to see I was already there. But traffic had been light and the drive without incident. Instead of driving back via the Autobahn, I thought it would be nice to show him the Rhine River valley. We made a view of the standard photo-stops but otherwise made good time on the way back. Weather was great (my friends are beginning to call me the Weather Witch heehee) and it was a lovely drive.

at the Lorely

Yes, I did visit my doctor. He told gave me a prescription for some medicine, otherwise his only comment was...... NO TALKING!!!! hmmmmm.... a visitor from England and no talking? impossible.... grrrrrrrrr

I wanted to show Thumpy Frankfurt so we got on the train (to avoid driving after one or two wines heehee) and went to the BIG CITY! There I showed him the main shopping street (Zeil), the cathedral (which was unfortunately closed), and the city hall with it's half-timbered houses. We then took a stroll along the Main River, then went toward the Main Tower to see if we could still go up and visit the visitor's platform up on the roof.... but it had just closed 15 minutes before hand.

Since we were both hungry, I took him to a nearby restaurant called "Chicago Meat Packers".... a great place to visit if you are ever in Frankfurt! I had been there a couple of times before, the last time with a film crew!! ahem....... more about that some other day.... maybe   

After a great American style dinner we went back to the Main Tower to try out their bar! Thanks to the great weather, we had a fantastic view of Frankfurt form 1000 feet up! We actually didn't take advantage of the bar but instead had a capuccino and beer.... how boring! heeheee Being dependent on the train schedules, we soon headed toward the Frankfurt main train station.


view from the Main Tower bar


Friday, February 18

Today we planned to go flying. The forecast was good, but it turned out to be very hazy. We couldn't do a cross-country flight as planned, but we did manage to get up for 40 minutes anyway.


Thumpy disembarking

Proof that Thumpy was in Worms

After my flight with Thumpy I went up again with one of the students to check him out for the impending first solo.... so all in all even I got a lot out of the day.

landing with the student

me taxying past with the student

After the flights we then went back to my hometown. We only had time to see the basics like the main shopping mall, but we didn't manage to pop into my office! As it was Friday afternoon, most of the colleagues were already off for the weekend.

After that we drove off toward my daughters hometown. Before stopping at my daughter's home, we took a detour to the airfield where I had got my first flight lessons, did my first solos, received my first license, etc. We were able to go into the hanger were a variety of airplanes were piled in, from glider planes (which Thumpy had never seen up close before), to a Wilga, an aerobatic plane, and many others. Among them was the power glider Dimona with the registration D-KAZE..... yes, that was THE plane that was hijacked and kept Frankfurt downtown in a state of emergency for many hours!

This is the Dimona that flew over Frankfurt. On the door you can still see the police sticker.



After that we went to visit my daughter for Tea Time! Not only did Thumpy get to meet my daughter, but also my LOVELY granddaughter!!

 After that we returned to my home town. I still wanted to show Thumpy Egelsbach airfield and perhaps enjoy a cocktail at the bar located there (recommendation if anyone is ever there!!), but I was soooo tired that we decided to leave it out.... my voice was still not very good... hmmmm


Saturday, February 19

Oh dear! Today we had planned to drive back up to Cologne, but outside everything was covered in a heavy layer of snow!! Well, what does Germany have such a good train system for, right? So, under the circumstances, we changed our plans and decided to go by the super fast German ICE train.

The decision to take the train was the right one....there was heavy snow all the way. The ride itself was uneventful... highest speed was about 284 km/h. We arrived at the main station of Cologne then hit the town!

Our first stop was of course the Cathedral! Thumpy was quite amazed at the size... and it is a wonderful example of great architecture.

We then toke a stroll through the Cologne old town, down the narrow streets lined with beautiful half-timbered houses with their many restaurants, bars, and cafés. At one of them it was possible to sit outside in spite of the rain and cold temperatures (my Weather Witch magic wasn't working too well...). They had some special gas heaters that kept us warm as we sipped our cappuccinos.

We continued our walk through the city on our way to the restaurant I had picked out. I wanted to show him a very typical, very traditional place and I knew the exact one. I had been there many times in the past so I knew what to expect. The place is called "Päffgen" and we got there just in time.... many tables were reserved and we just managed to find a free one.

I tried to translate the menu, which wasn't very easy because of the special Cologne expressions used, and we soon picked some very typical dishes... and loved it!

Of course we enjoyed the traditional Cologne beer.... Kölsch!!



Sunday, February 20

It was now time to say goodbye. We arrived at the train station to check the schedule and there was one to Frankfurt that was delayed 20 minutes which allowed me to catch it and save another hours wait... Thumpy caught his to the airport soon afterwards.

All in all it was a very nice visit! Thumpy was an enjoyable guest to entertain!

Thumpy's report

Westy's page on my trip to Germany covers nearly everything, but I do have one or two photos which you might be interested in! Cheesy

I visited the airfield at Worms


having heard of this place and its strange name! I didn't really know what to expect, it actually is a very nice airfield with approx 800mtr tarmac surface and used exclusively for GA! No obstructions or difficulties in the approach as it is so flat in this very wide part of the Rhine valley. There is a glider strip next to the main runway which must make life interesting at weekends!

Captain Westy was in full control!  

unfortunately the visibility wasn't too good so we just toured the local area instead of the planned cross country.

Next we visited the town of Darmstadt, where the Ludwig memorial tower appears to be growing out of my head!

This is the police seal that was on the door of the high jacked glider that caused so much concern over Frankfurt a while back!  

More pictures in Westy's write up.

Next day brought snow!  

so instead of driving from Frankfurt to Cologne we took the high speed train (300kms/hr!)

Cologne is a delightful city with amazing architecture,

 my guide showed me all the nooks and crannies!

 including this brass 'uncle' type figure that we named Beagle!!  

(sorry about that beagle!)

No sooner had we arrived then it was time to say goodbye! Sad

A very enjoyable first visit to Germany - many thanks Westy, I hope to return soon Wink