Not a flying day but a “technical” day for weighing, registration etc. Trotts water pump didn’t have a decent hose so we went back into Bautzen and spent a while in the hardware shop. Also put my first lot of films in to be processed. Everyone else has digital cameras. While we were away Turns test flew her glider after changing the TE probe and plumbing. She says its OK now. Spent a good part of the afternoon driving around looking at crops for potential landing sites. There is a big mix here, wheat, corn, rye, spuds, canola, clover, lucerne and oats. The Germans land in all sorts of crops generally the green ones, but not the canola and not the yellow ones (a bit opposite to Australia).
They tell me the old East Germany is not as wealthy as the west and I can believe it. Although Bautzen appears to be like any modern town, the small hamlets around Klix are in various states of repair. I also found out that the storage sheds near the airfield and another demolished site near one of the outlanding fields were actually communal farm machinery shed before reunification.
Today is also the final competition day at an airfield called Neuhausen. It was about 80km away so we (Cathy, Sabine, Swaantje, Helge and I) went there for a late tea. On the way there we got a close look at some lakes. These lakes are all coal open cuts I think. We saw the new power station at Schwarze Pumpe, which the Germans don’t like. It’s too efficient and its cooling towers do not produce worthwhile thermals. Another interesting thing (to me) was the type of construction of some apartment blocks. Helge called it Platten Bolten (panel and bolt?). Neuhausen is a large sport aviation site with very good buildings thanks to the previous government. First time I have seen an AN2 in the flesh. I would really like to have a go in one of these. During the calm of the evening a hot air ballon dropped in. I don’t know where he came from. I met some members of Sabine’s home club, Frankfurt Akaflieg. They were Christoph Maul, Christopher Rogos and Tobias Haas. The guys tried to get me to drink some of the German beer, “best beer in the world”. Tasted like any other beer to me. Tobias tried to point out Ursa Major and Polaris, I think I saw them but even in the “country” the light pollution is really bad. I also met Benno Beesten who was one of the German team at Gawler in 2001 where I was verifier. At the end of the night we took Benno’s trailer back to Klix.