Friday, August 13, 2004
After eventually finding my way out of Hannover I got on the road heading south. The weather, which had been sunny for the great majority of the last 3 weeks, now starts to get a bit grey and misty. The Peugot really isn’t in the same class as the Audi Quattro so I am stuck with “only” 130kph. I am trying to get to where the Akaflieg Frankfurt (Frankfurt University Gliding Club) have their airfield at Ziegenhain. After some while of driving I decide to have a late dinner/early tea and pull off the Autobahn into the town of Goettingen.
This town has a link with aviation as it’s university did a lot of the early research associated with aeronautics in the early 20th century. So what do I get for dinner? A multinational hamburger. First time I’ve had fast food in Germany in the whole trip! Everything is the same as Australia except the language (and price).
Later in the day I turn off the Autobahn near Bad Hersfeld and proceed down the little country roads. Oberaula, Olberode, Asterode. How difficult it is to keep a list of these villages in my memory, which isn’t that good at the best of times. I have to stop every few km to make sure that the village I just passed through was the right one.
Eventually I get to the slightly larger town of Ziegenhain, where I drive around for ages looking for the airfield as my map isn’t really that clear at these small scales. Finally I drop in at the police station to ask the way and get half reasonable directions to the airfield. It’s about 9:30 PM when I finally roll up and of course the airfield is deserted. A quick call on the phone and Sabine tells me they are all at a private house where there is a party going on. It is a combined end of training course and two birthdays. So I walk back out to the road and Sabine picks me up. I remake the acquaintance of the two Chrisses and Tobias who were at Neuhausen way back at the start of my German holiday. I also meet Heike who has been to the Adelaide Uni Gliding Club in South Australia previously (but I never met her then). Not a bad party but I miss a lot of what is going on due to the language differences. I cause a bit of mirth by addressing the young (pre teen) daughters of the house as Gnaediges Fraulein (yes, I know that isn’t strictly done anymore, but I think I surprised the hosts that I even knew the expression at all).
After midnight it was back to the airfield and bed.