Friday, July 29, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I've always thought it would be great fun to fly in a hot air balloon or a blimp and while we were visiting Friedrichafen, Germany, the home of the zeppelin, we took a ride in a zeppelin and learned a few things. First, zeppelins are different from blimps because they have a rigid frame inside the balloon area. Second, the balloon cavity contains helium (not hydrogen like the Hindenburg) and, third, weight is extremely important. We were taught that, to board the zeppelin, we were to wait in a designated part of the field while a man held the hovering airship with a single rope. A small stairway enabled two passengers from the previous flight to leave the craft and two new passengers were allowed to enter. Two by two, passengers continued to depart and enter until all twelve of us were on and seated.
We were instructed to stay seated at take-off and landing but during the majority of the flight everyone was walking around enjoying views out of the different windows.
If you look closely at this photo (click on it to enlarge it) you'll see the center part of the window hinges open. Several passengers stuck their head out of the window.
The view out of the large window at the rear of the cabin:
What a thrill it was to experience the fabulous bird's-eye view of Lake Constance (Bodensee) and the sights around town, including Schloss Friedsrichafen:
The city's main cemetery:
Solar panels on this farm's rooftops:
Monday, July 4, 2011
Friedrichshafen, Germany, on the northeastern shore of Lake Constance (Bodensee), where Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin founded the Zeppelin Airship Company, is definitely Zeppelin City. With its zeppelin museum, zeppelins flying overhead, zeppelin souvenirs and zeppelin-shaped signage, reminders of Friedsrichshafen's connection to the development of the airship are everywhere. The zeppelin slide downtown is a favorite of children.