Posts Tagged ‘Hahn’

A blog post…

Which is sometimes like a fence post (i.e. when I have nothing to blog about, so it’s wooden and very unfunny).

Been to Hahn this week for some work – the guy I was working with there was a stereotypical German – blonde, blue eyed, and the sort of accent you imagine Germans having (English with a sorta German hint 😐 ).

Now Frankfurt-Hahn airport has a LOT of history, and this guy talked me through it all (it was interesting actually), from the early days when Hitler built the first airstrip there (not personally I don’t think), then the French took over after the war and extended it, before the Americans then took it over during the cold war, extended it some more (it was actually the closest air base to the Ruskies apparently), installed loads of those cool bunkers:

for the various aircraft, and loads of underground bunkers for the nukes.

The Americans moved out in the 1990s and the base finally became a civilian airport – I’ve been going there now for 3 or 4 years, and the changes are clear each time – the buildings and bunkers are being ripped down to make way for cargo buildings and hangars, the runway has been extended (that’s twice now) – by next year the barracks will have all gone.

I just hope while doing all this re-modelling they don’t lose sight of the important stuff like:

GET SOME DECENT FOOD PLACES IN THE AREA!

*sniff*

EDIT: Apparently, when the local airbase to me (Alconbury) was abandoned by the septics, they decided to level the area where the bunkers are, so they got explosive experts in, they did there thang with stuff-that-goes-boom™, waited for the dust to settle…and nothing – only scratched the surface. It allegedly took days to cut through the steel reinforcing to get to where they could start knocking the feckers down…

Where has the sun gone?

It’s been one of those weeks – Monday was SUPPOSED to have been fairly easy for me…just a smidgen of paperwork to do before my trip to Hahn on the Tuesday/Wednesday.

I hadn’t figured in the Tim factor (AKA: fuck up factor) – as such I spent the day in the workshop trying to get the paperwork over there up to date, then making sure delivery notes etc. were all ready for stuff going out while I was away (I could have left it for Corina to do, but I like to be ahead in these things). After work, I had a quick computer job to do at a friend’s house, and then FINALLY home for dinner.

Early flight to Germany on Tuesday meant I was up at 4am (as was Lisa to make me a cup of tea before I left 🙂 ) to get to the airport for my 6am flight. Now, usually the Germans are very good with everything being arranged and things should have been simple (i.e. land, get my security pass, head to the hangar and do my thang). This time however, it seemed nobody was aware of me arriving, so I spent a couple of hours wandering around the terminal until I finally got a call that my pass was ready and I’d be picked up in 5 minutes to go airside.

The airport at Hahn is a small one, but has a very silly ‘important zone’ in the centre – this meant that everytime I crossed the zone I had to go through the security check (same as regular airport check) – as I initially was taken to the line station, I went through the check, then they realised all the test gear was in the hangar so I had to go there, tested/inspected some equipment there, then loaded the test gear onto the van and drove back to the line station (back through security) to test the jacks located there.

So, I’d got everything on my list apart from one item, and that definitely wasn’t at the line station, so I decided to go back to the hangar and make sure it wasn’t there or in the stores (it wasn’t), then bring the rest of my equipment back to the line so it could be loaded on the next flight back to Stansted (uh huh – another trip through the security check).

Still, finally got done, got my reports all signed off, cleaned up and was given a lift to my hotel (which was very nice), showered, then sat outside in the glorious sunshine with a beer (or 3 😉 ). Of course, my flight home was the 6am flight the next day, so once again I was up at 4am to make sure I had time for breakfast (just a light one: juice, coffee, couple of croissants, scrambled eggs and toast) before heading back to the airport and flying home.

As Lisa had the day off, I decided to take it off also, so we strolled into town, had some lunch at the Bridge (not the best service/food I’ve had there – Lisa’s fish was so dry it was practically dust), then walked along the river to the Rivermill for a beer before heading back home via the Olde Sun for more refreshments of the alcoholic kind.

Today though, it hasn’t stopped raining – hope it clears up for the weekend (indeed – hope it stops soon as it’s curry night tonight).

Less than an hour to go until I finish work – better go do something constructive I guess…

It’s Friday!

Woop, woop!

Had a good day in Hahn yesterday – got the job done in about 3 hours and had 4 hours to myself before I could could check-in (I was on standby and had to wait for everyone else to check-in before I could be guaranteed a seat).

The weather was lovely so I decided to take a walk into the village about 1km from the airport, find a bar/cafe and sit there for a while and practice my (incredibly bad considering I took it for 2 years at school – but that was a LONG time ago*) German.

However, since the Americans moved out (Hahn used to be a USAF base), it seems the money went with them – the villagers all seem to be making (little) money by using their gardens as cheap airport parking.

I did find a hotel there though, and had a lovely lunch sitting in the sun, then wandered back to the airport to sit on the grass and soak up some rays 🙂

I did manage to get on the flight (I got the 5th of 7 available seats) and was back home by 7.30pm…makes a change to not drive back from Stansted in the dark.

*Yes Lisa, I’m VERY old 😐


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