Had a great breakfast at the hotel. It seems to target a business clientele, so everything is very functional. A huge dining area with everything you could conceivably want, and all included in the room fee. Had the Eurail Pass validated and headed off to Speyer where there is a Technik Museum, including a large aviation display.
An ICE at the platform in Mannheim Hauptbahnhof
I caught the 1005 Inter-City Express (ICE) to Mannheim and then the S4 to Germersheim, which stops at Speyer. Got out at Speyer and checked a local map. The Museum is about 2.2 kilometres away and the road layout is quite complicated, but there is a school group nearby going roughly in the right direction, so I figure I’ll follow them. It doesn’t take too long to realise the teacher doesn’t know which way to go either and is actually waiting to see which way I’d turn when I stopped at each set of lights. Which wouldn’t have been very helpful to him as he was taking his group to see the local cathedral !
The 747 on display – note the fenced walkway out on the port wing
One of the display halls at Speyer Technik Museum
A McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber
A (Mikoyan-Gurevich) Mig-21 fighter-bomber
Now I chose Speyer because I had read an aviation magazine only the night before that mentioned a C-160 Transall had just been located recently at it, and the backstory about the place sounded interesting. Being prone to reckless spontaneity, I decided it was worth a visit. After a certain amount of meandering through the town I eventually found it. And, I wasn’t to be disappointed; it was huge and mind-blowing.
A Messerschmitt Me-109 fighter
A Junkers Ju-52 transport aircraft
An Antonov AN-2 light transport
A Fiat G.91 trainer and light attack aircraft
There were acres of aircraft on display, both Western and Soviet, halls of cars, bikes, fire trucks, locomotives, et al. Two big stars are a Soviet Buran (Space Shuttleski) and an ex-Lufthansa 747 poised about six stories up on top of pylons and accessible via stairways. You can tour all through the 747 and out on to the wing in a fenced off section that runs about half way out. The whole thing is in a climbing attitude which makes it weird to walk around inside and it’s highly vertigo inducing out on the wing. Add a strong wind imparting a slight amount of movement and it is quite interesting. If kids are not impressed by all that, there’s also an enclosed slide from just under the aircraft level for a quick descent. I used the stairs.
It’s not all aircraft – meet the U9
The locomotive hall
The cargo bay of the Buran spacecraft
Checked out the almost 1000 year old Dom (cathedral) on the way back. It’s got an unusual look, with impressive red stone work. Speyer is a neat little town. It has a nice ‘energy’ about it, with that Altstadt feeling that all German towns do so well. Returned to Frankfurt via the reverse route. Did some more shopping in the closing hours of the day, but unable to find a good lightweight Jack Wolfskin jacket.
The 1000 year old Speyer Dom (cathedral)
Speyer town centre