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We are now in Oz after two amazing years of traveling Europe in our home built plane. We met many fantastic people who we are proud to call friends and have gained a much better understanding of the similarities and differences between the cultures of the different European states as well as the history and geography that have lead to these differences. We enjoy meeting people with similar interests to ourselves and learning more about other cultures. Please let us know if you're going to be in Queensland and would like to catch up for a meal and a chat.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cesky Krumlov

Going south from Prague there were some thunderstorms. So we took the advice of the nice tower guys to forget about trying to reach Vienna and instead land at Cesky Budjovice for Cesky Krumlov, 'the jewel in the Czech Republic's crown. We convinced a German couple, Ellen and Eckhard, who'd landed just before us in Prague to do likewise.  The kind airfield manager lent us his car so that we could drive the 30kms to Cesky Krumlov.

Of course once we'd all landed and dealt with all the admin the thunderstorm caught up with us and we ended up spending more time hanging out in a chilly but dry bowling alley than here at the picturesque castle...  You can see the rain evaporating off the ground in the background.

You can just see the river around Cesky Krumlov

Monday, 7 May 2012

Hluboká nad Vltavou chateau near České Budějovice from the air

This castle near the home of Budvar beer (Budweiser) is modelled after Windsor castle.

Hluboká chateau from the air

Hluboká chateau from the air with extra castle

Saturday, 5 May 2012


Prague is very beautiful, but not really our kind of place, being completely overrun with backpackers and other tourists.  We prefer to be the only obnoxious tourists.

On the plus side it has a fantastic airfield (Letnany) with kind and friendly staff that is only a short walk from a train station that takes you straight into town.

We had a menu misunderstanding, it seems that all dishes are actually sharing plates.

Julian up the tower with one of the fantastic tower guys.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Terezin or Theresienstadt (concentration camp) from the air

Terezin or Theresienstadt (concentration camp) from the air
I thought this was just a happy snap of a nice star fort.  Star forts are fantastic things that were developed for better defense against cannons, and we saw several other ones on our journey: Kastellet in Copenhagen and Kronborg which holds Helsingor (also Denmark).  As a nice bonus they photograph well from the air.

I was finding it unusually hard to identify this star fort in the Czech republic, until google images showed me that it is also known as Theresienstadt (named after the Habsburg empress).  And it's been raining here for 18h.  Why does it all happen at once????

Anyway Theresienstadt was a concentration camp rather than part of the 'final solution'.  There were however many deaths due to overcrowding.  After WWII it was used as a punishment camp for ethnic Germans until 1948, after which it was used by the military.  More information.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Děčín (Tetschen) castle from the air

We left Pirna flying East along the Elbe, past Koenigstein Fortress and not long after Děčín (Tetschen) castle.

Děčín (Tetschen) Castle, with it's long ride (long street up to the castle) and the Elbe in the background

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Festung Koenigstein on the Elbe from the air

This fortress is 240m above the Elbe and was used for centuries as a prison.  You can see why.

Koenigstein fortress

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Pirna is where we started our journey up the Elbe by bicycle.  You're probably wondering why I'm posting the photos in reverse chronological order?

Well the truth is that just thinking about Pirna makes me feel sad.  The airfield is fantastic, the people are lovely, it's historic centre is pretty.  But it's where a whole heap of mentally handicapped people were herded into a church and set alight.  The castle complex containing the church is now a sheltered workshop for the disabled, which seems like an odd choice to me, but I really don't want to have to read any more about this to understand why they made this choice.  What do you think, would you place a sheltered workshop somewhere where the kind of people who work there were massacred 60 or so years earlier?

And what do you think about grim little memorials like this fire stained church?  My gut reaction is to tear it down, take it away and what is represents is just too horrible, but maybe we need this kind of reminder?

Over the door: a strong fortress is our God.  Maybe for some.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Schloss Pillnitz bei Dresden

Charming summer residence of the electors and kings and kings of Saxony built in baroque style in the 1720s.  More information.

Schloss Pillnitz viewed from the air

And from the bicycle

Isn't this boat fabulous

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Dresden's Katholische Hofkirche, Zwinger and Castle from the air

I have to admit that my inner child just loves baroque architecture.

Dresden's Zwinger (rear), part of the castle (left) and The Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony (Katholische Hofkirche)
The one thing about photography from the air is that you don't get two goes at it, and especially when you're trying not to fly too close over buildings it can be difficult to frame the building that you want.  So this is a better picture of the castle, sorry we don't have anything of the Semperoper or anything better of the Zwinger.
Except for from the ground of course: Julian at the Zwinger

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dresden's Frauenkirche viewed from above and below

Sorry about the recent break, my internet allowance ran out for the month and my phone's data connection was too slow to upload photos...  So here are two photos at once.

Dresden has a long history.  When you look at these beautiful baroque buildings you wouldn't guess that the city was flattened in an ah controversial air attack in 1945.  

Despite the communist party's dislike of kings, capitalists and religion, surprisingly many of Dresden's beautiful buildings were rebuilt under communist rule, according to the desire of the local citizens.  I always thought that the communist party was much more repressive than this, but maybe this was just the case for the difficult city, Berlin, and maybe communist repression was otherwise exaggerated to some extent in the anti communist children's books of my youth.

The Frauenkirche (church of our lady) was not amongst those buildings picked for rebuilding first.  I think this was more to do with money than politics though.  Upon reunification a worldwide private subscription drive raised the millions necessary to leave it looking several hundred years old again.

Dresden's Frauenkirche from the air

And from the ground.  Sometimes I wish I'd had one of those fancy DSLRs with massive lenses on our trip so that I could get as good a quality shot from the air as from the ground.  I just keep telling myself that it probably would have taken me the 2 years to get good photos from it while moving anyway...