FHN – The Travel and Arrival.

Tuesday 25th June 2024

The time has arrived and we set off on our annual trip to Ham Radio, Friedrichshafen. Charles (M0OXO) once again kindly drove the car to London Heathrow where we had an overnight stay at the Premier Inn, Bath Road. Picking up Ady (G6AD) on our way through we had a nice trip from our home in the Midlands. 

Arriving around lunchtime at the hotel we had a short wait to get into our rooms. So we had a couple of drinks of coffee and then decide to have a beer to try and knock us out for some sleep. After checking in a meal in the bar area and early night was the order of the day ready for the 02:00 alarm to get to the airport for our flight departure of 6am.





Wednesday 26th June 2024.

When arriving at the airport the check ins didn’t open until 04:00 so a short wait before checking in, and then straight through security to our Swiss Air departure gate. 

Onto the aircraft and away we went, on time and in the air for 06:15.One hour and fifteen minutes later we arrived at Zurich Airport, disembarked the aircraft, collected our baggage, and into the train station. Tickets purchased and on the platform within 45 minutes of the plane touching down. 

The wait for the train was around 5 minutes, and with the usual efficiency we have come to remember of the Swiss rail service it arrived and our second leg of the journey began. What amazes us about the train service is how smooth and quiet it is within the carriage, both on the upper deck and lower decks there is hardly any noise, unlike the British train where it is clunky and noisy with running over the points and rail joints. After roughly one hour we arrive at our destination of Romanshorn, the interchange with the ferry across the beautiful Lake Constance.

The short 40 minute journey across the lake gave us time to get some refreshment. Both Ady and I chose to have Apple Pie and cream to take off the hunger before we went to dinner later that day, with a coffee for all 3 of us. If ever you are on the boat across Lake Constance on this journey then do try the apple pie, it was delicious, and one of the best I have ever tasted. Docking in FHN gave us the chance to walk through the town to our hotel, the Hotel City Krone, completing the whole journey from taking off at Heathrow to sitting outside the hotel in 4 1/2 hours. A record for us in our travelling time. We had a little wait before we could get into our rooms so we sat outside on the street tables, watched the world go by and had another coffee. Completely chilled and ready for the madness of the weekend.

At 15:00 (local) we were able to enter our rooms and drop our luggage. This gave us time to go for a walk and find somewhere to eat along the lake front, A beautiful promenade with bars and restaurants to one side, and their outdoor seating areas to the other, overlooking Lake Constance. The choice of many styles and tastes, this night we chose our favourite – Bella Vista – which is a gorgeous little Italian restaurant serving excellent food. Charles received a message from our friend Grant (VK5GR) had arrived at the hotel from Australia, a 38 hour journey for the 4 days in Friedrichshafen, and went to meet him before bringing him down to the promenade to join us. This gave Ady and myself the chance to have a sneaky beer while we waited. Charles and Grant arrived and we ordered some of the most beautiful food I have ever tasted, and it is no wonder we have made this our favourite.

Thursday 27th June 2024.

As we had planned this was the day we would explore the small town centre and visit the Zeppelin Museum in the town, this is also situated along the lake side and is a beautiful 1920’s art deco building. A very interesting and informative place, and it just reminds you of how far we have advanced with the technology in just over 100 years. I had always been under the impression that the Zeppelins were made as a war machine rather than a passenger aircraft, but the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg were both passenger aircraft that quite literally circumnavigated the earth. They were huge!! A model of the Airbus A380 (72 Meters long) was shown next to one of the airships (212 Meters) long and it looked tiny. The passenger cabins were small, but looked comfortable, and the public areas were plush with silver service for dining and waiter service for drinks – just showing the opulence of the era.  The images on here don’t do it justice.

Following this we went to the Messe (Exhibition Hall) to set up the IOTA (Islands On The Air)  table and get ready for the start on Friday. With this being the 60th Anniversary of the IOTA scheme the organisers DARC (Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club), the national society of Germany, had constructed a special display with images of QSL cards and other information from many activations from the past. This was in the main foyer as you entered the show, and proved popular with many asking about the IOTA programme when they came into the hall and the stand.

There was not many on site when we arrived in the main hall, may be this being a working day for most they were still travelling to get there stands set up ready for the main event on the Friday and Saturday. EUDXF (European DX Foundation) were the first to arrive followed by the CDXC (Chiltern DX Club) from the UK the next, Chris (G4FZN) and his wife Pauline.

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Chris Cloclough G1VDP