(by David Kromka)
With lots of tailwind EMPOA is taking off into the new year and presents all Mooniacs the program for our official club excursion in upcoming June 2014.
After the tremenduous success of our France trip with heading South-Southwest it will be the opposite direction this year: heading North-Northeast. From June 18 to June 22 our speedmachines will be heading for the Baltci Sea: the islands of Ruegen (Germany) and Gotland (Sweden) are our destinations.
The basic concept of the EMPOA Tour will be unchanged: five days (a long weekend) amongst friends, some aviation highlights but enough time for ground-based activities as well.
We will be meeting on Wednesday, June 18, in the afternoon on the airfield of Ruegen-Guettin (EDCG), where we will be having little snacks and cool beers whilst welcoming familiar friends but certainly some new faces as well. Our copilots will go to nearby Lauterbach by minibus where we will be staying at a hotel by the sea. All EMPOA Mooniacs will have to remain at the airport a little longer since we will be hosting our annual General meeting in the late afternoon. We do sincerely hope that our copilots will rejoin us after checking in to the hotel since I was able to organise an aviation highlight directly after the General meeting. Some may have heard from him, some may have read his books or watched his movies: Henning Huffer, adventurer by heart and lawyer by profession, five-times earthrounder and 50-times North Atlantic flyer, will be giving his honor to EMPOA and report from his flying adventures. And the Mooney, on which Henning has flown around 3.000 hours, will certainly not fall short. Thereafter, EMPOA will be hosting a dinner at the airfield.
Thursday will bring us not into the air but onto the sea: after a short stroll along Lauterbach harbor we will go by boat to Baabe. We will have the chance to explore this little oceanside town as well as take a walk along the beach. Whoever is interested can go to Prora which is 20 km away. With around 5000 meters the former KdF-resort still spots the world's longest building which was supposed to introduce modern mass tourism during the Third reich. Back to Baabe we will board a little steam-train, the „Rasender Roland“, that will drive us through south Ruegen's landscape back to Lauterbach. A tasty seafood menu will await us there.
On Friday we'll have to pack our bags again and start the engines as today's flight will bring us to the Baltic sea's largest islang, Gotland in Sweden. Our departure along the coast will offer us some magnificient views of the famous chalk cliffs and then we go heading North-Northeast. The route will lead us directly across the open sea, but we will pass Bornholm soon, thereafter Oland and the track is never far away from Sweden's east coast. After a maximum of two hours flying we reach our destination. We are not landing at the the international airport of Visby (ESSV) but rather at the second airfield of the island: Bunge (ESVB) in the northeast of Gotland close to the bay to neighboring Faro. Retired SAS captain Gert Martinsson has made this former military airfield his personal aviator's paradise. It includes an aviation museum and flying friends are always welcome. The concrete runways with approximately 700 meters lenght and flat approach sectors shouldn't be a problem for our Mooneys.
We will have to observe the traffic though since Midsummer will be the time of a big parachute event at this airfield. With the after-landing-procedures successfully completed, we will be on our way to the nearby hotel. This afternoon and evening we will live the Swedish dream of Midsommar. It is still being checked where we can witness the traditional tree-raising ceremony, but we don't want to drive far this evening. As customary in Sweden our Midsommar party will be held with the family, in our case our Mooney family. Together we will taste the local specialties at a buffet and there certainly won't be any shortage in drinks like beer, wine and akvavit.
We will certainly sleep a little longer on Saturday but thereafter we head off with our minibusses to explore the island. Depending on when we get going we might make it to exotic Faro across the bay. Our lunch stop will be at Katthammarsvik where we will have the opportunity to sample the products of a local smokehouse. Thereafter we will drive across Gotland to Visby. The island's capital boasts a well-preserved city wall and old quarters inside, it is on UNESCO's world heritage list. After a stroll through town we will be having dinner and cheer to a successful trip.
Sunday is the day where we will pack our bags again and make the Mooneys ready. With lots of new experiences we'll be departing back to our homebases – or to the unofficial prolongation of this journey further up North to the Aland islands between Sweden and Finland. Important notice: this prolongation will be done since several Mooniacs have already asked me about this. It is however not a part of the EMPOA tour 2014 and will be done privately and on our own account. Of course I will bring the participants together.
As in the past I will be organising our 2014 Mooney trip on my own responsibility and own risk. With all suppliers I have tried to negotiate the best prices and I believe we have a program that will appeal to many. The price of the trip will be 380 € per person staying in a double room and 480 € per person in a single room. It includes two nights of accomodation with breakfast each in Ruegen and Gotland, all transfers and transports with minibusses in Ruegen and Gotland, the boat- and steamtrain-ride in Ruegen as well as the Midsummer party in Gotland including food and drink. In order to organise myself and confirm the venues, I need your firm confirmation and payment of the total sum until March 31st on my bank account
IBAN: DE60500700240243727500 and BIC: DEUTDEDBFRA