Sunday 26 May 2013 02:42 UTC
Where have you been? What have you seen?
Remember the 1968 WWII adventure film Where Eagles Dare with Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton? The movie always appeared somewhat mystical, it even has its own fansite. The first scene with the Junkers 52 coming in from the distance during the opening credits with the music of Ron Goodwin underneath is fantastic. The Junkers 52 that was used in the film is still flying today (HB-HOT, ju-air, Dubendorf, Switzerland).
The screenplay was written by Alistair MacLean: A US general is captured by the Germans when his aircraft was shotdown over southern Germany. The general is taken to a castle by the Germans. A team of commandos is to rescue the general before the Germans can interrogate him. I will not give away the plot.
This spring my oldest son and I made a trip to Salzburg, where we also visited Where Eagles Dare film locations. We also flew past the military Aigen im Ennstal airfield, which was the location of Oberhausen airfield in the movie. Nothing much appeared to have changed there since the movie was shot.
A trip report with pictures can be found here
We flew the route through the mountains from Salzburg to Wiener Neustadt a few years ago, passing Werfen and "Oberhausen Airfield". A great flight, one of my best ever. Sadly, none of us were at the time even aware of the fact that we were passing these cineastic landmarks: we had prepped for a trip to Switzerland, but had to switch to Austria because of weather after a night's stopover in southern Germany.
If one follows the valleys towards Vienna, it is possible to make a right turn (to the south) and go to Graz; we did that the day after, but coming from Vienna in the east. And when in Graz, you're practically through the alps. So a VFR tour through those same valleys but continuing all the way to Crotia is on my wish list for future summers. And then I'll have the camera ready Where Eagles Dare!
Everyone can make mistakes. Yesterday, for instance, I thought I was wrong, but I wasn't.
As an Austrian, I'm glad that you enjoyed your short stay here. And you were even at the tiny Gießen-Lützelinden airfield where I bought my current aircraft two years ago ...
Should you come back to Austria, Zell am See (LOWZ) is highly recommended. Probably the most scenic airfield of the country with glaciers and a mountain lake nearby. 5 minutes to the nearest skiing slopes, should you arrive in winter, and 20 minutes to a glacier where you can go skiing in summer too.
*tourism marketing off*
Thank you. Flying the Alps is fantastic. We did visit Zell am See earlier in 2008.
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