Butterflies in the stomach – a weekend trip Rügen: butterflies in the stomach
Saturday noon in Strausberg, on the outskirts of Berlin. Against a clear blue sky cloud models of cotton wool artfully figure in the air The warm sunshine reminds us that we still have midsummer. According to our pilots today is best flying weather. We sit on a bench and dosily let our eyes rest on the airstrip ahead of the small private airfield.
Gradually, however, the approach of fatigue disappears: In ever shorter intervals small planes land – or those which obviously want to become like it. I dare not believe my eyes, what comes back from the air back on safe ground. And obviously these partially strange looking flying objects are able to fly such long distances so that they had disappeared from our view. Terms like the good old “Fliewatüt” or reports of the “foolhardy men in their flying machines” come to my mind.
Our announced departure time slowly approaches. Meanwhile we all excitedly observe the occuring event in front of us: Do swerves on the approach let us realize how many wind gusts and turbulence in the next 1 1/2 hours will get to our stomachs? Soothing words of our pilots mingle with shoptalk of flight professionals sitting next to us – or those who still want to become such …
Here she comes, here comes our machine! A blue and white four-seater Cessna. Is it this one? No, false alarm, was not ours. But more and more people gradually dribble into our travel group: With four aircrafts we will go from Strausberg to Ralswiek in Rügen to the Störtebeker Festivals, an open air theater performance with episodes from the life of the legendary pirate Klaus Störtebeker. I’m very curious. And excited. My stomach feels as if there are already at least four planes inside on route. But there’s no time left to me for wasting more thoughts about it. Our machine has now landed, we can take it over.
The advice of the pilot to take only the bare minimum of luggage, is now evident. The luggage compartment of our Cessna is – shall we say – very clear. In general everything in the plane is set up space saving and well considered. Surprisingly, the pilot easily stowes our bags first and then us inside the machine. Headphones on, radio check and the adventure of “flying” can begin. In me the pure joy and love of adventure prevalence. “Delta-Echo-Kilo-Kilo Sierra.” The pilot reports ready via radio. Friendly wishes from the Tower take us leave of the world of grip. The Cessna rolls on, accelerates and takes off from the asphalt at a surprisingly slow rate. It really works, we fly!
The view from the window shows how fast the earth converts into a world of toys. Houses become matchboxes. Cars get the size of insects. Windmills poke like toothpicks in the ground. Cows are sprinkled like light brown freckles on the green meadows. The world looks so tidy! Meadows and fields form a large-scale patchwork, down to the whim arranged in strictly rectangular or even creatively rounded shapes. Dark forests are broken by blotted small and larger lakes. Roads run through the art work and weave the clear towns and villages into it. Obviously there was an imaginative, playful artist at work. Highways and canals cut the complete outstretched work below us with the knife sharpness in stately pieces. Our pilot draws our attention to landmarks and prominent places: The ship lift in Niederfinow, cities like Prenzlau and Greifswald. The least of it is to be locate by me. Everything seems so strange from this perspective.
Flying in the small Cessna is like driving a car over a slightly bumpy, cobbled street. According to the pilot, this has to do with the turbulence caused by differently heated air layers. And really, depending on the altitude we move quietly like in a luxurious limousine on a good, smooth paved country road. Finally, we climb a little higher and touch the clouds. The impuls is great to put forth the hand to grasp once at these bulky creatures … And then the advice of the pilot that the Baltic Sea is recognizable at the horizon. Hm, so so. If he says. For me there is nothing visible – or should it be the shiny surface over there? Actually the shimmering surface further increases and forms completely new patterns with the landscape. We are approaching the island Rügen. The water below us offers the eye always new color combinations and variations: Bright sandbanks, greenish colors, waves, which appear as frozen on the water surface despite the high summer temperatures. Sailboats float as crisp white triangles on the big dark wet. Seagulls bob on the Baltic Sea like pinpoint bright dots.
The messages by radio announce our imminent landing at the airport Güttin Rügen. My stomach reports again. It will proclaim only that it is still there. Maybe it’s more my head that wants to question whether it will revenge at the landing, that I have risen above the mortal world so daring as a pedestrian? But no. Quietly and safely we are put back on ground by our pilots. The Earth has us back.
How shall I now turn the corner to the other highlights of this exciting week-trip? The summer landscape on Rügen, the picturesque scenery in the open air theater Ralswiek with its magnificent theater setups on the Great Bay of Jasmund (Jasmunder Bodden), the professional and at the same time lovingly staged theater performance with the fascinating finale fireworks, the stylish accommodation at the 4-star Hotel Binz-Therme, the nightly bath in the moonlight-drenched velvety Baltic Sea, the sleepy atmosphere at the morning walk on the beach, the delicious breakfast buffet, the open interaction and the good mood among the travel passengers. Not forgetting the return flight, with the sublime feeling, increasingly – at least as a passenger – to be among the flight professionals and maybe soon talk shopping while sitting with others on the bench at the airstrip in Strausberg, in order to smile at the frightened flight newcomers – who valiantly try to bring their excitement under control. Not everything can be put into words here.
At this point I would therefore highly recommend to any “not-yet-fellow-passenger-so-far” to get involved with the adventure of a flight in one of these wondrous little machines. And if it does have the framework of a well-organized weekend trip with clear visibility, a worthwhile destination, nice fellow passengers and a caring pilot, maybe the spark of enthusiasm jumps to you as well. Caution, risk of infection!