Samstag, 19. November 2016

A virtual trip on the first North America trip on board the airship LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin narrated by Barbara Weibel Head of the archives of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH accompanied by a culinary dinner

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (Deutsches Luftschiff Zeppelin #127; Registration: D-LZ 127) was a German-built and -operated, passenger-carrying, hydrogen-filled, rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. When it entered commercial service in 1928, it became the first commercial passenger transatlantic flight service in the world. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a count (Graf) in the German nobility. During its operating life, the airship made 590 flights covering more than 1.7 million kilometers (over 1 million miles). It was designed to be operated by a crew of 36 officers and men. The LZ 127 was the longest rigid airship at the time of its completion and was only surpassed by the USS Akron in 1931. It was scrapped for fighter plane parts in 1940.

First intercontinental flight (1928)

In October 1928 the Graf Zeppelin made its first intercontinental trip, a 9,926 km (6,168 mi), 111-hour crossing from Friedrichshafen to Lakehurst with Dr. Eckener in command. Capt. Ernst Lehmann, who would be killed in the crash of the Hindenburg at Lakehurst eight and a half years later, served as First Officer on the flight and U.S. Navy LCDR Charles E. Rosendahl, commander of the ZR-3 USS Los Angeles (ex-LZ 126), made the westward journey during which he also stood watch as a regular ship's officer. Despite encountering heavy headwinds and stormy weather, Eckener had repeated the success of his first transatlantic crossing four years earlier when he delivered the LZ-126 to the U.S. Navy in October 1924 and was welcomed enthusiastically then both with a "ticker tape" parade in New York and a subsequent invitation to the White House. On this first transatlantic trip the airship suffered potentially serious damage to its port tail fin on the third day of the flight when a large section of the linen covering was ripped loose while passing through a mid-ocean squall line at night about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) east of Bermuda (35°N, 42°W). With the engines stopped, the ship's riggers did their best to tie down the torn fabric to the framework and sew blankets to the ship's envelope while attempting not to fall to the raging seas below. In the interest of safety, the riggers (including Dr. Eckener's son, Knut) retreated back into the ship whenever it dropped to within a couple of hundred feet of the ocean's surface. This allowed the engines to be restarted to maintain lift. 

The Graf crossed the U.S. coast at Cape Charles, Virginia, around 10 am on 15 October, passed over Washington, D.C., at 12:20 pm, Baltimore at 1 pm, Philadelphia at 2:40 pm, New York City at 4 pm, and landed at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station at 5:38 pm. After an almost two-week stay in the United States, during which time its damaged tail was repaired, the Graf left Lakehurst for Germany at 1:24 am on 29 October and arrived back in Friedrichshafen shortly before dawn on 1 November. Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay, the British journalist, was the first woman to fly transatlantic on the outward leg; Clara Adams become the first female transatlantic ticketed passenger when she traveled on the Graf Zeppelin's return flight.

Mittwoch, 14. September 2016

An evening at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar

Fans of Indiana Jones were introduced to Jock Lindsey in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, as the fedora-wearing archaeologist is chased through the jungle by angry, indigenous Hovitos to his friend waiting by the river. Jock saves the day, revving up his seaplane and carrying Indy to safety. What we didn’t get to see in the film were the many adventures of Jock Lindsey, who is the fictional man behind one of Disney Spring's newest lounge. The story goes, Jock traveled all over the world, meeting all sorts of adventurers and occasionally running into trouble. As he flew over the springs of Florida in 1938 searching for the Fountain of Youth, he decided to build himself a waterfront haven. Every corner of the Hangar Bar is filled with trinkets and treasures from Jock’s many adventures, including correspondence from his friends, like the renowned Dr. Jones.

The Hangar Bar's atmosphere reflects Jock’s affinity for travel, aircraft and the oddities he has picked up along the way. The focal piece of the main bar is the enormous antique map with a portrait of Jock in his signature Yankees baseball cap to the right. The industrial fans made from airplane propellers highlight the aviation theme. Browsing through the many trinkets and treasures throughout the bar can be an adventure of its own. Some artifacts tell their own stories, others are recognizable (that golden idol in the back corner might look familiar!), and some items you just have to imagine where they might have come from and how they made their way to Florida. With seating for about 150 people, the Hangar Bar is a cozy little spot with plenty of options. Guests can pull up a barstool at either the main bar inside or the second bar outside next to the “Reggie.” The boat-turned-dining-patio is an homage to Jock’s pet snake and the perfect place to sip on a refreshing cocktail while listening to the sounds of Disney Springs and enjoying the lake breeze. An extended patio and seating area wraps around the backside of the building.

The Hangar Bar serves up a range of specialty themed cocktails such as the popular German Mechanic, a mix of lemonade, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, and Bavarian Radler Shandy, and the Cool-Headed Monkey, a blend of Starr African Rum, tangerine liqueur, lime, watermelon and pineapple juice. Jock puts his own spin on classic beverages such as the Hovito Mojito, the Air Pirate’s Mule and Shorty’s Singapore Sling. The bar also serves up tasty non-alcoholic beverages such as the Antidote, a mixer of Sprite and cherry juice, and the Poisonless Dart, soda water blended with mint, simple syrup and lime juice. The priority of Jock, his patrons and fellow adventurers is clearly conversing over delicious cocktails while the food is secondary.

Although tasty, the limited menu offers only a handful of appetizer style dishes such as the delightfully themed Lao Che’s Revenge sticky Asian chicken wings, the falafel stuffed Tanis Tacos and the spicy meatball Rolling Boulder Sliders. Some interesting additions worth trying include Dr. Elsa’s She-deviled Eggs brined in beet-juice and stuffed with lump crab or the Good Dates with goat cheese and Marcona almonds. Kids and airplane enthusiasts will love the Air Pirate’s Pretzels, bagel shaped pretzels served on a wire airplane with house made mustard and beer cheese fondue for dipping. Not necessarily a great option for dinner, the Hangar Bar is the perfect place for after dinner drinks or light snacking as you wind down with friends or family after a day in the parks.

When visiting the Hangar Bar, keep an eye out for nods to Jock’s most famous fellow adventurer, Indiana Jones.  You might find the golden fertility idol from a Mayan temple or Dr. Jones’ lucky lighter. A close look at the coasters reveals more nods to both Jock and Indy, from Jock’s favorite Python Bar in Caracas to the infamous Club Obi-Wan. The coasters make great, cheap souvenirs, too!

Join Jock and the Society of Explorers and Adventurers at the Hangar Bar, tasting flavors brought together through the pilot’s journeys around the world, taking in mementos of the glory days of grand exploration, and maybe even start an adventure of your own …

Sonntag, 13. März 2016

Historic train trip through Switzerland in a Orient Express Coach

Der Orient-Express war ursprünglich ein nur aus Schlaf- und Speisewagen zusammengesetzter Luxuszug der Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL), der erstmals am 5. Juni 1883 verkehrte. Er verband Paris mit Konstantinopel (seit 1930 Istanbul) und weiteren Zielen in Osteuropa. Der oft als König der Züge und Zug der Könige bezeichnete Zug war Kernelement eines ganzen Systems von Luxuszügen, die vor allem der Verbindung von Paris und den Kanalhäfen mit verschiedenen Zielen in Mittel- und Osteuropa sowie auf dem Balkan dienten. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wurde der Orient-Express mit Abschaffung der Zuggattung der Luxuszüge und der Aufnahme reiner Sitzwagen zu einem normalen Schnellzug. Ab 2002 als Nachtzug auf die Strecke Paris–Wien beschränkt, verkehrte der Orient-Express seit Juni 2007 weiter verkürzt auf der Strecke Straßburg–Wien. Diese Zugverbindung wurde mit dem Fahrplanwechsel Dezember 2009 eingestellt; nach 126 Jahren war dies das Aus für den Orient-Express als fahrplanmäßigen Zug.

Seit Mitte der 1970er-Jahre werden durch verschiedene Anbieter Sonder- bzw. Touristikzüge mit restaurierten alten Wagen der CIWL betrieben. Diese Züge, die nicht in den normalen Fahrplänen der europäischen Bahngesellschaften aufgeführt werden, nutzen teilweise früher vom Orient-Express und seinen Zweigzügen befahrene Strecken; ihre Namen sind vom historischen Orient-Express abgeleitet.

Bekannt geworden ist der Orient-Express auch als Schauplatz in Film- und Literaturklassikern, vor allem durch Agatha Christies Kriminalroman Mord im Orient-Express.