Friday, October 7, 2011

MONDAY 10th OCTOBER 2011 (Sinsheim Museum)

We stayed at a small country hotel in OSTRINGEN last night which perfectly positioned us for a visit to SINSHEIM MUSEUM today.

Before we even got to Germany we'd planned to visit this museum but breakdowns conspired against us. The frustrating thing is, we'd driven past the captivating Concorde & Tupolev displayed on the roof of the museum E-I-G-H-T times...!!!

So...we were quite delighted to be finally visiting this well-known museum.

We were fortunate enough to meet the President of the museum as we had a very special book to give him - a gift from one of the Aussie contenders on the 2005 'Peking to Paris' adventure. Herman was quite chuffed having completed the trip a number of times himself.

We were gob-smacked when we entered the museum. We had no idea how HUGE it was and the quality of the displays are second to none.

First we were transported back to the 1950's with an incredible display of b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l cars. Alongside were mannequin's dressed in period costume, smaller displays such as cafes or hair-dressing salon's of the era and periodically music from that era was played. I wanted to stay there!

Here's a 1958 Ford Thunderbird, one of only 62 left in existence. Her name, Pink Bird.

This FUNKENBLITZ took part in the 1997 Peking to Paris. Can you imagine?

The motorcycles on display were amazing. Most we'd never seen or heard of before.

This NSU took three years to build. "To accommodate the gigantic 146mm borehole, it was expanded horizontally and vertically by 66mm. The crankshaft alone weighs 34kgs and the total weight of the bike is 305kgs."

There were four or five other examples of NSU Bison's, all equally impressive. They all had that great big WOW factor.

A huge section of the museum is dedicated to all things military...and I mean ALL things. It was amazing.

Here is a destroyed Panther tank, deployed in 1944 in the fierce battle between German troops and Soviet Union at Tscherkassy. We have previously visited the site of this battle and the displays on site are vividly gruesome.
We watched a film about the uncovering of this tank which was buried deep in mud.

We were so engrossed at everything on ground level that often we'd forget to look up. Every bit of roof space was also utilized and its here many fascinating planes were hung. They really did look like they were flying AT you!

Here's a Junkers Ju-52. These planes date back to the early 30's.
A beautiful thing to look at but not sure I'd want to fly in something that looks like it's made out of corrugated tin!

We could step inside this Canadair which was used for fighting forest fires mainly in the Mediterranean area. Two tanks can carry almost five-and-a-half thousand litres of water.

We were greeted by this IMPERATOR mobile when we entered Hall-2. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen and along with the appropriate circus-like music it bumped and squeeked and dinged and donged when fed a Euro coin.

We were dwarfed when standing next to this contraption.
No idea what it is...I wasn't listening when Paul was explaining it to me...but it was impressive none-the-less.

Now here's a vehicle that's known around the world...BRUTUS.

It's a fire breathing dragon dating back to the First World War. Many aircraft engines were available since Germany was not allowed to own aircraft and these engines were installed on old undercarriages and used to race. It's worth Googling 'Brutus' and watch the film clips of her race. You'll never see anything else like it.

Many so-called 'new' concepts have been around before and forgotten over time. Here's a classic example of a 1910 mono-wheel motorcycle... AND IT'S FULLY OPERATIONAL.

There were many vantage points in both halls of the museum which gave an impressive over-view of what we were looking at.

We were transported through time from vehicles from the early 1900's, a large 1920's display and everything right through to race cars and land speed record holders.

There were cars and bikes and buses and fire engines and boats and trains and every other oddity known to man.

As impressed as we were with the cars it was still the bikes that drew our main attention. Especially when we found this display of Italian desirables - SFC Laverda's, MHR, MV Sport and various other beauties. It appears all of these bikes, except possibly the MHR (because it was new) are well used.

We nearly flipped when we set eyes on this Bohmerland, dating back to the mid-20's. We never in our wildest dreams ever expected to set eyes on the real thing.

This 'long version' bike is 3.2 meters long. It can seat three people on the drivers seat (!) and one on the pillion.
The 'long' version never really took of (can't imagine why?) but it is estimated that seventy-five are still in existence.

Now this is hilarious (if it wasn't so close to the bone!). And I quote..."This motorcycle with driven sidecar originated from World War 2. After the war many of these bikes went to Greece where they were remodeled. The differential gear was replaced by a cardan shaft which drives an axle taken from a Willie's Jeep. This was a typical utilization of parts taken from war vehicles immediately after the end of the war. Fortunately the motorcycle was never restored. Surprisingly, in spite of the many damages the bike drives very well." Looking at this you'd think our bike would go wouldn't you...!!!

Once we'd completed the two main halls it was outside to check out the captivating aeroplanes, the British-French Concorde and the Russian Tupolev. Both these planes competed to be the first supersonic passenger plane in the air. They are beautiful planes and look more modern than their 1960's heritage.

Here's Paul standing in the doorway of the Russian Tupolev. We are so, so lucky to have experienced these planes inside and out (unfortunately not in the air).

Here's the Concorde displayed in 'take-off' position.

We then could climb up into the Concorde and compare the two planes. Concorde definitely had the edge.

After admiring the Junkers in Hall-1 we were able to get up close and personal with this example. Now I know I definitely would NOT fly in one.

The interior of the Junkers Ju-52.

Of course there were many other planes on display but how can they compete with the Concorde and Junkers!

I do like planes though and they are all fascinating.

The museum is a fascinating place and I was impressed with the facilities provided for children...ably demonstrated here by Paul.

Only problem was he wouldn't get off...!!!

We spent MANY hours at the museum and it was closing time (6.00pm) when we left.

Our parting view was colourful with the sun shining on the planes accentuated by the dark sky behind.

What a fantastic place. Highly recommended for anyone passing. Although, unlike us, if you did pass this place you wouldn't keep driving. You would stop and visit right then and there.

We decided to drive back to OSTRINGEN and stay at the same Hotel we stayed at last night. 'Twas a good move.

Here's a photo of Paul Veterama'd and Museum'd out...!!!

We did, later on, go next door to one of the best Italian restuarant's we've ever had the pleasure of eating at - GULDENER BECHER.

A great day out.

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