After our talk on the Ham Radio Show at Friedrichshafen, Germany at the club recently myself and John G8DZH have decided to write up our experiences of the event in several parts so that the reader does not get bored ! This year myself, John G8DZH, Andy G6ULX, John G0VEH and Dave G3VGR travelled by various methods to the show.
The first part is a quick description of the event and the various means of getting their.
The Ham Radio Show is a large radio event run by the German Amateur Radio Society DARC and is held each year in Southern Germany over three days at the end of June. It is the biggest amateur radio related show held in Europe and encompasses many aspects of the hobby. Such is the size of the show you will need most of that time to do it justice so a minimum visit would be 4 to 5 days.
It combines not only a rally but an extensive Fleamarket, all the major amateur radio manufacturers, many radio societies both Europe and worldwide, lecture streams in German and English and also social gathering to name but a few. At the same time an event called Maker World also runs which is a diverse show of electronics, 3D printing and strange gothic creatures ! Entrance to the show costs from €9 per day or several 3 day ticket options. This is a link to the 2015 show where you can see whats on offer http://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de/ham-en/
Friedrichshafen is located on the shores of Lake Constance ( Bodensee in German ) as below and is near both the Austrian and Swiss borders. The area is not only good for the show but also an excellent holiday area to recuperate from the show, more information can be obtained from http://en.friedrichshafen.info/
Although located fairly centrally in Europe, Friedrichshafen is not so easily accessible from the UK by air. There is an airport but since Ryanair stopped flights from Stansted, most flights go via Frankfurt although Monarch seem to run some flights from Manchester and Gatwick but these are variable.
This leaves us with the following airports in greater area, Zurich Switzerland, Memmingen and Stuttgart Germany. Zurich is accessible from several airports in the UK although my preference is travel via London City airport with either BA or Swiss. Memmingen ( or as Ryanair’s version of geography calls it Munich West despite being 150km west of Munich ! ) is accessible via London Stansted, Stuttgart via London Heathrow and Germanwings from Stansted. Each of these airports then requires a 2 to 3 hour train journey to get to the Friedrichshafen area where along the lake there are many guest houses offering excellent accommodation in the €40 to €60 price range plus a several hotels in the Lindau area on the German / Austrian border. A train service runs along the lake shore so local travel is relatively easy.
Our Guesthouse near Lindau Our train to the show !
One other option is to drive but there are a few caveats here ! From the Dartford Tunnel area it is about 620 miles to Friedrichshafen via France, Belgium and down into Germany. I have done this journey and you are looking at a 10 to 12 hour journey so not ideal for one person better to have number of people to break the driving up plus you have to hope that Operation Stack is not in operation !
It is also possible to travel by train from London using Eurostar to either Paris or Brussels then a combination of trains to get to the Friedrichshafen area. At present you are looking at a 10 to 12 hour journey with several train changes but probably more relaxing than a one person drive. For more information I highly recommend visiting the Man in Seat 61 website as this contains a wealth of information about train travel across the globe. http://www.seat61.com/
For the more adventurous and fit ones amongst you Dave G3VGR walked from Freiburg in the Black Forest to Konstanz on the western shores of Lake Constance along the Querweg trail.He then caught the BSB ship to Lindau where we met him and celebrated with a beer or two ! In case you feel up to this method of travel I have attached a link to Dave’s excellent website. http://www.qsl.net/g3vgr/querweg.html
You have to be careful comparing just costs as many other factors need to be taken into account such as ease of getting to airport, flight times etc. What also helped this year was that with the Greek crisis the GBP to Euro rate was advantageous for UK travellers not only for travel but for any radio related bargains ! £1 bought €1.40 !
My preferred option is via London City Airport and is around £140 return flight and then a €38 to €58 return rail fare to the Lindau area. For Memmingen it is normally a £70 flight via Stansted and then a 3 hour train to the Lindau area. As with all travel it is best start early to take advantage of deals, we normally start around January each year and have always managed to get some good travel deals.
As I have said previously there is a full range of guest house and hotels in the region plus camping is available at the show itself.
For any more advice then do not hesitate to contact us
Richard Clark G4DDP
Next part will be a more in depth look at the show itself … click here