Euro 2011 - Dan's Diary

Wednesday 29th June - Day off in Bolzano

Bolzano airport considers itself to be ‘international’ however the movements there being about the same as Enstone. ‘Internationally’, with the exception of the odd private jet, Air Alps were the only company coming in and out of the airport with their relatively small turboprop aircraft. However as they considered themselves to be like Heathrow we had to sign in at check in, sign plenty of forms and prove that we had €5million airside car insurance, which we ...erm ... had. After an hour of form signing we made our way to the security gate to get the trailer onto the airfield and prepare the aircraft only to be asked to show our airfield driving license. Oh here we go again! After explaining that we have driven around the perimeter track of the London Gliding Club we were allowed in and got the glider ready.

Being able to get the glider to the runway was easy as it was parked right next door. We managed to fit in amongst the lack of launching and landing aircraft and the Binder was off for a days flying.  Luckily for me the weather suggested staying put for the next couple of days so I was able to chill out on the airfield and then went for a little sightseeing of the town – I was pretty glad not to be in the driver’s seat of the Shogun for too long!

On my return to the airfield prior to Robin and Ed’s return, I pulled up at the security gate to get airside. I thought I could explain that I had been in already and they would let me go. Oh no, the car was searched, my passport was interrogated and I had a metal detector investigate me. They finally decided that I had no intention of blowing up Bolzano airport and let me in.

Ed and Rob landed on the grass runway, and my attempts to communicate with the tower requesting permission to enter were met with a rather confusing reply. Thinking that they wanted the glider moved out of the way I entered anyhow and we pulled the glider to its parking position. A quick clean, the covers put on it and it was time for food.

We found a pizzeria where the others had been before, sat down and tried to interpret an Italian/German menu. Luckily Ed was a bit of a dab hand when it came to its interpretation and I could tell what mushroom and fish were which meant that I was ok! A pizza and a fair number of beers later it was time to turn in for the night.

The temptation of the pub on the way back to the hotel was just a little too much, and as the next day wasn’t going to be flyable, which also meant that I wasn’t going to have to drive anywhere, we decided to have another one for the road. Happy days!

However, the next day was flyable...