SM7EQX On the Road - Updated March 19, 2010

My brother Leif, SM7EQX and his Ingrid are on the road to see the famous Camelia tree at Pillniz Castle near Dresden, Germany. His car is equipped with APRS so I, and you, can follow their trip live on a map with the assistance of Above is a screen dump (click on it for a better view) from today on March 16, 08:34:33 UTC. There you can see that they are approaching the bridge between Sweden and Denmark. You can see the SM7EQX live map here.

Legend has it that in 1779 the Swedish botanist Karl Peter Thunberg (1743 – 1828) brought four camellias back from his journey to Japan to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew, London. One specimen stayed in Kew, whilst the other three plants were to be given to the gardens of manor houses in Hannover, Schönbrunn near Vienna and Pillnitz near Dresden. Of these, the only surviving specimen was the Pillnitz plant, which must have arrived at the Dresden court between 1780 and 1790. In 1801 Terscheck, the court's gardener, planted the camellia in its current location. From the start, the camellia was protected in winter by a wooden house. There are a great many stories in the records about the complicated assembling and dismantling of this house; in January 1905 it even burnt. The water used to extinguish the fire, which at temperatures of minus 20° had frozen to an iceberg, protected the planted, which still blossomed the following spring.
In 1992 the Pillnitz camellia was given its new, moveable protective house, in which the temperature, ventilation, humidity and shade are controlled by a climate computer. The house is 13.2m high, weighs 54 tons and has 1864 m3 of air space. The house is rolled to the side of the camellia during the warmer seasons. The 230 year old camellia is now 8.9m high and has a diameter of almost 11m. During flowering season from mid February to April it bears ten thousand crimson red flowers. A limited number of cuttings from the Pillnitz camellia are sold every year during flowering season: at this time a visit is especially worthwhile.


Just a few kilometres left and they have reached their final destination, the Schloss Pillniz. They started 06:14:27 UTC from Ronneby in southeastern Sweden and latest APRS position info is from 19:03:14 UTC. The total travel time is then, incl. a car ferry from Gedser in Denmark to Rostock in Germany, 12h 49min 53s.

Google Maps satellite views of Schloss Pillniz. Incredible resolution!

The Camelia blossoms with 35,000 flowers! Photo by Leif SM7EQX 13:34 UTC, March 17 2010.

On March 18 and on their way to the WWII rocket base in Peenemünde they said they found and stayed last night in a very nice hotel in Grossräschen. Click on IMPRESSIONEN here.

As you can see Leif an Ingrid are now driving around in Peenemünde looking for traces from Werner von Braun.

Received this V2 rocket photo shot by Leif SM7EQX with his Nokia mobile phone XM 5800 on Friday 19 10:58 UTC. The location is the Peenemünde Historical Technical Museum.

The Peenemünde Military Test Site was one of the most modern technological facilities in the world in the years between 1936 and 1945. The first launch of a missile into space took place here in October 1942. In
the nearby air force testing area, rocket engineers tested numerous flight objects equipped with revolutionary technology. From the start this research was directed toward one goal only: achieving military superiority
through advanced technology

Slave laborers, concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war provided the work that enabled the construction of the test sites and the later serial production of the rockets, which the Nazi propaganda referred
to as "Vergeltungswaffe 2" (or "Vengeance Weapon 2"), in so short a period of time. Both the inhumane labor conditions and the attacks on Belgian, British and French cities using the supposed "wonder weapon" claimed thousands of lives.

Now Leif and Ingrid are on the Rügen island (part of Swedish Pommern 1648-1815) hoping to see many birds migrating to Sweden.

Click here to use this interactive map showing records of migrating cranes. Last year it was as much as 18,500 cranes resting at Lake Hornberga in Sweden in the beginning of April.


Leif said…
Arrived safely at 2010 after some nav problems in Dresden. Forgot wallcharger for the Nokia. Batteri empty. 73 de Leif o Ingrid