What was your strangest GRAVE ride


In the footsteps of Walter Baade.



Star friends took a ride

to the Hamburg observatory.


To see a picture in a better resolution, you have to click on the picture with the left mouse button! Have fun reading and looking at the pictures!

MH :-)



On Friday, July 6th to Sunday, July 8th, some astronomical friends took a trip to the Hamburg observatory, where one of the most important (if not the most important) astronomers in Germany, Walter Baade, worked for many years.

Only a few Bad Salzuflers know that Walter Baade's grave is in the Obernberg cemetery. Well-known astronomers and associations, including the Sternfreunde von Bad Salzuflen, have worked to ensure that his grave is preserved. The grave was actually supposed to be leveled because the lease had expired after 40 years.

If you want to visit the grave, you will find directions here:

From Gröchteweg, turn into the parking lot at the "Am Obernberg" cemetery and exit through the left entrance. If you approach the chapel, the path leads to the left to the tomb. At the end of the slightly uphill path, keep left. From there you take the first path on the left and you will find the grave of W.Baade on the right.

Gerda - Ilka Borgelt has dealt intensively with the biography of Walter Baade. In addition, many interesting connections have been made to astronomers who value the life's work of this researcher highly. Since Walter Baade researched for many years in the Hamburg observatory, the desire to visit his place of work was an obvious one.

In Jochen Schramm, who himself worked as an astronomer in Bergedorf for many years, we found a competent contact. He kindly offered us a tour of the grounds of the old, historic observatory.

A final preliminary discussion for this trip took place on Wednesday, July 4th, to which we cordially invited representatives of the press. We think it is of interest to many citizens of the city to learn something about this man who has been resting on Obernberg for over 40 years.

Report on the trip

Fri, July 6th



We met at 7:40 a.m. at Bad Salzuflen's main train station. The train left platform 1 punctually at 7:54 am.

We were on the road for about 3 hours. At 10:51 am we arrived in Hamburg.

The trip went without any particular incidents, apart from the fact that Heinrich gave me an involuntary baptism of champagne. The champagne was thankfully donated by Ulla and it was probably intended for drinking. With a small selection of cheeses, also donated by Ulla, the travel time was shortened. It was stupid - but definitely not on purpose - that a soft piece of cheese landed on my left shoe, which since that mishap has adorned a not very noticeable stain.


At the train station, I first provided the newly arrived with the obligatory subway map.



Still, some preferred to take a taxi to the hotel. A small group of daring people tried the S-Bahn. The way from the Rübenkamp station to the hotel was longer than it looked on the map.


The bags and suitcases, not all of which had wheels, also became heavier and heavier. The heat was almost unbearable. Exhausted but happy, we arrived at Queens.

Our rooms were as comfortable as they were hot (south-facing, without a balcony, but including street noise that could only be drowned out at night by thunderstorms).

then it went back to the city by S-Bahn. We crossed the allotment garden again to get to Rübenkamp. From there it went in the direction of the Landungsbrücken.








After some extensive feasting, some people preferred a simple currywurst, we embarked on a long harbor tour. Most of them looked for a shady spot, few wanted to roast in the hot Hamburg sun. The warm wind that occasionally hit you in the face was of course not very cool.

The harbor tour was still great. When viewed in the sun everything looked very friendly and colorful, in the rain it would certainly not have been so much fun. The ship sometimes swayed quite strongly, so that one was afraid that the not seaworthy star friends could get queasy. But all survived the trip in good spirits, i.e. some of them got red noses from the sun.

Back in the harbor, some had to freshen up for the evening. There was a brief discussion (approx. 20 minutes) about how to proceed. After an extensive smell test, it was decided who should and should not go to the hotel. For those who had failed it was then again Rübenkamp, ​​allotment garden settlement through the Dakarweg to the hotel. After freshening up, at least you had enough time (about 10 minutes) back to Rübenkamp on the S-Bahn.

For the star friends it was of course both a duty and a pleasure to visit the Hamburg planetarium, which was within walking distance of the hotel, even if the way took a little longer than calculated.

The furnishings turned out to be not very modern and comfortable (the otherwise very popular reclining seats were missing, so that the fancy afternoon nap could only be bought by a subsequent stiff neck). Most of them, however, listened intently and attentively. The theme of the month was the moon. Erwin's son Olaf with his wife and boyfriend and his wife, by the way, also joined us and thus expanded the group of star friends.

After the performance, a tour of the very interesting exhibition (... because we are stardust) was on the program.


When we made our way through the beautiful park to the subway station, it was noticed that the tickets were well protected in the hotel. For a small selection, this meant an unplanned detour to the hotel, which, as mentioned above, wasn't as close as it had looked on the map.

The others were still having fun in the park and watching the jolly hustle and bustle of the youth. They threw turntables and built human pyramids - all in the heat. We noticed endurance runners with a somewhat strange running style, who trotted back and forth in the park at a snail's pace and were overtaken by some walkers.

The cards finally came. Off to the subway! Meeting point for the Inner Alster, where we sat down on the terrace of a cozy restaurant. Unfortunately we couldn't all sit together because there were other people on the terrace. Here, too, one is apparently not safe from Bad Salzuflers. I met parents of high school students but declined a performance meeting saying, "I'm on vacation." from.

So the first day ended with many wonderful experiences.

Oh, of course we went to Rübenkamp again, etc. until we arrived exhausted but happy in our heated hotel rooms.

There we spent a pleasantly warm night, impaired by traffic noise, but otherwise quiet. At least my roommate didn't make a sound, or he couldn't stop the noise on the street, oh no matter!


Saturday, July 7th

In spite of everything, I slept quite well. I hope the others too. So after a rich breakfast buffet we took the S-Bahn and the bus to the observatory in Bergedorf. We needed about 1.5 hours for this trip. This was more than the city map suggested. Under no circumstances did Gerda want to be late, so we left early. OK then ! Olaf with his wife and friend and his wife appeared too early, which is why this group decided to follow suit by car.



We were finally there. The place where Walter Baade researched for many years. What would the telescopes look like today, what will Jochen Schramm look like, what kind of person he is, especially Gerda thought, who had a certain idea after email contacts and phone calls.


We didn't have to wait long either. Then he came around the corner: Jochen Schramm, the author of the book "Stars over Hamburg", in which the history of the observatory is described; which also describes Walter Baade with his life's work.

Jochen Schramm had reserved a few hours for us. He has not worked at the observatory since 1996. Today he runs a print shop which, among other things, makes archive scans.

Birgit, a young astronomy student Michael met at Tesla, also joined us. If Jochen Schramm had been prevented, she could have shown us around the area as well. So we had two irons in the fire, so to speak.

As expected, in Jochen Schramm we found a competent guide who had a lot to tell us. Every now and then one heard critical, even nostalgic undertones. It was clearly noticeable that the partially desolate condition of the devices was causing problems for Jochen. Of course, he would have preferred to see these astronomical treasures treated as such. After all, a lot still worked.

So he first led us to the large refractor.






This is still one of the largest lens telescopes in Germany today. It has a lens with a diameter of 60cm; the focal length is 9m. It was completed by A. Repsold & Sons from Hamburg in 1911. The huge lifting platform, with which you can drive up or down, is impressive, so that comfortable observation is possible. The dome building and the telescope made a neat impression.

It looked completely different at the so-called meridian circle. The decay showed clear traces on the building. The meridian circle was once the most important instrument of the observatory. It was used to measure star positions, i.e. to create star catalogs. The instrument was dismantled many years ago. After an odyssey, it is now in the basement of the German Museum in Munich.

The 1m reflector telescope that Walter Baade was working on also looked very sad. Rust everywhere, the paint is peeling in many places. The picture on the left was taken during the tour, on the right you can see Walter Baade at his telescope.


As Jochen explained to us, the optics are still okay. Nevertheless, this device made a strong impression on us. So that was the telescope that Walter Baade had looked through so often!
Jochen showed us the equatorial, a smaller telescope that came from the observatory at Millerntor. The size corresponds roughly to that of our school observatory.

Then we saw the Schmidt telescope. This also had a very eventful history behind it. The original telescope is now at the ESO observatory on Calar Alto. The mount with dome remained in Hamburg. It is thanks to the wealthy Hamburg rector Nicolaus Lüning that a replacement telescope was installed. It is named after his son Oskar.



In the OLT building

(Oskar Lüning Telescope)

there is a mirror evaporation system that is still in operation. As we learned, amateur astronomers can have their matted mirrors re-steamed there free of charge.

From the window of the domed room we could take a look at the grave of Bernard Schmidt. B. Schmidt is certainly the most famous mirror grinder. With one arm he managed to grind mirrors of fantastic quality. He also became famous for the invention of a new telescope. Instead of a parabolic mirror, he mounted a spherical mirror (spherical) in his telescope. For this purpose, a correction plate was placed in the opening. In this way it was possible that the images were just as sharp in the edge area as previously only in the central area.

Walter Baade's death mask!





We took a closer look at his grave and looked around the Schmidt Museum, which has a fully functional model of a Schmidt telescope. We saw the UR-Schmidt and many objects from the workshop of this important astronomer. To our great surprise, there is also a death mask by Walter Baade there.

We all thanked Jochen Schramm, who gave us unexpected insights and impressions.

Then we went down the Schorrhang, which was named after the former director of the observatory.

After all, the meat also took its toll, meaning we were hungry. We fortified ourselves in a nearby pizzeria. Birgt accompanied us, unfortunately Jochen Schramm had other plans.

After that our group split up. Michael had organized a meeting with an employee in DESY's PR department. That sounded interesting. However, part of the group had other interests and preferred to plunge into the hustle and bustle of downtown Hamburg. Somehow understandable, but it is clear that they missed something.

Christian works in the PR department.

He was instrumental in organizing the TESLA Expo. So we were lucky for the second time on this day, and again found a committed and competent guide, this time for the DESY site.

We took the elevator down to an experiment chamber that was not yet covered with concrete blocks.



We also visited the synchrotron's measuring hall. This area in particular is valued worldwide due to the possibilities that this radiation offers. This radiation always arises when electrons fly around the curve. It is comparable to X-rays and enables excellent insights into many materials.

We let the hat go around and thanked us for the great tour.

But the day wasn't over yet. Michael made the suggestion to go to "Planten un Blomen". There we saw the fountains dancing to music. The spectacle started at around 10:00 p.m. It wasn't that easy to find a place. We had the vague feeling that there were loads of other people in Hamburg.




So were there a few thousand? together in this delightful park.

The performance was really fantastic, but the music transmission was a bit poor.

When the fountains had danced out, the sky wanted to keep playing and sent a rumbling thunderstorm. The crowds streamed towards the subway, the rain from the sky.

Heinrich was the unlucky person of the evening. His stomach growled so much that we were sometimes unable to tell his growl from the rumble of a thunderstorm.

When we finally got to the main train station, we had to skip a train due to overcrowding. At McDonalds we were told that there was no food available at the moment, power outage! Another takeout was sold out. Heinrich finally got something edible, 5 minutes before closing time!

Gerda and I got two salads for the price of one! Two minutes later it was all free. We were politely complimented because we were at the wrong table. So we had to eat the delicious salad comfortably on the station stairs. Unfortunately, a good half ended up in the rubbish bin, it was probably not so delicious after all.

Because of the bad weather, it was decided to charter a shared taxi. So we drove from the main train station directly to the hotel and not via the Rübenkamp station as usual.

Although it was quite late - a group of us had just left the hotel bar (Störtebecker) - as we found out the next day, the DESY staff stormed the bar. The curfew was already approaching: the shift is at 1:00 am. Still, we were kindly given a cool drink, maybe there were two. So an eventful day ended with a sociable end.

The heat of the day was still beating against me in the hotel room, or had Erwin turned on the heating? Hardly likely! The thunderstorm was raging outside, cool air penetrated into the overheated room through a narrow crack in the window. Well, there was only one thing to do: open the window all the way. Finally the longed-for cooling down!

On the other hand, the street noise was all the louder, but the thunderstorm with lightning and thunder was clearly the night's winner. So I spent a noisy but cool night and woke up relaxed the next morning. Erwin had more problems with the background noise.

Sun July 8th

After a sumptuous breakfast we took a taxi to the main train station. Thanks to Michael's local knowledge, we learned that the excursions via the popular Rübenkamp were actually superfluous. The bus almost stopped in front of the hotel. All we had to do was change to the S-Bahn.

But since we didn't know when the buses run on Sundays and the suitcases weren't much lighter after two days in Hamburg and the weather seemed unpredictable (a few drops straight from the sky) we ordered a shared taxi. There must have been a misunderstanding at the head office because they sent us two normal taxis. A taxi cost 27 DM instead of 0 DM by bus and suburban train.

After all, we had our three-day tickets.

But unfortunately they weren't valid for the taxi. In contrast to the nocturnal taxi ride, this time we caught a sensible taxi driver who even obeyed the traffic rules. Maybe the speed limits only apply during the day. At night you can rush through Zone-30 yourself. So we arrived at the station unharmed and completely dry. There we stowed our luggage in lockers.

After a short but heated discussion as to whether Hamburg is still worthwhile when it rains (the taxi driver was convinced of it anyway) we took the S-Bahn to the Reeperbahn. No, we had nothing bad in mind. We wanted to go to the Panoptikum! Honest ! The Panoptikum is a wax museum. I was there many years ago. Some new characters have been added, e.g. Steffi Graf and Gerhard Schröder, our Gerhard as some Lipper say.

Whether ours or not ours, the panopticon was great. In the meantime it had been decided to take the planned train. So the train that was also entered on our ticket and for which we had also reserved seats. A good and right decision. We agreed to visit the beautiful garden "Planten un Blomen", which we had already visited briefly on Friday evening because of the dancing fountains.


The weather was kind to us. During the day this wonderful garden unfolded its full splendor. Unfortunately Heinrich had to fit, his foot no longer wanted the way he wanted. So Heinrich looked for a cozy place while the others set off to explore the garden. Japanese garden, tropical house, rose garden, ... there was really a lot to see. From time to time you could take a look at the television tower, which was on the edge of the garden. Some have already been up and raved about the wonderful view. So, let's go!

Oh, don't forget Heinrich!

So we walked through the spacious park together to take a look from the huge tower. The café on the tower turns around once every 50 minutes. Hopefully no one will get dizzy at this insane pace! Unfortunately, the access to the bridge that led to the television tower was blocked. So we only had the life-threatening route over the multi-lane road.

We observed a couple who lingered briefly at the entrance and then came back down the dangerous road. When the two of them (completely unharmed) arrived on our side, we asked and were told that the tower was closed for renovation work. The wonderful view from the tower and the speedy carousel ride had to be canceled.

But we found a cozy garden cafe in the middle of the rose garden. There we ate apple and strawberry cake with beguiling music, which we had picked up beforehand at the self-service counter. You can argue about the quality of the music or not, but the music system was top notch. At least 2.5 watts and guaranteed to overdrive even at low volume. We stayed there for about 2 hours in a relaxed atmosphere. Then some wanted to take it slow.

When those who had stayed longer finally made their way, it was found that there must have been a misunderstanding about the meeting point. In any case, Group I did not find Group II anymore and it is hard to believe, Group II did not find Group I again. Meanwhile, the time of departure was approaching inexorably.

Even three days in Hamburg pass by.

So both groups did the only right thing. They drove back to the main train station. There we celebrated the reunification. Everyone had come. Stop! Not all. Erwin with his son and his wife and friend with his wife had already said goodbye to us after the panopticon and drove off in the car towards home.

Unfortunately, the train departed on the correct platform with a 10-minute delay. We still had to walk a long way to the end of the platform - unfortunately a taxi was not in sight - but we were able to get on the IC 605 at 18:57. Our worries that we would miss the connecting train in Osnabrück (we still had a minute to change trains) turned out to be unjustified. Thanks to the courageous intervention of Renate and many people whose names are not mentioned, the train was waiting for us in Osnabrück, and everyone was on board.

Since Ulla had already gone home a day earlier, there was no sparkling wine on your pants and no cheese nibbles on your feet on the way back. But Manfred still had some leftovers, like Haribo and a few of the longest chocolates in the universe, so that no one had to starve to death on the return trip.

So the remaining ones (upright seven out of 13) arrived at the main train station in Bad Salzuflen at 9:50 p.m.

Home had us again!


So the three days in Hamburg were already a thing of the past. But this trip will certainly remain in our heads for a long time to come. The visit to Bergedorf in particular was an impressive experience that we will not soon forget. Finally, a heartfelt thank you must be expressed to the person without whom this trip would not have taken place.

Dear Gerda-Ilka: Thank you very much for your commitment and excellent planning. I think we can all agree that your membership in the Verein der Sternfreunde is a great asset! We hope that you will continue to support the association in the future and we are already looking forward to future activities with you.

by Manfred Hoersch (press spokesman)


To all participants:

Please do not take everything in the report very seriously!