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SOTA in Northern Germany

The weather today is not too favorable for activating as we have showers in the Harz area, so we will visit the historic town of Goslar and if weather conditions permit I will activate Eckberg DM/NS-115 either on our way there or on the way back. DM/NS-001 would also have been a possibility if the weather had been dry but probably unlikely now. I will not alert my activity for Ecksberg until I am near the summit.

Yesterday we walked up the Brocken DM/SA-001 from Torfhaus. 34 QSOs on 40m and 20m in CW/SSB. The summit area is a busy place with cafes and restaurants to buy your dinner and drinks. The steam train brings in many customers!

We got caught out in the Lidl supermarket in Claustau-Zellerfeld where we are staying, which cost us €3 extra. I discovered that if you buy water in plastic bottles in Germany you pay a surcharge of 25 cents per bottle. We bought two packs of 6 small water bottles so that is why we paid the extra €3 I discovered on asking. I am unsure whether we have to return them back to the actual place we bought them to reclaim the surcharge or whether we can return them anywhere. Perhaps our German Ham SOTA friends can say?

Tomorrow we go to Teplice in Czech for 5 nights, I do not think there is a plastic water bottle surcharge there so we should have waited to get stocked up!

73 Phil

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You can return them to any LIDL to get your “Pfand” back. There’s a machine at the entrance to put them in one by one, then you get a ticket, and will have to go in the shop and buy something more, but of course … don’t buy more water bottles, or you will end up in an endless loop haha…
Enjoy your trip !
Luc ON7DQ

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Hi Phil,
Thanks for the contact from Brocken yesterday Phil.
re plastic bottles - normally you can return them to ANY supermarket - there will be a machine that either crushes them down to plastic or in some cases stacks them into crates (normally just glass bottles though) and you will get a docket that is then a credit against whatever you buy at that supermarket, simply give the person on the till the docket from the machine. In a very few cases there is actually someone who takes the bottles from you - and then gives you a docket but mostly it’s a machine near the entrance of the supermarket and you can normally change the language on the machine from German to English as well.
So any Supermarket - Penny, Edeke, Netto, Norma, Kaufland, Feneberg etc. etc. I’m not sure if Aldi takes Lidl bottles (they should though).

As for rain, it doesn’t look good -especially not for Northern Germany today:

73 Ed.

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Thanks for info Luc and our QSO on Monday when I was on DM/NS-008.

73 Phil

Thanks Ed for supplementary bottle info and our QSO yesterday. You were the loudest station worked on SSB! There are some gaps in the radar rain shown so we may go for it later… Not a tight schedule so we can hang about for a while and hope the rain will stop at the right time for a quick spurt up one of the hills!

73 Phil

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There was a time when all glass bottles in Britain were returnable. I can remember going round the bins in the village with my brother collecting up all the discarded bottles and claiming the deposit back at the shop. It was a nice boost to our pocket money. I wonder if we’ll ever go back to that system. Once again our continental friends are ahead of us.

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I would say it is unlikely. Here we have a council wheelie bin for recyclables such as glass, cans, plastic and paper, which is emptied once a fortnight (when strikes permit!) Rolling this out for Birmingham cost millions!

If it costs millions - but saves the planet - I’d say that was superb VFM Brian.

Hi Brian, those recycling wheelie bins exist in homes across Germany as well, for the plastic and glass bottles that don’t have deposits on them. These are usually ones not used for drinks, as they need extra cleaning to be re-usable or imported bottles (e.g. British Woodpecker Cider, English Marmalade Jars etc.). These don’t normally have the special bar-code like symbols on them that the machines need for the recycling process and as such aren’t sold with a returnable deposit.

So if the Green Party got some power in the UK, yes, the supermarket chains could easily add a deposit to the price at checkout and be required to install the collection machines in their stores (remember you don’t get cash back, only a credit towards buying something else from the store where you return the bottles, so the stores wont be against this I think).

Absolutely pouring down here in Southern Germany, I hope Phil is having better weather “up north”.

Ed.

It was bad on Wurmberg NS-001 Ed but the restaurant owner let me set up under his canopy so radio dry antenna wet. QRN was S7 though and the S I D did not help but I made about 18 QSOs. Now in cafe in Goslar, slim chance if rain keeps off could visit Ecksberg NS-115 on the way back.

73 Phil

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Moving on to the Ore Mountain area today, OK/US. Weather is still inclement. If condx allow I will activate DM/SA-033 and later OK/US-027. We did visit the start point for the walk up ECKSBERG DM/NS-115 last night at 1700L but time and weather were not in our favour so we returned to our hotel.

73 de Phil

DM/SA-033

A drive-on if you want to pay a visit to the church on the summit.
:wink:

Ahoi
Pom

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Good to know Pom! We like looking in churches, and we will. Time to load the car now.
73 Phil

Don’t overestimate these signs:

“Anlieger frei” means you’re permitted to drive through if you want to visit somebody who have their premises there, even if its a church.

Ahoi!

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I see this one quite often which I assume is farmers and forest workers only, however I normally ignore it hoping my UK number plate may save a fine. However I have been fined in the past when I lived in DL for ignoring standard anlieger frei signs.

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Inky, ignoring these signs is evil (and cost only 20 quid).
An English number plate saves you as long as you can get away and you’re not gonna travel to DL again by the same vehicle.
After all, it’s very unlikely to be fined, even as resident.

Ahoi
Pom

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Keep politics out of it, guys!

Hi Phil

Good to see you are getting some activations done despite the weather, Dave, Victor and I are enduring very hot weather in the Malaga area. Our highest temperature today according to our car was 37C. Sorry we haven’t made any S2S contacts yet.

73
Nick EA7/G4OOE/P

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HI Nick

Yes, to quote a politician it’s been JAM - just about managing with the weather, but I did get wet trousers walking through wet grass yesterday afternoon walking up to OK/US-027! The rain just stopped in time for me to set up before continuing to our hotel, 12 miles further on.

We had no problem with access to DM/SA-033. Thank to Pom for the tip. We did visit the church and walked straight in on a service! The congregation were starting to sing a hymn. A priest beckoned us forward but we backed off at that point. These things happen on SOTA activations…

Propagation was dreadful for me yesterday afternoon on 30m and 20m. CQ calls produced nothing, Thankfully 40m was reasonable close in and got me more than enough QSOs.

Not sure what we are doing today. We are in Teplice as tourists, If we have seen enough we may venture out of town this afternoon and find another OK/US to activate.

Blimey - you are getting some hot weather. We were in Czech last September and the weather was really good and hot, so I am hoping next week it will warm up here.

73 Phil

A few pictures so far:

DM/NS-001 Wurmberg 10 points - in the rain on Wednesday:

Church on summit DM/SA-033 Petersberg 1 point - on Thursday - work in progress:

Parking place and operation point at trig post for OK/US-027 Naklérovská výšina - 703m, 6 Points Thursday:

73 Phil

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