Paragliding over Interlaken, Switzerland

“Upon getting tasted flight, you’ll perpetually stroll the earth along with your eyes turned skyward, for there you’ve gotten been, and there you’ll all the time lengthy to return.”

So mentioned inventor and polymath Leonardo da Vinci, who was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, and sketched the plans for the primary ever parachute some 500 years in the past.

Issues have moved on a bit since then, and now it’s potential to soar by way of the air a whole lot of metres above floor with solely a harness and a cloth wing to maintain you afloat. The most effective half: it’s potential to do at virtually any age, whether or not you’re 9 or ninety.

READ ALSO: What to do in and round Interlaken, Switzerland: winter version

That is because of tandem flights, wherein an skilled paragliding teacher pilots the paraglider, whereas the “passenger” sits again, relaxes and enjoys the view.

Paragliding over Interlaken

I used to be one such fortunate passenger on a flight over the resort city of Interlaken, which straddles the glacier-fed lakes of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in Switzerland. This once-holiday resort of rich Victorians in the hunt for relaxation and rest now attracts adrenaline junkies and vacationers hoping for a dose of journey.

Whereas there are many actions on supply, from kayaking to mountain biking, Interlaken’s hottest journey pursuit is paragliding.

This was to be my second tandem flight, having first flown over the Dolomites in Northern Italy as a younger teenager. I used to be excited to attempt once more as an grownup, now that I’ve extra of an appreciation for a good looking mountain view.

Paragliding over Interlaken

Fabulous views over Interlaken

We arrived at Paragliding Interlaken mid-morning on an ideal, clear day in early January. The solar shone by way of the odd cloud, casting a good looking yellow glow throughout the city and surrounding mountain peaks. These of us carrying inappropriate footwear grabbed a pair of strolling boots from the shelf and we boarded the bus to Amisbuel, close to the city of Beatenberg, round 800m above the city.

We have been then launched to our paragliding instructors, all of whom are educated and licensed by the Swiss Cling Gliding Affiliation. My teacher, Drew, who hails from Cornwall and first began paragliding in South Korea, has accomplished greater than 10,000 flights.

“After three summers in New Zealand I came visiting to Interlaken for a summer season season and was instantly blown away with the mountains and the probabilities right here,” Drew instructed me. “I’ve flown all around the world however Interlaken is certainly up there with the most effective views.”

We have been then kitted up in our harness and brought by way of a security briefing. The primary level was to not take out our telephones, as dropping one mid-flight may have catastrophic penalties ought to it fall on somebody beneath.

In case you’re involved there received’t be any pictures to recollect your journey by then concern not. Drew had a GoPro on a stick and took quite a few pictures and movies all through the flight. He even acquired me to do some interview and insisted I say hello to my mum.

As we ready for lift-off, helmet on head and telephone firmly zipped up in my coat pocket I used to be shaking with anticipation. We then began working down a hill with our teacher in tow till our paraglider caught the wind and took flight. I used to be in a snug seated place and felt very safe.

The following 12 minutes glided by in a good looking blur. We floated gently alongside the mountain’s edge, with the lakes and city in full view. I seemed all the way down to see pine timber beneath my toes and one other glider descending to my proper. Drew even let me take management of the paraglider for a minute or so – it’s essential to keep away from turning an excessive amount of as this hastens the descent.

After eight minutes or so of flying, the true enjoyable started. Drew carried out a collection of electrifying turns, which included a managed spin referred to as a helicopter flip. I needed to suppress my squeals of pleasure, and this was certainly one of my favorite elements of the flight.

Paragliding Interlanken Landing

A delicate touchdown (c) Lucy Woods

As we ready to land, my solely job was to face up as we reached the bottom. Interlaken has a big, open house for paraglider landings, and ours was much less bumpy than I used to be anticipating.

The entire expertise was implausible, and I actually loved the combo of the good views and high-octane turns.

Reality File

Flight length: Flights often take between eight and 20 minutes relying on the climate circumstances. You can even go for the “double time” flight at a further value.

How a lot: Costs begin at CHF 150. You’ll be able to obtain a replica of the pictures (through direct obtain to your telephone or on a reminiscence stick) for CHF 32 or CHF 40 for pictures and movies. The present alternate fee £1 = CHF 1.26.

The place to keep: The Beatus Wellness- & Spa Lodge is positioned on the aspect of Lake Thun and has some spectacular wellness services together with an outside 35°C pool, indoor pool and 7 completely different saunas. You can even hire rowing boats and pedalos. 

Getting there: SWISS gives greater than 150 weekly flights from London Metropolis, Heathrow, Gatwick (seasonal), Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh to Zurich and Geneva.

The Swiss Journey Go gives limitless journey on consecutive days all through the rail, bus and boat Swiss Journey System community. This consists of all rail transfers and native buses. Interlaken is a 2-hour prepare from Zurich and 2-hours 40 minutes from Geneva.

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