Sunday, May 15, 2011
Wild & Beautiful
Another gorgeous flying site in Austria
Traveling thru the Alps in May is excellent...at least this year it has been. Sunny skies, no crowds and of course excellent food! The one problem for paraglider pilots is the lack of open cable cars. Most of them are closed for repairs this time of year and don't re-open until June when the masses over here start their holidays and come to hike in the mountains. So I've had to be more creative finding launches this year instead of relying on flying sites I've been to before. Between the internet and the best TV channel *ever* which cycles through the webcams sitting on top of all the ski resorts we've been able to find some new spots to try out.
It's through this method that we ended up at Wildschonau, which from my rusty German translates into Wild & Beautiful, or Natural and Pretty, or something of the sort. It's a close drive to the home of our Bavarian friends (where we're currently staying) and has a cable car that conveniently reopened last week. The "town" is adorable, a little ski village nestled in a valley where the fields are overflowing with purple and yellow wildflowers. The launch isn't too high but the flight we managed a couple of days ago restored us in a way most people probably only experience after a day at the spa. We were in the sky for an hour flying around under puffy clouds, down low over cows with clanging bells around their neck and dodging helicopters delivering supplies around the valley to homes that have no roads to service them. Well, the last item we could've done without but it added to the excitement!
Unfortunately after 3 weeks of beautiful weather, we finally woke up to rain and now have to wait a day or two for this weather system to pass. With a good internet connection and a bag full of big German pretzels on the table I think getting through this will be tolerable.
View of the landing zone from the hotel bar