My family and I, who have been living in Tucson for the past four years, went on a European vacation this summer to visit friends and family. We visited two countries – Germany and Switzerland. We visited cities like Frankfurt and Heidelberg in Germany, and Zurich and Lausanne in Switzerland. My favorite part of the trip was paragliding with my parents in Murren, Switzerland. Located a few miles south of Interlaken, Murren is a village that is only accessible by cable car and located above the town of Stechelberg in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It is really cold up there and we had to wear our winter hats and gloves! Kind of strange, since at the same time, it was 106 degrees back in Tucson! Murren is a ski resort during the winter and the place where they filmed the famous movie in 1969, “James Bond – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
While in Murren, we decided as a family that it would be far more fun to get back to the bottom, where our car was parked, by paragliding rather than taking the cable car. After signing up for the ride the day before, we prepared ourselves with a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast at our hotel the morning of take-off.
Once we met with the professional paragliders at the launch location, my parents and I strapped ourselves to our tandem partners. Once the parachutes and the lines were inspected for safety, we were ready to go!
We launched off from the side of the mountain from the village of Murren by walking down the hill till we had lift off! One minute the ground was a few feet below me, then the next thing I knew, the ground dropped beneath me to thousands of feet below! It was scary! We glided by Trummelbach Falls with mind-blowing views of the Swiss Alps across the valley that consisted of the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger mountains (which are glaciers!). After several minutes in the air we glided back down to the town of Stechelberg. The ride lasted a total of about 15 minutes and was the best ride of my life!