The night before I was going to leave Brasov, the owner of the guesthouse I’m staying at pointed up at the mountain at paragliders floating high in the sky. After hearing my ridiculously girly squeal of glee at even seeing them he mentioned that he knows someone here that takes people up. So of course I had to try it!
The next morning a slightly nervous but excited me popped out of bed (trust me, this may be the first time ever I popped out of bed, usually I’m not a morning person at all, barely human until caffeine is in my system to be honest!).
I felt a bit like a kid at Christmas, barely able to contain myself knowing that I was going to finally get the chance to try paragliding. You see, ever since I was a little kid I had a fascination with airplanes and flying. I’d imagine I was a brave pilot doing aerobatics in an old biplane, or a bird soaring free on the wind high above everything.. total freedom, enjoying the moment and flying just for the sheer pleasure of it. I love being in the air!
I could barely contain my excitement when I met up with George the pilot / instructor and we headed to the hill to begin the adventure. When we got there we found out that the cable cars weren’t running yet. So he got another idea, going up in a moto-glider! I’m really not sure if that’s the proper term, but it’s like an airplane for 2 that’s all open, kind of like a glider but with an engine and amazingly fun to fly in!
As freezing cold as it was I refused to admit that my limbs were feeling a tad numb for worry that he’d think I’d want to land. I was half shivering from cold and half from the sheer amazement I was feeling, it was like electricity running up my spine letting me know I was truly alive! The view was so breathtaking I was willing to ignore the cold and wished that we could stay in the air forever.
Eventually of course we did come back to the ground and I got to experience part two of the best day ever! Paragliding off the Carpathian mountains… twice!
While I was up there I kept closing my eyes to remind myself that what I was feeling at that moment had to be remembered forever, then popping them open quickly so that I didn’t miss a second of what I was seeing. It really did seem to me that this is the closest a person can get to understanding the freedom a bird really may feel. The day was so beautiful that there were quite a few other people out with the same idea, seeing so many other colourful canopies in the sky only added to the beauty of it.
Spiralling with the air current I felt both extremely small and somehow a part of everything, I really can’t describe how it effected me. It felt like I had a slight shift in my personal definition of the word ‘freedom’ and for the first time in a very long time I realized just how lucky I am to be living the life I am right now. Having the chance to experience so many of the things I’d always thought were out of my reach, travelling to places that before were completely unknown to me, talking to new people and hearing how they see the world and their place in it and knowing that a few of them will remain in my heart forever. Yeah, this is part of where my mind was wandering while flying, the other part of my mind was screaming “OMG!!!! This is AWESOME!!!!”, yes, the kid in me that wanted so desperately to fly is still here. :)
After paragliding we went for a ride on his motorcycle to take in the view near the top of one of mountains. There are no words to describe how beautiful this area is. The grass looked like soft velvet, rocky peaks of extremely high mountains in the distance peeking through the clouds, perfect little houses and a feeling of complete and utter contentedness.
So far this is definitely in the running for The. Best. Day. Ever!
Amazing Day Flying in Brasov, Romania!
Me Pretending to be a Pilot
Yup, I was pretending that I was going to be the one actually flying. Even with this special outfit it was freezing in the air but sooooo worth every second!
Gliding Over Clouds
This photo was taken from the moto-glider as we were passing above the clouds.
Some of the cities and towns in this area of Romania have tall white letters high up in the mountains with their names, Yup, a bit like the Hollywood sign.
Ariel View of the Black Church
Here’s an aerial photo of the black and white churches in the historical section of Brasov, Romania.
Freedom in the Air
This photograph of a paraglider flying high in the sky is one of my favourite photos of the day, the lens flare from a fingerprint on the lens makes it a bit nicer in a way.
Another of my favourites, looking up at another person flying past us.
Paragliders above Brasov
Ok, this is the last photo showing other paragliders, I swear it :)
But if you’re interested, this photo is now available as a printable calendar for 2011. :)
What an I say, with the rolling mountains blanketed with deep green trees and the clear, crisp air, this region of Romania has upped the bar for beauty in my mind.