As I previously mentioned in my Switzerland post, we had to pay $40 for these bad boys that our pilots took with the GoPro (whether or not we even bought them--does anyone NOT buy them?) so I thought it was only appropriate that I dedicate an entire post to paragliding. Even setting aside the cost of the photos, I think it is appropriate because this is one of the coolest (and BRAVEST) things I have ever done. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime kind of activity, although I'm sure Chad would like to make it more frequent. We talked about doing this for months before our trip. It was Chad's big dream and totally freaked me out but I decided that since he came to Parsifal with me in Budapest (even if only for the first act, it was still 2.5 hours of the total 6!), I should join him for this. It was pretty wild. Basically you run down a hill and jump off the side of a mountain and fly through the air. It wasn't anywhere near as scary as I expected, because you float the whole time and there is no free fall. But I did continue to exclaim the entire ride, "I can't believe I am doing this!"
We went with Airtime Paragliding and they were great. Chad's pilot was especially enthusiastic and talented with the camera, as I'm sure you can tell from the photos. It also probably helps that Chad was smiling at the camera the entire time, while I was a little bit nervous to look and pose. I didn't want to fall out of my seat, of course. My guy said he was paragliding before he could walk though, so I decided to trust him. We took a funicular ride up to the village of Murren, they provided all of the gear up there (including those lovely hiking boots so I didn't have to get my own shoes dirty), and they basically carry you as you jump off the mountain. I say worth it, and I would recommend the experience to anyone visiting this part of the world. There are paragliders everywhere, but I seriously can't imagine a prettier spot than then Lauterbrunnen Valley, so I think that Murren as a launching spot is as good as it gets.