Nice is the place where you can try different ways of observing the city.
You can discover it from the various angles and find out new things that inspire you.
That’s why when our good friend Kate suggested to try… flying, we thought it would be a great idea!
It all started with a train to Villeneuve-Loubet from Nice: just 15-20 minutes.
We love trains: they are like a small performance shown from the window and always smell like an adventure!
Julien, the guy who is fiery passionate about paragliding met me at the station and the adventure has begun.
We had a drive from the station to get to take off point at Gorudon where our flying journey was going to start. Then we took the equipment and had a short walk to the point…
In a few minutes standing right on the hill in front of the picturesque view, I was getting strict and detailed instructions from Julien.
At that moment I couldn’t believe the thought I was going to start running to fly. Taking off… Like planes do!
I should admit I started feeling safe with this guy just after this: he was very serious and straight to the point when briefing me.
He mentioned something about the right wind and that was the moment when I got those anxious thoughts: what if there would be a wrong wind?.. And what if I would be too scared and forget how to run? And what if… I simply realized that I was giving my fate into inevitable circle of chance.
After all, these fears didn’t make sense: if there is no wind, you simply stay down on the Earth!
To get calm down I started doing something I really love: taking pictures of some other paragliders flying here and there: they were such a great decoration complimenting view.
Julien also has thought it through so well: he got a Go Pro camera so that we could capture the flight during the adventure.
He asked me to repeat all the instructions and having noticed my doubts asked if we should just go for some drinks instead of all this: he was testing me.
That was exactly one of those things when you realize that it’s now or never. The things you would keep in mind that day when you have run away because of fear.
And then it was time to run.
Exactly at the moment when I was ready for a marathon, we started it but it was too short as we kept running in the Sky in a few seconds!
And so we were flying in the Sky driven by the wind, admiring mountains around us and great landscape beneath.
Of course, I was holding tight but overall it felt… very natural. We went up and down looking over the red rooftops with pools, picturesque mountains and trees: above the rest of the world.
The only thing was that I felt a bit cold because of the wind though Julien mentioned it wasn’t too strong at all.
I would say flying experience may be compared to swimming: just keeping the balance observing the arounds.
Then Julien gave me to lead the fly for few moments and that was impressive and felt like are catching the waves. He showed me what leads you down and up. This was really great: you feel like a pilot. At that moment you understand the way eagles fly turning right and left and doing circles sometimes to land. I just thought of alternative world where people could fly like that and could imagine I am at parallel reality.
The landing was quite smooth but a bit scary: I thought I would not be ready to control myself and instinctively slide the legs but it went fine. Just like in Harry Potter or like Superman did that every time.
After this we packed the equipment and got a ride suggested by the other paragliders.
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All this excitement does make you really hungry, so when the parachutes were packed up we went to an irish bar which is Julien’s traditional place.
That was the time to feel relaxed and happy after being excited and stressed: after all, I should admit that huge fear is not worth it – it’s much more natural you could expect.
My friend Kate always told me it’s simply enjoyable but she has been doing parashooting – I thought that is why, it’s like a bicycle ride for her! And here I would confess that I can’t ride a bicycle: I am too bad with balance.
I would very much recommend everyone to try this journey as a very refreshing way to expand your limits, a pause to review and reflect and discovering forgotten feeling of freedom stepping into unknown.
On my way back to Nice, my train was delayed but I was still infected by incredible feeling of freedom with no time and no space enjoying a beautiful sunset of September feeling lucky and blessed.