18 Dezember 2008

It is your choice...

Im very proud that my home city Bremen suggested me for the "Athlete of the year" awards. We are five different girls from different sports who you can give your vote to here: http://www.nordcom.net/balldessports/
if you click on the small arrow in the lower right corner.
One vote will be made by all the online choices, two votes will be made on March 7th in Bremen at the "Ball of sports" where we will be presented to a jury and to the audience. On Jan. 16th, a pre-result will be published.
I think it is a great opportunity to present our small sport to the media and to the public, trying to find more hanggliding and paragliding enthusiasts for our beautiful, amazing sport! This article was published in the Bremen newspapers "Weser Kurier" and "Bremer Nachrichten" on Dec. 11th.

11 Dezember 2008

Hyderabad, India - Timezone UTC +5,5

So I really went to India yesterday and enjoyed the hazy sun and 30 degrees in Hyderabad today. Walking around Banjara Hills, I had to visit the adidas store and saw the new collection of Sania Mirza, and Indian Tennis Star. Great new things, I wonder if they will be sold in Herzogenaurach as well ;)

Also I shopped for spices and had to smile when I walked past this Red Bull shelf.

On the road, usually women do the hard physical work and men "supervise". Hm.

The scaffolding picture is for my father. Interesting structure.

Life seems to be completely back to normal here, it is as busy and noisy as usual. I really hope the bombings in Mumbai were the last ones. In May, two places here in Hyderabad were hit, so I hope this place is not a target at this moment. Certainly the safety measures everywhere are a lot stricter right now. Whenever going into the hotel, or a mall, or just a supermarket, bags are controlled and I was scanned several times with a metal detector.

The quarry behind the hotel
When we arrived this morning at 3.30 am, I heard noise outside like from a huge building place. It stopped around 8 am and just started again a few hours ago. A marble quarry behind the hotel? I doubt they work during the night in Carrara. Our hotel staff could not provide any information, so I sneaked outside and had a look myself.
Huge trucks are driving up and down right next to the pool area, everything is lit up, large blocks of stone are loaded and transported away. Stones the size of a mountain for a person from Bremen like me ;) big enough to take off from. Next question: how long? About 6 or 7 months was the vague answer... at least now I know it is not explosions on Christmas eve, but the guys pushing stones in the crater next door. Yes, I will have to be here on work on Christmas eve too, and I will have heavy duty ear plugs with me!

09 Dezember 2008

The day I nearly flew in Israel - Tel Aviv, Timezone UTC +2

My standby line had another surprise for me - a layover in Tel Aviv! As soon as they told me, I sent a text message to Ilan. When I was in Tel Aviv last time, about 7 years ago, I didnt know any pilot in the city.
Ilan answered immediately, aksing if I could bring my harness. Not possible, as I was already in Frankfurt airport, waiting for a flight to work on. With a nice crew we flew to Israel and got to the hotel around 5 am. After a few hours of sleep, Ilan picked me up at the hotel and we went two hours north to Mt Tavor. He got his friends harness for me, but it did not fit, so he gave me his own Moyes harness and his new Litespeed 3,5 s, the same model that I fly.
The country looks beautiful, big dark fields to the southwest, the Golan heights and the sea of Galilea to our east. Take off was as flat as Monte Cucco, and the wind was not really there, just some smoke on the ground indicated not exactly a perfect direction. Ilan took off anyway, I was impressed with his power run.
I hoped the sun would create a thermal and some good launch conditions for me, but instead the wind crossed and finally came in from the back, unfortunately quite strong. I started packing up, much to the disappointment of the two young arabian boys behind me who had expected to record a cool film on their mobile phone... I communicated with hand and feet (I dont speak arabic) and got them to pick up the glider - I just wanted to show them how heavy it is so they could understand what was going on. When the first one lifted it, his eyes nearly popped out his head and the other one laughed. Well ok, we had a nice tail wind on the sail ;) then the other one tried, and they both said goodbye and left on their scooter.
Ilan was braught back up by his friend Miki and we had a short chat in German. On the way back to Tel Aviv, we had a falafel stop at the greatest falafel entertainer of Israel - the falafels were flying through the air! Then a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, and I decided I wont wait another 7 years before coming back to this beautiful country.
Our crew left at 3 am to fly back, I arrived in the afternoon in Munich and now Im about to leave for my next trip tomorrow - probably Hyderabad in India!