28 Juni 2009

The holy land

The first sunshine in weeks! After a lot of rain in Munich and a bit of rain and grey sky in Vancouver, the sun in Israel was beautiful and promised a hot day.
I successfully managed to change my work trip from Teheran into Tel Aviv and was really looking forward to getting back to places that I had visited with my friends Carsten and James ages ago. After having contacted Lufthansa security about the local safety situation in Israel and also talking to Miki, a hangglider pilot and also police man in Israel, I knew that I would be safe along the way that I had planned to drive, just straight from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea.
People at the check points always waved us through with a friendly smile, it was an enjoyable drive without much traffic and with incredible scenery coming down the hills behind Jerusalem towards the Jordan plains. As it is more than 400 m below msl, the air is clean and full of oxygen and mineral salts, great for your health. The air feels kind of "thick" and I think landing there is really easy and enjoyable! When the first cu´s started popping up around 3pm, I thought of Miki and Ilan who were probably flying at Mt Tabor today...
Instead, I floated on the Dead Sea, soaking in the hot water - about 35 degrees celsius! - rubbing the black mineral mud on my skin, feeling like I was on a cure in a spa. It is difficult to get under water, as it is so saturated with salt. Swimming is slow, more like paddling along on top of the water. I was so lucky that I had the perfect bathing shoes with me - my Lizard Five Fingers had a good grip on the slippery yet sometimes sharp salt cristals in the sea. They saved me from getting cuts, and you definitely dont want to have any wounds in that salty water...The water is so saturated that the rocks are covered in salt even under water!
Despite a very crowded flight back home in the middle of the night, I felt very energized and healthy after this natural bath tub experience.

21 Juni 2009

Barely at home...

As I checked my post box at LH headquarter yesterday after the flight, I found a real surprise - they asked me to do another flight out of my free days, as they don´t have enough staff at the moment apparently. And the flight was to IKA, meaning Teheran. As it would have been impossible for me not to take my paraglider and have a flight in the incredible mountains above Teheran (which is of course totally inappropriate with the hot political situation at the moment), I asked them if it is possible to swap the flight with one to Tel Aviv.
I was lucky and now I´m looking forward to having some nice hours in the real summer. Back in Munich it is cold, rainy with some hail every now and then. Not flyable at all for at least a few more days.
All the best to my friends at the World Championships in Laragne - I heard they are also affected by bad weather and won´t probably be flying until Tuesday. Well, the Mistral means strong wind and turbulence, not necessarily rain, so plenty of time for kayaking, hiking, climbing...

18 Juni 2009


In Vancouver, they are obviously preparing for the Olympic Winter Games next year. Apart from these olympic circles, everybody seems to be really laid back about the whole event.
I like the eagles that you find everywhere in the city at the moment, designed by different native Canadian artists.
It´s cloudy at the moment, but an ideal temperature to go for a run to Stanley park. Also, there is a big exhibition about Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Art Gallery, so plenty of stuff to do and see in this great place, before I have to return to Germany tomorrow.

16 Juni 2009

Black and white

Another cool photo from Mike that I can publish here thanks to
adidas/PLANET TALK 2009.
Im already ironing my white blouse for another work trip that will take me to Vancouver again. I wish Brett, Bernie or Vincene were in Vancouver, as time is too short for a quick visit in Calgary... I wonder why they don´t go to join the World Championships next week in Laragne/France, Rob Clarkson seems to be the only Canadian pilot there. I heard rumours that Bernie and Brett were preparing to get on the paragliding national team?!
Yesterday I watched an amazing documentation about chasing photos and film footage of twisters for three years during hurricane season in the USA. I knew that my friend, the photographer Carsten Peter loves adventures (flying in a motorized paraglider above active vulcanos, diving through glaciers to track the water lines inside the ice...), but next to him my life is really settled and normal ;) have a look at his incredible photos here. He was one of the last guys to leave our World Championship Party in November, because people just can´t let go of him and want to hear more stories!

15 Juni 2009

How to make new friends...

Before filming with Salzburg TV, I put a new Red Bull sticker on my sail. I tried to do that in the park around the corner, but soon these young soccer players closed in on me and changed their game from shooting goals to shooting glider and jumping it.
No explanation helped, the big guy even asked me to leave, as it is their park because they were there first. Hm. Then I turned around and promised them each a can of Red Bull. "A real one?" - Sure! "One Red Bull each?" - Yes, as long as they managed to leave my glider untouched with the soccer ball and their feet.
Straight away, they sat around my stickers and the glider and started asking questions about hanggliding and found everything really cool. After I finished my work, they couldnt wait to get the cans. By the way, the guy on the left is Bavarian, then there are two Iranian brothers, one guy from Georgia (eastern Europe), and one boy from Armenia. Nice to see that sport connects them all!

14 Juni 2009

New photos

Thanks to Sonja and Mike, I have a whole lot of new great portrait photos for my sponsors. On Friday we went to a few spots close to and also in Munich, and Im happy to be able to present a few of these pictures on my Blog, thanks to adidas/PLANET TALK 2009!
While we were taking some cafe style photos, my father called - I didnt realize that Mike took a photo of me talking to my father as well.
At the moment, it is quite hot in Munich, but a layer of clouds is moving in extremely fast with the strong northwesterly high up. I decided not to go flying today, instead I finally manage to do some laundry and this time it is even dry before my next trip- Vancouver on Wednesday.

11 Juni 2009

My Blog is back!!!

Hello to everybody around the world, Im very happy to announce that my Blog has been unlocked again! It had been blocked for the last 2 weeks and I was just as disappointed as you that it took so long to verify that my blog is not spam. I hope that this won´t happen again. Specially since soon another big comp starts in Ager, the pre Europeans.
The past couple of weeks I worked quite a bit, Regina and I had two days filming with a team from Salzburg TV about hanggliding - we were really lucky that we managed to get into the air and we even got a really good pg tandem pilot from Flugschule Hochries for the camera guy (he enjoyed the flight a lot). The film will be aired in September.
Now I just returned from a work trip, a very strong westerly is blowing, but Sunday or Monday might be flyable.
Good to be back!