25 März 2010

Working for the Worlds

Yesterday I went to the DHV, our sports association, to keep working on the organization of the World Championship with my team mate Regina. On the photo, we just talked to Ute, our other team mate. She had made her first spring flight two days ago and was very happy that finally winter is over. So am I! A lot of sun out yesterday, so we were happy to receive the new adidas sunglasses for the new flying season. They are so nice we just had to wear them in the office already ;)
After some hours of DHV work with Klaus, Regina and Babsi, Regina and Primoz helped me to prepare my wing for the first comp in Bassano next week. Looks pretty fast, eh? Too bad that we have Foehn today, strong southerly winds, but that also brings hot temperatures to melt away the snow... I can´t wait to get airborne again and try this Moyes Machine ;)

22 März 2010

Finding Nemo, Jeddah Timezone UTC + 3

After two work flights last night, we went out to the beach club again to adore the colourful fish. Today Nadine and Rebecca persuaded me to go a little further to see the anemone and "Nemo" - a little territorial clown fish lives there. The only problem - right next to that part of the reef I saw "le grand bleu" and panicked, hearing the jaws music.
With my heart beating fast and adrenalin rushing in, the other two came back and helped me, and in the end my curiosity won - those fish are just too pretty, so colourful and happy, and if I just concentrate really hard on all the beautiful colour and pattern details, I manage to keep my fear of water bearable. At least as long as I can float on top of the water.
We saw giltheads, puffer fish, a fire fish, and fluorescent orange and purple striped one I dont know. And a moray, scary thing. I was so glad that I had my Lizard Five Fingers shoes with me, so I don´t have to worry about the stone fish at the bottom of the stairs or about the sea urchins.
Nice shells in the sand everywhere, I guess Jamie will be here pretty soon ;)

21 März 2010

Jeddah, Timezone UTC + 3

Yesterday we flew to Jeddah. It is great to be able to come here on work, because usually it is quite difficult to get a visa - no tourists. All the women of our crew have to wear the black abbaya everywhere, in the hotel and outside. Just at the beachclub where the walls are built into the sea we are allowed to swim in a bikini. Lots of colourful fish everwhere, you dont have to dive. I was snorkelling just without a snorkel, because I forgot it at home. Later today we work some more and fly to Khartoum and back, then some more hours here in the very pleasant temperatures (around 32 and a nice strong breeze, would be perfect for kite surfing today) before we go back to Germany on Monday night.

17 März 2010

Gizeh, Egypt

Making new friends today all around - there were lots of school groups of girls and they were all really keen to speak some English and didnt want to let me go ;) funny, they all thought I am Australian.
I found a cute little camel to ride around for a while, he was 4 years old, so a very young camel, but quite well behaved. I wish I could bring one home, but I think their soft feet would not like to walk on snow or ice too much...

16 März 2010

Egypt, Heliopolis, Timezone UTC +2

Today was really a special flight - we arrived above Cairo just at sunset, and atc sent us straight towards the pyramids. They suddenly appeared in front of us in the mystic blue light of dusk, really big and powerful. I was jumping up and down with the joy and excitement of a child, as this rare sight was quite overpowering.
I love this job, it takes me to the most amazing places in the world!
Tomorrow we will go to the pyramids and I hope I can find a friendly, fast camel. Looking at Horus, I wonder if the guys a few thousand years ago already were able to fly?
Special wishes to my best friend, my "Bavarian sister" Regina - I hope I can bring her here one day.

12 März 2010

...and the Snow must go on! Munich, Timezone UTC +1

For a while we have been waiting for spring now, but with loads of new snow in Munich yesterday and the forecast for more on Saturday and Sunday, it will be a while before we can land on snow-free grounds, let alone take off. The guys at the Aeros Winter Race comp in Ajdovscina/ Slovenia experienced really strong wind on the first day, then extreme cold on the second, but it looks like they might get a task in today. I keep my fingers crossed for them and I really hope it will be warmer when we go to Bassano in two weeks!
Im already packing my suitcase again to escape to warmer terrain for a short precious time. I probably fly to Egypt and Saudi Arabia next week, it will be around 36 degrees there, very comfortable. And a little bit of sun again is good to prevent a winter cold.
Apart from that, we are busy preparing the World Championship at Tegelberg. Im still missing a few names on the entry list - if you know them, please contact Jenny Buck (GB), Laura Bazan (AR), Natalia Khamlova (RU), Virpi Niemenen (FI) and all the other girls you think should be flying there. It will be a safe and fun event and I hope to see a lot of my friends from all over the world. Every country can enter a team of 6 pilots this year, plus 4 pilots per nation can enter individually! Only the top 2 pilots will score for the team this time, so you should make sure that your country sends at least 2 pilots, and you have the full chance to win the team competition! It would be great to see really big teams from Russia, Japan and the US, as I know that there are a lot of really good female pilots. In Swift class, we already have 8 entries, so it will be a valid FAI 2 World Championship as well. Come on over, Robin Hamilton and Jonny Carr, it will be a civilized towing competition for your class!
You can register here: World Championship Tegelberg

05 März 2010

"Touch me..." Buenos Aires, Timezone UTC -4

What a birthday present! I worked on the flight to Buenos Aires this week to be able to go to the first a-ha concert of their "ending on a high note" tour. This morning I went training at the gym and met a copilot I knew and when I told him about my plan for the evening, he said that they brought the band and their crew over to Argentina on their flight. Choice I thought, and met another colleague of that crew - they had been invited to the concert but had to leave tonight (our stay here is really short), but she told me to enjoy the music and say hi to Morten. She had been absolutely thrilled to have been able to talk to the idols of our youth, and I envied her a little for that chance.
The concert was sold out, and the atmosphere at Luna Park was fantastic - a bit like at the soccer matches. And these Argentinians really sing well too, what a melodic audience! It was a mesmorizing show and a-ha's songs as beautiful as ever, with Morten's hypnotizing voice easily soaring up and down several octaves. I always feel like Im flying in the alps when I hear "Foot of the mountain" and of course "hunting high and low" (thinking of thermals...).
And now my Norwegian hanggliding friends will be very happy to hear that after the concert, a dream of my life came finally true when I was allowed to meet Morten and talk to him for a while. Choice! My knees were a bit insecure about the situation, I blame jet lag for it ;) Morten told me that they had just come from Asia so they got the full time warp hit with 13 hours difference, feeling upside down, yet Morten bravely had his photo taken with the group of Norwegian mountaineers, and me too. Sometimes it is a privilege not to be that famous I guess. But still with jet lag, they all look incredibly youthful, energetic and charismatic. Do Norwegians just have the genes, or do they sleep in ice beds to stop ageing? I have to ask Nils and Oyvind about that in Bassano...
When they led me out and the door opened, immediately thousands of cameras flashed and the girls started sceaming - like a reflex, I stepped back to hide... I never thought of the situation from that perspective, and at first sight, let me tell you it was a bit scary. Luckily we found a quiet side exit where i could just slip through and go home.
Looking back at the last four months, I think my karma likes me at the moment. With Hannes Arch, Felix Baumgartner, Sebastian Vettel, Mario Gomez, Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and now Morten Harket Ive been allowed to meet some of the most amazing personalities on the planet in a very short time.
Photos later when Im back in Germany, for the moment, you just have to use your fantasy and dream with me.