Fly, be free

Posted: September 22, 2013 in Photography
Tags: , ,

Yesterday hubby and I went to Saariselkä, a resort in northern Lapland. It is a beautiful place surrounded by fell highlands. The best-known fell is called Kaunispää (literally Beautiful Head) and it was the top of this fell where we were heading, too. It is 438m high but it can be reached by car. We were there to photograph the amazing autumn colour which are absolutely stunning this year. More about that later, but first I’ll tell and show something else awesome. As we were about to leave in the evening, a guy turned up with a paraglide. I was absolutely mesmerised as I am with all things that fly.

Paraglider on Kaunispää, Saariselkä, Lapland

He was standing around a lot – waiting for the wind I’m guessing.

Paraglider on Kaunispää, Saariselkä, Lapland

It seemed windy enough to me but no matter what he did he didn’t seem to be able to lift off.

Paraglider on Kaunispää, Saariselkä, Lapland

It looked like really hard work to run with the glide strapped to him. It looked like the kind of running I do in a dream when I should be running but can’t.

Paraglider on Kaunispää, Saariselkä, Lapland

He only got about a metre high but not anymore than that.

Paraglider on Kaunispää, Saariselkä, Lapland

Even though he was just running back and forth on the edge of the fell, it looked amazing. I was quite happy having seen just that. He seemed to have given up at the same time we started to pack our stuff and get ready to go.

Paraglider on Kaunispää, Saariselkä, Lapland

As we were already in the car we were watching him getting a strange looking contraption out of his car. He strapped it to his back like a gigantic rucksack. It had a propeller and he started it like any two-stroke engine, like you’d start a lawnmover. And up he went! Oh my god, it was like a crazy Leonardo da Vinci experiment. I’ve found out since that it’s called motor paragliding (kind of obvious) and not a crazy Leonardo da Vinci experiment. There he was flying, with a crazy propeller rucksack on his back and sounding like a lawnmover. Awesome. I bet the view from up there was fabulous. Up, up and away!

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