We haven't had a chance to share all of our travels prior to 2020 yet, so we figured that this year of limited travel would be the perfect time to share some of our past experiences. We hope you enjoy! "Hey you, in the black...come over here, you're first." the paragliding guide instructed as she pointed right at me. I followed my orders, and nervously made my way over to the parachute that was sprawled out on the grass. I suited up in the harness, and the safety equipment was checked. Then it was time to pay attention and listen. I was slated to be the first in our group to jump off the mountain and would have no opportunity to learn by example.
We were on an excursion to go paragliding in Slovenia, an adventure we've wanted to try for years. We were about to jump off Mt. Vogar, a mountain located in the Julian Alps, from an elevation of 990 meters (approximately 3,248 feet). Mt. Vogar is located right next to the turquoise waters of Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in Slovenia. The views that sprawled out in front of us were mesmerizing.
After an early morning pick up by 3Glav Adventures at our hotel in Lake Bled, we drove about 30 minutes to Lake Bohinj where we met our paragliding pilots. Then, we had to ride up the mountain on twisty roads before hiking along a 15-minute-long trail to reach the launch point. The hike sent us past tiny cabins, farms, and fields, before opening to a clearing in the trees.
Once we were at the launch point and ready to go, we had to wait for the winds to cooperate. As I stood in my gear waiting for the conditions to turn, my heart did little jumps inside my chest. I was unsure of what to expect. I was extra nervous because the tour had already been postponed by a day due to inclement weather, and the anticipation was killing me. We had originally planned on flinging ourselves off the higher mountain, Mt. Vogel, but the conditions just didn't agree with our plans. Thankfully, the weather on Mt. Vogar was better on day two, so we suited up and were grateful we could even go at all!
My launch instructions were to keep running even when my feet were in the air—I could only stop when my instructor told me it was ok. When the winds picked up, I channeled my inner Dori and kept chanting in my head “just keep running, just keep running” while overenthusiastically kicking my short legs through the air.
And just like that, we were airborne! I now was able to stop running and enjoy our successful takeoff. One thing I noticed right away was how calm and relaxing the experience was so far. We literally soared through the clouds that sporadically crossed our path as I gaped at the mountainous scenery surrounding me. My skilled and friendly guide made me feel completely comfortable so high up off the ground. About halfway through the peaceful ride, my guide asked if I wanted to do some spins. I couldn’t yelp “yes!” quick enough, and in no time, we were dropping straight down through the air in tiny little spinning circles. It was exhilarating, quick, and stomach lurching all in one—I loved it!
The flight was almost over, but the fun wasn’t done yet. We had a goofy landing still ahead of us. With my legs straddled out and up over my head, I came to a halt by skidding along on my behind. It wasn’t graceful, but we made it. I was smiles from ear to ear. Rides can last anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes and my flight took about 12 minutes in total. Short, but oh so sweet.
After I landed it was time to observe Micah and our 5 fellow tour mates on their descents. As little parachutes started to come into view, I tried to decipher which one might be Micah. Watching everyone else fly through the sky made me realize just how high our takeoff point actually was.