Recalling my experiences in the cold and knocking out into a deep sleep in the middle of a McDonalds, I piled on as much layers as I could walk in. The fact that we were headed to Mt. Titlis only made me check my suitcase to see if I could somehow force another pair of socks on my feet (I already had on two layers). Titlis is a mountain of the Uri Alps, located on the border between the cantons of Obwalden and Berne. At 3,238 metres above sea level, it is the highest summit of the range north of the Susten Pass. One of the most notable features of the mountain is it’s revolving cable car offering a 360 degree view of the mountain. The air at that altitude was so thin that running up a set of stairs left me a bit out of breath, though that could also be attributed to my hatred towards physical activity. Once at the top people can relax in the warmth of the cafe or brave the cold and wind for an epic photo of the mountain range. Being the Southern California kid that I am I immediately gravitated towards the snow like an over excited puppy which, I admit, did garner a few strange looks from some of the locals. After descending down from the mountain top it was time for our drive to the town of Interlaken.Driving into Interlaken, I didn’t expect to be at high altitudes again so soon. Minutes after we arrived at the hotel I went to use the bathroom and by the time I came out my brother had booked us each a hang gliding trip over Interlaken. We immediately rushed out of the hotel and got into their van to catch the last ride out.
Hang Gliding Interlaken is headed by Bernie the birdman and Eddie the eagle, both of whom are self proclaimed to be the “handsomest guys in Interlaken.” Besides some of the coolest two Australians I’ve met, their company also has an Indonesian. My mom got chatting with her while we headed up to the mountain. Before starting our trip they told us the two rules of hang gliding.
1. Run fast
2. Look cool
Don’t mess up.
So we blasted up some ACDC and strapped a dslr camera to a DIY selfie stick made up of a metal pole, a slab of wood, and rubber bands and we were ready to fly. One …two..three steps and I ran off the cliff and into the sky. I can honestly say it was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. Gliding over a mirror glass lake and the forests, I felt weightless. It wasn’t the feeling of invincibility I expected to have instead it was a sense of awe at how small I was compared to the world beneath me. I was knocked out of my stupor though when Bernie, who was strapped to me suddenly went into a series of tricks including one in which we nearly free fell down into a river. Finally we touched down in a green field where I was left with a seemingly permanent smile on my face. They dubbed me Stacey the sparrow before handing me the series of pictures and videos they took, most of the video was of me screaming and laughing hysterically though. As the sun set over Interlaken, I thought how crazy it was I realized I was a bit of an adrenaline junkie in a sleep town like Interlaken. Suddenly skydiving didn’t sound so bad either.
Pictures can be viewed at Indonesia Media”s page on Facebook