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Hang Gliding at the Büchelstein (Straubing)

I spent a day in the Bavarian forest, near of Straubing and we went to the "Büchelstein", a mountain where the hang gliders like to jump and fly like birds. The place is very impressive because of the huge view you can have all over the Bavarian landscape.

I spent a day in the Bavarian forest, near of Straubing and we went to the “Büchelstein”, a mountain where the hang gliders like to jump and fly like birds. The place is very impressive because of the huge view you can have all over the Bavarian landscape.

It’s very windy there, and all shows that this place is specially dedicated to hang gliders. First, a big jumping ramp at the bottom of the hill, after you passed there you must fly! Then a frightening/fascinating giant cross, here to show you how little you are and that your safety and survival (because it’s a very dangerous sport…) is in “God’s hands.” And then, a giant tree statue shows the way to the sky. These 3 elements give the place a special character at first sight. I wasn’t in for jumping, but I could observe closely the hang gliders building and preparing their “wings” to fly. Great concentration and precise movements are needed at this moment and you can notice that these people know exactly what they’re doing, and are aware of the dangers a bad preparation could have for them and their lives.

After the “construction” comes a long waiting time: looking at the sky, feeling the wind, phoning a special service to know how the wind could change in the few minutes, etc. There’s no hurry, the best conditions are needed to jump. If not, you can go home without jumping once. Finally, the wind is OK, the hang gliders are very quick in position and move with difficulty to the starting ramp. They look like albatros, with their huge wings but have so much difficulty to move with them on earth.

The concentration is as it’s maximum: once on the ramp, hang on your glider to the metal spools to avoid flying away when the wind comes in the wrong direction. Then, when the wind turns good, JUMP! and in a 1/2 second you’re in the sky. Starting is the most dangerous moment, then followed by a great happiness! The flight can be of 10-15 minutes but you can fly 1/2 – 1 hour if you’re good enough to catch the best wind streams… Fascinating human birds.

written by vicuna

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