Paragliding in Switzerland
Switzerland is a great place to go Paragliding, even when you have never done it before. There are many young pilots waiting for "victims" for a tandem-flight, you may book such flights in advance or simply go to the top of a mountain like Schiltorn, Brienzer Rothorn and many others and search for a pilot there - when you are lucky and maybe also not in the high season you may decide on top of the mountain, if you dare to fly down with one of the pilots. The pilot on my pictures was waiting 2 hours in vain before he decided to fly down alone. In fact he was not only going downwards, BUT was able to find a perfect wind to take him UP-wards several hundred meters, before he sailed down to the valley...
200 sfr / 140 Euros is the tandem-flight down from Rothorn
from Schilthorn : 270,- sfr / from Muerren : 160,- sfr
Equipment: The equipment is given by the pilot - they always have a large rucksack with all necessary equipments
Some links :
- Mountain Climbing
- Adventure Travel
- Hang Gliding
AUSTRIA: Wiener Eistraum - a paradise for scaters
Wiener Eistraum is an annual event - all of the square between the Burgtheater and Rathaus / Town Hall will be dedicated as a large place for scating. Long slopes will lead you also through the park, there is music playing outside and also inside various restaurant-tents.
This year it started Jan. 25th
09.00a.m.-04.00p.m. you pay 3,50 / children 2,50 / families 8,50
04.00p.m.-11.00p.m. the prices are : 5,00 / 4,00 / 13,- Euros
Equipment: Bring your own equipment or simply rent it there against a small fee. Even the toilets may be reached with your scates on !!
The fee for renting a pair of scating-shoes was 6 Euros in 2006 (3,80 Euros for children)Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Kieler Woche - Europe's largest sailing-event
Kieler Woche is the biggest annual sailing-event of Europe and it is traditionally held in June. It includes a parade of old windyammers and sailingships of all sizes. In Kiel-Holtenau, east of the locks of Kielcanal / Nord-Ostsee-Kanal you will see many of these old windyammers docked throughout the year and you will be able to walk along that pier freely and without restrictions like I did in order to take these pics.
Equipment: See the program of Kieler Woche here in english
and for the german program click on the link belowRelated to:
- Family Travel
- Sailing and Boating
B is for Beach boys surfin' in Ireland ?
Lehinch , County Clare, Irelans is trying very hard to become Surf-town Ireland. There are a number of surf shops around the village offering equipment and lessons. There is also a surf school right on the front in the car park. It claims that it is run by a ex-Irish surfing champion.
I do however wonder if the Irish are to the world of Surfing what Fiji are to international competative Ice Skating.
Sourbugger is of the firm opinion that full-body rubber suits should only be used for indoor sports with off-duty Brazilian lapdancers, but, whatever lights your candle...
T is for Tough Guy. Birmingham UK
A tip for complete nutters
The annual "Tough Guy" run takes place on the last Sunday in January ( or as they put it this year(2004) : the 32nd of January).
Some say doing this once in life is on a par with running the bulls in Pamplona, or doing a Bungee jump : you just have to do it once.
The setting is a horse sanctuary on the outskirts of Wolverhampton, UK. About 3,000 people take part in the run which consists of a very hard 8 mile cross country followed by an assault course that makes one used by the SAS look a bit on the sissy side.
The water tunnels in freezing cold water are probably most competitors greatest fear, although wading through rivers, and crawling under barbed wire come a close second.
Sourbugger's time for this ordeal was three hours, 36 minutes : and he's very proud of it.
If you want to compete next year, you will be in the 'wetnecks', if I do it again I think I'll go for the 'Dickhead or Ghoons section'.
Check out the website below for a close up of the horrors.
You can also spectate on the day (about 5 pounds).
The summer event is similar, but as the temperatures are above freezing it's only for wimps.
Equipment: Months of training and an Iron will.
(see Jelly leg news on the website)
I is for Innings and 19 runs at Lord's
Look out over the Hallowed turf of the Lord(s) - cricket at the MCC, London.
I remember hearing a recording of "Hankcock's half-hour" where Sid tries to con Hancock into buying an 'Urban farm' as Hancock is amazed at finding such a wide open space in the middle of London.
'Lords' is the spiritual home of Cricket, and although there is a stadium tour and museum, you really need to experience a game.
It is very difficult to get a ticket to a Test match (international) and it will cost of Fourty pounds upwards. You can however see a county (First-class) game for around ten pounds.
Children (under 16) always get in very cheap, as it is a way of promoting the game.
Check -out the website at www.middlesexccc.com
If you are a newcomer to the game then you might also like to check-out by VT tip on "Cricket explained to Foreigners" in my England section.
Lords itself feature a number of Interesting pavillions, including the space age Nat West Media Centre which give the appearance of a UFO hovering over one end of the ground.
Y is for Youthful excesses whilst playing croquet
Hold the pink flamingos , in Durham UK
Croquet is a sport you don't see very often, but there is a fine tradition of it being played in Durham.
The Current world champion passed through at the same time as me, and although far out of my class I remember giving him a run for his money once or twice.
At our college we developed a slight twist on the sport by turning it into a drinking game - which made pegging out almost impossible.
If you are lucky you may see some students playing it on Palace Green (the area between Cathedral and Castle).
P.S the picture is of some recent students, although I did spend several happy hour doing the same !
V is for very very very silly sport....
London Circle line Drinking Game
If you count drinking as a sport then this was a winner back when I was a student, and a "wild and crazy guy".
The game consists of splitting into teams of at least 2 each (and a minimum of 2 teams)
You then select how many pints, half pints or shorts (spirits) you wish to down for the duration of the game.
An appropriate number of stops on the Circle line are then written down and each teams draws out its' stops by lucky draw.
From a central starting point (and finishing point) the winner is the team that uses the tube (circle line only) to get to all of their stations, find the nearest pub and down their drink.
I should point out that now I am older and wiser this is a throughly irresponsible thing to do - but then again you only live once!
A variation on this idea is the Monopoly pub crawl. Visit all the squares on the monopoly board in real life, find the nearest pub... can be done in order, beginning with Old Kent Road or on a route designed to reduce travelling time !
Equipment: A liver in good working order
A taste for puffy southern beer
W is for White Water Rafting in Nottingham
This is a something of a prequel of a tip.
My wonderful wife bought me a white water rafting trip as part of my Christmas present last year. I intend to use it at this Nottingham venue.
The artificial course was built to help train our next generation of Olympic hopefuls in Canoeing, but events like this help it to earn it's keep.
I'll add to the tip once i've rafted the fierec Nottingham rapids !Related to:
C is for Cesky Krumlov's river
Row, Row, Row your boat gently down the stream.
....belt off... trousers down...life is such a scream. (to Quote General Melchett during his rendition of the boating song in an episode of Blackadder Goes Forth)
Many hundreds take to the waters here in the summer. Most take the simple trip around the peninsular, fall in a few times and go back to the town.
There are however a variety of longer trips, with differing degrees of difficulty.
We took "Trip 5" which was a 15Km raft to Zlaka Koruna. If you put a bit of a sweat on it takes less than 2 hours.
It is a lovely piece of countryside to easily paddle through and there are always other boats about if you run into any problems - which is very unlikely.
You could even take a picnic, but I would advise picking it up after you have negotiated the weirs through the town itself as this is the place that if you can come off - you will come off !
It cost about 850Kr in high season which is quite good value considering the 'Tourist trap' ride round the town is 300Kr
Equipment: All provided but remember suncream, disposable camera etcRelated to:
E is for Easy fishing for beginners
Beginners luck on Tory Island, Ireland
I am 35 years old, and this was the first time that I have ever taken my rod out (Fnarr-Fnarr)
We fished off the quay at the end of the island past East town and I bagged a fish on my very first attempt.
On the second cast I caught two fish together - to my astonishment..
I caught Coalfish - although I was really after Pollack (as in the picture) as it is lovely for breakfast.
It seemed that an hour before high tide was the best time to go, and I'm convinced that the streetlight on the quay helped as well.
Equipment: No bait needed just a shiny thing that looked like a prat on the end of the line (sorry I really did mean Sprat - thanks Tara)
G is for Gaelic games
Fourth biggest stadium in Europe - Gaelic Games in Dublin.
The GAA claim this place, Croke (pronounced 'Crow') is the fourth biggest stadium in Europe. It's three tiers on the biggest stand certainly give it a dramatic feel.
Remember its Gaelic games here - hurling and Gaelic football - fast, furious and tough.
There is a museum here if you are into the history and a museum tour. You also get a chance to whack the slither (is that the right spelling ?)
Tickets are like gold dust for any big game - but you may get them if you nip in quick on the GAA website. If you get hold of some you will be going home to a heros welcome tonight!
L is for Lapping the Lingotto roof...
A truly unique place for a jog - the roof of the Lingotto building, Turin, Italy.
The roof of the building when it was a factory was a test track : a superb piece of design, it occupied the whole roof of the workshops . Two straights of 443 metres each, joined by parabolic bends, formed a continuous track for testing cars as soon as they left the assembly lines
The photograph clearly shows this happening.
Nowadays it is used as a jogging track, and as such provides a great 1.1 Km track to pound the feet on. It is accessed via the lift that leads up to the art gallery (see seperate tip) and is open to all.
Despite it being February, and covered in snow, and not having proper running shoes I was determined to give in a go. I managed a lap in about five minutes : next time I will be much quicker.
A is for aaaaaaaarrrrrgggghhhh ! On the bobsleigh.
bobsleigh!!!......oh my god......yikes! S**T
The Bobsleigh / luge track at Sigulda, Latvia, run wheeled bobs in the summer. Even if you are not around at the prescribed times you can get hold of the people who run it and they will make arrangements.
They drive and break whilst you sit in the middle and get scared. It's actually incredibly smooth so you don't notice the G's your pulling so much. A cool experience and when I did it (about 3 year agos) only about $5.( 3 latis)
The rest of the town is delightful as well with some very nice walks and a cablecar across the valley. A couple of ski runs too - but not much use in the summer!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
S is for the San Marino Grand Prix
Big cars go brum brum...
San Marino is in the unusual position of hosting a Formula One Grand prix every year´since 1980.
I was actually in San Marino during the 2003 Gran prix, and sure enough there was a Ferrarri in the main square.
Unfortunately it was last years car, the driver and the actual race were at Imola in Italy a few miles away.
As Bernie Ecclestones worldwide circus continues to find new venues to use (or rather to seek out places that allow tobacco sponsorship) the San Marino Grand Prix may well be lost as there already is an Italian Grand Prix every year at Monza.
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