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Month: June 2008

Paragliding video

Paragliding video

The summer school finished last Friday, and I travelled to Verbier where Paul is staying. I had booked a one-day introduction course to paragliding for Saturday. I was a bit scared about doing this, but it was lots of fun! We spent most of the day at “ground school” – learning to set up the glider and the harness, and how to take off (without actually taking off). In the afternoon I first did a short tandem flight – really…

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Kung-fu Paragliding

Kung-fu Paragliding

Today is day 9 of the 14 day course and so far I’ve done 11 solo flights, some of them lasting more than 20 minutes. I can now launch the paraglider fairly reliably and land using a left hand approach. Sometimes I need a bit of instruction over the radio to ensure the final approach is at the right speed and height, but each one is better than the last. Before landing a paraglider it’s advisable to stand up in…

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Hiking in Les Houches

Hiking in Les Houches

The summer school is pretty intensive, but if you take a lunch bag instead of sitting down for lunch, there is enough time for a nice hike. These two photos are taken on one of those hikes: On Saturday we had the afternoon off, and I took the cable car up with a few people. It was a beautiful day, and flowers everywhere, very pretty! Me with Anastasia and Claire, and one of the views along the way… In the…

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The Views

The Views

The first picture below shows the main building of the summer school (Ecole de Physique). This is where we have all the lectures and tutorials, and generally hang out. Besides this building, there is a restaurant and several chalets where we sleep. The other photos show the view from in front of the main building at different times during the day… very stunning!

Les Houches

Les Houches

While Paul is (wishing he was) paragliding in Verbier, I am about 50 km away at a summer school on atmospheric boundary layers. Les Houches is right underneath the Mont Blanc and the summer school (at 1000m) has stunning views over the valley and the mountains. As in Verbier, the first 2 days here were rainy. And not just a little bit, more like a continuous downpour! This morning we woke up to almost clear skies and amazing views. The…

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Paragliding

Paragliding

On Monday I began a 14-day paragliding course in Verbier (Switzerland) run by Verbier Summits (www.verbier-summits.com). The course is a combined elementary pilot club pilot course and provides the minimum amount of training needed to fly unsupervised. During the first two days of the course I have learned only to take the paraglider out of its bag and attach the harness because the weather has been too bad to do anything else. I am hoping that conditions will improve soon…

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Beautiful Stockholm

Beautiful Stockholm

I’m in Stockholm for a conference (on boundary layers & turbulence) this week. It’s been a very busy week – the disadvantage of going to such a specialized conference is that I can’t really skip any sessions so I am usually around from 9:00 to 18:00 every day. I gave a talk yesterday, it went fine and it was a relief to have that done! So there hasn’t been much time for sightseeing, and even most of the evenings were…

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