Unique sensations and an unforgettable sense of complete and utter freedom
I’ve been watching them for some time… those coloured dots twirling around above Lake Annecy against the backdrop of the Tournette and Dents de Lanfon mountains… I’m more and more tempted to give it a try myself. My friends, Steph and Bertrand, often talk about how they launch themselves into the air. They’re into long flights and go explore the Annecy mountains from the sky almost throughout the year. Bauges, Aravis, Bornes… there’s no shortage of itineraries and the sublime landscapes change through the seasons.
This is one of the region’s must-do spots and a venue for international paragliding competitions, with incredible views over the turquoise waters of Lake Annecy. After a short technical brief, Laurent, my instructor, unfurls the two-seater paraglider in the take-off area. We mustn’t get the cords tangled!
Once installed, facing the lake, we launch ourselves, barely starting to run when the wing inflates and… before we know it we’re in the air.
After landing as gently as we took off, I follow the greenway that runs from the Doussard landing zone to La Cuillère à Omble, the restaurant where Manon and Théo are waiting for me to join them for a lakeside lunch. This elegant bistro is a heavenly place that serves sophisticated cuisine based on local produce. Fried Arctic char, XXL cheeseburger and a children’s menu… we all enjoy our meal facing a superb view over the reedbeds. Pretty soon, Cathie, Louise and Simon arrive at the restaurant’s private pontoon in their kayaks, which they moor securely before joining us for dessert.
After this sweet treat shared with friends, we head for Glière-Plage, just a stone’s throw from the restaurant. This natural space adjoining the Bout du Lac Nature Reserve is a choice, bucolic spot from which to enjoy Lake Annecy. Stretched out on my towel, I gaze up at the sky and relive my morning flight…
What a sensation of absolute freedom, of total escape, and a unique chance to observe the surroundings from the sky, in the most utter tranquillity. What a serene feeling! The snow-covered summits in the distance have given me an idea… This winter I’ll be back to try again, taking off on skis for an alternative exploration of the heavenly white landscape of the Annecy Mountains!