Annecy is built alongside a beautiful lake, and to appreciate this lake, we cycle around it and paraglide over it. Atop our rented orange cruisers, Lindsey and I take to the lake’s bike path. The path is crowded with other cyclists, walkers, runners, and rollerbladers. The sun comes in and out of the clouds, making it really quite warm. We stop frequently for pictures, cherries, and the occasional dip in the lake. We end the ride hungry and sweaty, and ready to find a hearty sandwich made of mostly baguette.
The following day, we soak up the same view from a few thousand feet in the air tied to a parachute (and also tied to someone who knows what he’s doing). This paragliding route is so popular that there is an air traffic control person on take-off and landing. I calm myself a little by estimating how many gliders there must be every year, and decide that it has got to be safe. But still with a lot of adrenaline, I run off the equivalent of an alpine black-diamond ski slope. Shortly after, my heart rate slows just a touch as I settle into my seat, but given my intense fear of heights, I never totally calm until landing. The rush of air around us, the view of the lake below, being at the same level as the alpine peaks, and sharing this rush together makes for an amazing 30 minutes!