• Caitlin Kennedy

Up, Up and Away

Courtesy of Val d'Isere Parapente

To paraphrase the lyrical genius of Robbie Williams, I always believed I could fly. As a child, it was a dead cert in my mind that when I grew up I would be able to soar through the air; the thing was just a matter of time and enough practice leaping off my bed. This is probably why it broke. When the dreadful truth finally dawned on me and it became apparent it was not my lifelong destiny to fly, I started looking for ways around this conundrum. Although skiing makes for a pretty good substitute, this week I finally found my wings in the form of a man called Stephan and his paragliding canopy.

After years of looking up to the skies with wishful longing at the graceful gliders that float above Val d’Isere, it was finally my turn to take to the air. My Dad is out this week and he was the kind benefactor of the gift of flight. We arrived at the top of the Solaise where we met the two men who would be in charge of our lives for the next 10 minutes. Stephan, who runs Val d’Isere Parapente, has been flying for 35 years and offering tandem flights for 20 of those. By night, he becomes a pistebasher driver, so he is a seriously