Neuschwanstein and paragliding seem to be totally irrelevant under normal circumstances, but actually I made these two dreams come true at Schwangau where the Neuschwanstein locates. Even if you are not interested in paragliding, you may still want to take a look of this for the castle only costs you two to three hours at most. Unless you’re really fond of shopping, it’s hard to spend the other half day in the town of Fussen. Here you come so why not making good use of the transport ticket to explore the surroundings and the views?
First of all I have to introduce the Tegelberg. I guess you guys get to the castles from Fussen by bus no. 73 or 78. Go further to the castles and these two buses get to the 『Tegelbergbahn』 stop. This location is not only a paragliding place but also a spot to have a distant view of the Neuschwanstein, travel to the top of the hill by cable car and view the scene or hike whatever. According to online sources, the Tegelberg is part of the Alps and the highest peak reaches altitudes 1881m. Anyway I feel like seeing part of the Alps everywhere in Southern Germany. A little surprise is that the fee for paragliding included the cable car fare and it’s like a sunshine on this cloudy day for me.
If the bus journey is from the castle, probably 10 minutes will do. However the buses were not really on time and for me, a Hongkonger, they were not very frequent either. So please do check the timetable in any case. For me personally this time, another female tourist from Boston was in the same timeslot as I appointed, and she was a bit late. I am OK with than and what happened was just she missed the bus in a messy bus stop and I found that I did see her queuing at the stop when I was on the bus XD Guess she queue in the wrong direction otherwise could have been on the same bus to the meeting point with me. If you’re at the bus stop of the castles you may want to pay attention to that too.
MY PARAGLIDING EXPERIENCE
My booked flight was with Fly-Royal and they offered three options on timeslot 11:00/12:30/14:00. And I chose 2pm because I went to the castles first due to the popularity of Neuschwanstein. It was a wise choice as the whole morning just rained and rained. Certainly I think no one would be like me standing on the German territory but above me that’s the British weather, so…just fix the time in your own plan. The meeting point was a wooden hut and I passed by it on the bus along the bus route, had to walk back a few minutes after getting off the bus to get there.
I saw many paragliding lovers here. As I got there almost half an hour earlier than the scheduled time, I lay in a sling chair listening to their small talks. The weather’s a bit cold so the sun was just right. My pilot David is a local and there’re other people from Canada and other parts of Germany. The white object far far away seen between the folding table and the hut is Neuschwanstein, can you see it? Me relaxing and here my 『teammate』 came. Then David took us to the cable car.
The cable car carried a whole cart of people I guess there were like dozens of them. We were carrying large backpacks and it’s like on the metro, thus we didn’t do photographs. Wow that’s snow on the Tegelberg peak already.
A little bit of information here: although Fly-Royal provides flying suit and something like hiking boots I’m not sure, it’d be better to prepare you own pair of shoes. Sufficient clothes which keep the body warm are also necessary. When I was going through the attractions it’s approximate 15C degrees, I was good with just a light down jacket plus a waterproofing jacket and I actually sweated by the time of noon to afternoon. Yet when it got to flying high in the sky for long time, I was freezing. Especially when the pilot was in good mood too and extended my flight time like as if I got a free upgrade haha. I’m not complaining but please do bring more clothes. Rather leave the unused ones with your pack at their hut if you decide not to wear them.
Really I saw a lot of paragliding lovers here. They queued for take-off to ensure a safe flight. David equipped us with flying suits and stuff before the start of our foundational training. Basically we were expected to pull up the tendam and take flight by running and running means running down a slide…The pilot gave instructions, first to walk fast, then run. As the tendam and the wind were at my back pulling me, I could feel the reaction force was dragging my body backward. I had to run down the slide like committing suicide, and run and run, and then fly.
Well, not that quick. Before a real take-off, practice for being dragged backward and moved forward is necessary. However I kept stopping at the edge of the cliff without the tandem and was reminded over and over again by David T_T OK actually he’s got my back pulling me but it’s a psychological issue, and that’s why we’re wearing hiking shoes. Fine. The actual take-off was very smooth so just listen to the pilots, they’re really professional and conscientious. Go on! Only those seconds of running down and flying up were a bit scary, and I had nothing to fear when I was totally lifted. Be seated, it won’t be more frightening than a turbo drop.
During the flight, David seemed to adjust the directions and angle throughout the journey. Sometimes I had to cling to the left or right. Frankly speaking I went there for the tourist spot Neuschwanstein for sure, but David said, 『So you only want to see the castle, but it’s just a castle! You’re not enjoying the flight.』 Slowly the tandem climbed up and up, from the beloved green land of Ludwig II – Schwangau, to the magnificent view of the Alps. Thousand miles of journey was just that easily by wind. Looking down on the mountain range which has no end, surrounded by cold, mysterious mist or cloud? I thought I finally understand what it means by 『fly like a bird』, it is an unreachable kingdom by human’s feet.
Looking back to where we took flight, actually three spots were possible. I heard the considerations included the weather and wind direction so that the pilot would decide which way we go commit suicide (no that’s not). Although it was relatively dark, there’s no rain. I would like to point out that I seemed to had encountered hail at noon, but the particles were really tiny and the quantity’s small thus I was not sure. Anyway, it looked beautiful enough, mmm.
I saw this activity on Tripadvisor, didn’t really study which company is better but only took a look at the reviews. The reviews were good and their website had detailed descriptions, therefore I decided to book. As mentioned before, as I saw upon reaching the wooden hut and flying around, this was not a sole operator. And I made a search 'Paragliding Schwangau' on Google when I was back, similar activities offered by various companies were available. For your reference.
They do not take deposits for reservation. Just go to the website and filled out a form. And I have to ask you to consider thoroughly before joining if you are not proficient in English or German for safety reasons. Weight requirement is 25-95 KG and again, just skip this if yours not in the range. Payment is made after the flight. They also ask you to sign a simple contract for the risk that may involved in paragliding. Anyway the website is down there, they will also send you information kit if you book, just read it by yourself. I didn’t really put much efforts on it because the pilot will be there haha.
Two packages are available and they have an early bird special offer. Oh, I just found that the classic flight I booked didn’t really include a closeup of the Neuschwanstein and I definitely flew more than 30 minutes. Perhaps they upgraded me to Royal for free because I added 50 Euros extras for the photo and video service and that was the last timeslot. Thankful :)
CLASSIC (15-30 mins) €175
ROYAL (30-45 mins) €210
EARLY BIRD (9:00 daily during May to Sep, for passengers weight 25-75kg) €145