We went paragliding?! / Fuimos en parapente?!

Melanie Brown Arcadia in Granada, Spain


February 19, 2018

Preface: This post will focus on the weekend in which Nick, my boyfriend, visited me (one time for the price of three!) in Granada. He gave me an IOU for a future paragliding trip in Europe for Christmas about two years ago, so this was a long time coming. Absolutely worth the wait.

The Big Day

A few days before Nick came, he surprised me with two tickets for paragliding right outside of Granada, something we’ve wanted to do for quite a while now. The day he got here was a scary start to our adventure. I got a text saying that he’d missed his plane because he overslept and was headed to the airport then. One online ticket that couldn’t be used in time and a ticket purchased at the check-in counter later, he was finally here. Now onto the fun stuff—jumping off cliffs.

We met our paragliding experts just a short bus ride away from center-city on the most beautiful, sunny day ever. Ramon and Jorge were our guys, and boy did they speak quickly. I was, however quite proud of how well I understood them when they were speaking to me. Nick, who hadn’t taken a class in 2 years even remembered quite a bit more than he thought he would (being generous). It was adorable.

After a 30 min van ride up in to the Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada, we were hiking up an incredibly steep hill with parachutes on our backs. The incline was like an unending stair stepper on level 100 so I was struggling a bit, but, as usual, Nick was hopping up it like the energizer bunny. Once we go to our take off spot, we saw the incredible view. Behind us were majestic, breathtaking snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada and in front of us we could see Granada sprawled out beautifully on the landscape.

Now, I’ve never been afraid of heights but man were we up there! We got all of our equipment on and received a rundown from the guys about what were were to do (Corre corre corre=run run run!). Basically leap off of a mountain. No big deal right? Before I knew it, I saw Nick and Ramon sprint away into the air. I’d threatened to push him off a cliff a few times, but clearly he didn’t need my help. Seeing them take off made everything feel so real, and, before I knew it, I got the signal from Jorge to run too! As you can hear in the video, I was nothing but screams and giggles for the first few seconds. This was followed by some conversations in decent Spanish, too, but mainly speechless wonderment. It was super chilly up there, but I would have let my fingers get frostbite 100 times over for that experience. Between seeing the amazing mountains and picturesque city, feeling the parachute catch bursts of wind and gain altitude, and slowly falling into sprint on the side of a mountain, I was hooked (definitely investing in a set up when I’m not rocking a student’s budget). I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world and will forever be grateful to Nick, my best friend, for making it happen.

Mirador de San Nicolás

After a day that was action-packed to say the least, Nick and I settled down at one of the best spots in Granada to look at the Alhambra. Delicious (and apparently famous) ice cream in hand, we gazed at the amazing fortification and admired the charming classic beauty of the city. This, followed by churros con chocolate, and a showing of The Greatest Showman made for one of the best days in quite a long time.


Semester Spain