Berlin Base Flying
Berlin is so cool that you can actually fly off one of it’s tallest buildings without dying. Because Berlin is a bit hipster like that… like the cool kid of Europe who went that one step further and decided that Base Flying from it’s tallest hotel, the Park Inn Hotel in Alexanderplatz, would be an amazing addition to the world of adrenalin fuelled gravitational fun.
You know what? The cool kid always gets it right.
I decided to try the Base Flying experience during my time in Berlin because it was an alternative addition to the historical sights that define your time in this city. It’s even said to be unique thoughout Europe. I’m an adrenalin junkie and jumping out of a plane is one of my travel dreams but the thought of bungee jumping freaks me out.
Base Flying means that you fly – roped up on a special construction – almost 125 meters from the roof of the hotel. It fascinated me and I figured that the different positioning of the harness on this (yes, I studied the website and videos in full detail) put it in a slightly lower ‘shit yourself’ category since you are face down, harnessed in the middle and not bounced back up by a single rope.
Altogether the experience lasts around half an hour and costs 49 Euros. I felt completely secure in my harness and it’s all fully tested out for both comfort and safety before you walk the plank. The guys there have a great sense of humour so any nerves you have are put at ease and they also welcome you to scream all the way down, in order to entertain the crowds below in Alexanderplatz.
Then the flying position you tested out becomes reality as you dangle up and away from the plank, trying to take in the fantastic city landscape around you while switching from giddy excitement to intense pangs of fear.
And I loved each and every moment of the 8-10 second ride. My friends and family thought I was mental, but as I said to them: it’s just a few seconds of your life. Even if you think you are going hate it, the journey down is not that long. Except you might not hate it at all. I met a girl up there who was taking her sixth flight. She was addicted to the rush and even had the t-shirt to prove it (t-shirts = dedication).
The rush of free-falling and complete weightless is immense as you navigate through the air high on that feeling you get when your heart skips a beat and your whole body goes numb for just a couple of seconds. And then you land, being pulled in by two people, one of which eventually pulls out her radio and says ‘contact’. That’s when you know you’ve made it as you look up at the giant hotel structure, savouring a moment you can’t describe because it all happened so fast and then realise that all you are doing is smiling and saying “That was AMAZING!”
I’d do it all over again… this time with a Go-Pro camera strapped to my head (the official videos were a bit pricey at 19 Euro). Berlin might be rich in history, but it’s also got adrenalin in droves. Go get yourself some and take home a bit of new Berlin ‘cool’. Check it all out here.
Many thanks to Jochen Schweizer who kindly invited me to try the base flying activity. All opinions are my own.