For our last kite festival of the season we were lucky enough to be off to Berlin. At first glance it seems a long way for a one day festival so was it worth it? Well, of course it was!
This was our second visit to Germany this year and we have to say we love it. The festivals are supremely well organised (as you might expect!) and very well attended by the public. Different country’s kite festivals have a different feel, but what is it about Berlin that makes it special? Well, it has to be the location – Berlin Tempelhof Flughafen. The former Berlin Airport complex is now a protected Historic Site and the runway area open as a public park. It’s not that it’s big, it’s REALLY BIG!
The field is one giant arena that is shared by the single line fliers, sport kite fliers and even one or two land boarders. Speakers around the edge of the field relay the commentary and ballet music to the thousands of spectators around the edge. At this festival we were also sharing the PA time with a live band who were rocking out at one end of the field. This took a little getting used to but actually gave a great atmosphere to the event.
Unfortunately for the kiters there was very little wind during the morning. The Flying Squad and Air4Ce were there to fly Revolution kites and did a great job in the light winds. However, the conditions were more challenging for the guys with the large inflatable kites. Were they deterred? No, of course not! The teams took it in turns to pre-inflate the kites with a fan and then, using a large lifter, run like mad to try to get the kites high enough for the crowds to see. As the guys usually doing the running around to fly kites, the two Revolution teams really enjoyed this turning of tables!
The wind picked up during the day and by the time of the night fly at the end of the day most of the fliers were happy with what they had been able to fly.
There was a small gathering Saturday night at the hotel and being in Germany it would have been rude not to have tried one or two of the local beers! Sunday saw us back at the airport but for a guided tour of the building. There isn’t enough space here to describe the experience but if you are ever in Berlin do yourself a favour and take the tour. Oh, but remember to wear comfortable shoes, it’s a long way round!
We would like to say a huge thank you to the organisers of the festival and to all the German fliers who made us feel so welcome. We had a blast and can’t wait to come back again.