Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hot Air Balloon Flights

There can be few more pleasurable things in life than taking a hot air balloon flight. Just the sight of these great glowing flying balls brings excitement to all that see them. Even those on the ground cannot help themselves, they just have to point out the hot air balloons to all those around them.

And for those on the ground below them the roar from the gas burners, which heat the air to give the lift, is intoxicating.

I am not sure where the notion came from but a hot air balloon flights is also inexorably linked to feelings of romance. It’s rare you get a gang of lads taking a hot air balloon flight for a stag night activity – which is odd really as low flying and loud gas burners are pretty bloaky things really.

But I guess that’s the way it is, so you need to arrange to get up there with someone special, or the family or on a corporate function!

Champagne also seems to come as standard with most Hot Air Balloon flights – which is of course no bad thing!

I was lucky enough to experience a great flight in a hot air balloon several years back - my neighbour was a keen, and daring, balloonist. A friend had told me how he had gently touched the basket down on the surface of the local river on evening as they took a flight – apparently the look on the face of the long boat passengers as the rounded the bend in the river to see a huge flaming hot air balloon on the water was on to remember! Their language was probably not in the romantic category!

So what’s it like – taking a flight in a hot air balloon? Well the big surprise to me (which shows my stupidly rather badly) was of the silence and calm of the whole experience. I don´t know why but, obviously without thinking about it much!, I was expecting it to be noise and windy up there. I could not have been further from the actual experience. With hindsight you are travelling with the wind, and hence at the same speed as the wind, so there is no wind noise and no wind to feel! Which makes it even more epic.

The ‘take off’ and ‘landing’ (I guess this depends a little on the conditions and the pilot) were spectacular. We took off in snow in the greenery of the UK and landed among cows! Fantastic.

I hope I have whetted your appetite for this stunning experience. Here’s a few places you may want to give it a try –

Hot Air Ballooning in Australia - amazing landscapes, amazing colours and an amazing activity!

Hot air ballooning in Spain – Europe’s 2nd most mountainous country, enjoy a sunny balloon ride in stunning scenery.

Hot Air Ballooning in the UK – it you are looking for colourful and green scenery a low flight over the UK fields, towns and villages is stunning.

Hot Air Ballooning in Turkey – some amazing scenery to over fly here, especially in the wierd and wonderful Cappadocia mountains.

Hot Air Ballooning in Dubai – what a great way to witness the dunes, the gulf and the Dubai skyline.

Hot Air Ballooning in the USA – this is one big country! And hence offers and amazing variety of flying experiences.

Up up and away in my beautiful baloooooon!

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