Friday, October 16, 2009
Hot Air Ballooning in Bruges
My sister sees a flier in our hotel lobby for hot air ballooning. We make a few phone calls. We get picked up the next morning at 7 a.m. for a a three-hour ride at sunrise, followed by champagne and breakfast.
We get picked up with the balloon in a trailer. We test the wind direction with a rubber balloon at a VW dealership. We find out that the balloonist, Christoper, a driver, and my family will be running this whole production from setting up the balloon to putting it away.
The balloon gets rolled out and clipped on, now we're ready to fill it. This is windy.
Almost there! We're in a field next to a highway- the production is slowing down traffic.
From here it becomes a chaotic shouting of "Get in! Get in!" and scrambling to get into the basket. Inside the balloon, it's time to take off.
The strangest thing about this was that you never got to see the balloon floating from the outside, except in shadows and reflections. Above is the balloon floating over a lake.
The entire city of Bruges, from 1500 feet.
At the end of the ride we got soaked in champagne and fed delicious, butter pastries fresh from a local bakery. I was a little tipsy and adrenaline filled for pictures after our "crash" landing in a farmer's field, so you'll have to forgive the missing pastry pictures.