We’ve all wished we could fly when growing up, and unfortunately we still smack the ground hard when we trip. Damn gravity! But there is the next best thing to flying that will send you floating high in the sky with the wind blowing through your hair… hot air ballooning! With many different deals and packages being offered these days, there is a trip in the sky to cater everyone. Soon you’ll be finding yourself singing Nelly Furtado’s, ‘I’m Like A Bird’ while you’re looking down at the world bellow.
The first hot air balloon that could propel through the air (and not be pushed by just the wind) was created by the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne, on December 14, 1782. It wasn’t until November 21, 1783, the first unleashed trip carrying and being controlled by humans (previous testing’s had only been done with animals whilst the balloon was leashed) was performed by two men, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes, in France.
Hot air ballooning still remains popular today, with many different places around the world offering flights. One tradition done on some balloon flights is the champagne toast upon landing. Legends say early French aeronauts would carry champagne to appease angry or frightened spectators at the landing sites. These days you might find some balloonists recite the ‘The Balloonists Prayer’ along with the champagne toast.
“The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.”
This adventure definitely belongs on your bucket list,
so make sure you write it down.
– Lights x