Monday, April 26, 2010

Finally... Up in the air!

Do you remember I was planning to do something special on our Anniversary which the weather didn't allow us? (HERE)

Well finally we did it this weekend.

That was the surprise I had planned for Ashu booking a hot air balloon flight for both of us. First time on our anniversary, day was nice and sunny but it had been raining previous week and so fields weren't dry enough for take off and landing. Second time re-scheduled on weekend of my birthday, again day was nice and sunny but it got a bit windy in noon and in a direction which meant going towards sea, not nice thing.

Only thing it didn't remain surprise until we finally did it. After two failed planning, I had to let Ashu know what was that surprise! And you would have seen his face at that moment when I told him, aaah lit with delight hehehe.

And then he was no more upset with what it is, why not this time, this is not done and all frustration and he started looking fwd to it as much as I was.

We had re-scheduled it again for this weekend and finally it was weather perfect, nice sunny warm, perfect for outing, or shall I say outing in the air !

We started for Amersfoort - Hoogland from where our flight was to take place in the evening. We were to meet at this small field from where we would take off. There was one other balloon flight too apart from us which was taking place.

It started with Michael, our pilot briefing us on to do-- not to do and how to do! Sanne, who was my contact through mails, helped us to understand a few things by translating in English.

Most exciting part of whole experience was take off. We started with inflating the balloon with cold air first. Then filling it with hot air. When there is enough hot air inside it starts getting up. Ohh and you are supposed to be inside the basket before it's up.

So while basket is lying on the ground, half of us get into that, apart from those helping with the task of holding balloon straight. Then as air fills in basket tilts upward making it straight and that's the time rest of the passengers gets in.

And then before you know it's in the air. Obviously while it's straightening it's tied with jeep as well until it's straight enough to avoid accidents.

It was a wonderful sight from above. We could see Amersfoort, Utrecht also Amsterdam, Rotterdam at distance.

Awesome view!

Spotted palace from above...

Spotted some fellow travelers in the air...

Awesome sunset view, loved it :o)

Spotted some wild cows in the woods...

That’s the ground where we landed…

We landed at Hilversum - Flying school ground. There were some small cute planes lying around there... hehe

That’s top of balloon opening for hot air to escape….

And perfect landing….

Trying to flatten the balloon, look how tiny they look against the balloon!

When we reached other crew members were already there with help of GPS.

We all helped with again flatting the balloon and packing it.

After everything was packed, Michael again gave a small speech on history of ballooning. Then we had tradition of "champagne christening", followed by a glass of champagne together.

This is the view I captured after pack up…

I don't need to mention it was such a memorable evening or do I? :o)


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