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)


Ashu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashu said...

Let me take the honor to write 1st comment on this :) . First of all THANKS for the wonderful, exiting and adventurous gift. It was worth experiencing

I have already started dreaming about our next SURPRISE anniversary gift. I hope it’s not parachute diving from 10000 ft. :) . Just an IDEA :) .
I am sure that you will come up with something more scary and adventurous :(.

Between - Don’t you think we should start celebrating our anniversary every month (with such spl. Gift : ) ....

sagarika said...

First of all can I comment on the above comment ? got such a sweet comment lopa..haha..hope you guys have more surprise anniversary gifts like this... :)

Now I understood y you wait for ur weekends...I would love to wait for weekend if my weekends are so adventurous as urs enjoy kar yaar..

thamarai said...

beautiful beautiful pics! :) and such an awesome gift!

dhara said...

Hey Lopa... You really had a Suppppeeerr Experience...Can imagine ke tane ketli majaa avi hashe. Nice post and pics.

~ Lopa said...

@ Ashu 

Nice idea sirji ;o) Let's do it ... hehe
I don't mind celebrating Anniv. everymonth, but just remember that won't mean only me surprising you but also weight of your pocket getting lighter and lighter... hehehe
Love you for accepting me as I am.

~ Lopa said...

@ sagarika 

thanks thanks :o)

When i read "Life enjoy kar yaar", i thought how come you are commenting in Gujarati, then realised ohh in Hindi also it's same...hehe
you find a right companion then your weekend will be also adventurous and fun all weekends, even weeks ;)

~ Lopa said...

@ thamarai 

Thanks viji... seems very busy, hardly catch you now a days... but ya it's same with me too, not able to give blogs much time.

Hope you are enjoying the sun :o)

~ Lopa said...


Thanks Dhara, yes it was fun... when you visit us, we will go it together...hehehe :o)

Life Begins said...

Oh wow..thats lovely!
It sure sounds a fantastic outing :)
I myself have been wanting to do it for quite sometime...perhaps now i can get some quick details from u( saving me all the task of searching)

sagarika said...

'you find a right companion then your weekend will be also adventurous and fun all weekends, even weeks ;)'

haha r u hinting me something here...:P.....

hehe I don't know gujarati yaar..(though I would love to learn n visit the city once) ..I have soft corner for gujarati's yaar..had a very special friend who is frm gujarat..

AmitL said...

Oh,wow...a balloon trip-I never got enough courage to try one...great pics,too.Yes,it does seem to hv been a memorable evening for u.:):)
Incidentally, I read about a gas balloon accident in Dxb,today morning..sad case..might mention it in a post-but,u know me-I avoid sad posts.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... commenting so late on this post.
In pastI have experienced, how it feels like being lifted up in the air. During my last visit to Indonesia, I did the parasailing there and it was awesome experience. In parasailing you are all alone in a sky moving around like bird and feeling like suddenly god has given you the wings. It was amazing experience then.

In SG, previously we had hot air ballon but it was just taking ppl into the sky and was not travelling in the sky so I didn't find it worth to spend hugh amount on that. But one day given an opportunity, I would also like to try Hot Air Baloon n travel through the sky.

Anonymous said...

forgot to compliment you on taking nice pictures.

~ Lopa said...

@ Life Begins 

Hey finally i see you here... sorry for responding to your comment so late, last weeks have been crazy.
Yes, any time.... whenever you want more info about it just drop a line to me and i promise it wont take this much time to get back on that :o)

~ Lopa said...

@ sagarika

Yes, I am hinting you to move here then you have we as companions ... haha
Now you have one more Gujarati friend... moi ;o)

~ Lopa said...

@ AmitL 
Yes it was fun... ! And it's so simple, you don't need a lot of courage to try one... its simplest of all the in-air things ;o)
Glad that you didn't came through any accident before we did this and posted it which would have scared us to try it...hehe

~ Lopa said...

@ krunalc 
I know parasailing is fun !
And yes agree if they are not travelling whats the point of just going up and down in the balloon, kind of just taking the view from up and coming down? Like we all do at all touristy places going up on highest tower and get the view...something similar huh?

Thanks a lot for your comment and complimenting nice words :o)

Sayesha said...

OMG awesome!!! I wanna do this toooo!!!!!!!!!!

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