By Chuck Woodbury
I’ve flown twice in a hot air balloon: the first time in Northern California’s Sierra foothills and the second time in Cappadocia, Turkey. Both were spectacular experiences.
The photo below is of two balloons flying over Cappadocia, where a “must” for tourists is to fly in a balloon in the early morning and then shop for a Turkish carpet later. At daybreak, dozens of balloons rise into the sky at once. It’s a beautiful sight. For most passengers, the flight is cheap compared to the cost later of a carpet.
The one thing about flying in a hot air balloon that’s different from any other type of flying is that you are always moving at the speed of the wind. So there is never any wind in your face.
It’s perfectly quiet except for the sound of the infrequent release of propane and the flame that heats the balloon to keep it aloft. On my California flight, you could watch and hear dogs below bark as you passed. People came out of their homes and waved. We flew very low, so you could talk back and forth.
Balloon flights are offered all over North America, especially in popular tourist areas. Have you ever flown in one? Do you plan to?