Hot Air Ballon Ride Over Suffolk And Norfolk, England, UK
Today we, Simon and I went on a balloon flight.
I will try to find words as best I can to describe today's experience. It will not be easy !
But let's start with the beginning.
We woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning, had our coffee and ready to leave about 4.45. We had to be at the rendezvous location at 6 o'clock
and from our place to there it is about one hour.
The journey there was a delight! Thought not so much for Simon driving and having to be careful of all the animals on the road, especially pigeons!
I saw the sun rise far away at the horizon, over the fields with rich, nice crops.
But it wasn't only the sun rise. Because during the day it has been very warm and during the night the temperature dropped quite a lot, everything was covered with a thin white blanket, nature was wrapped in it. You could see the top of the trees and the houses coming out of this blanket.
You couldn’t call it mist because it was a very beautiful cover! It was so beautiful !
In time, while the sun was going up, the blanket transformed into a scarf which was winding around the trees, the nature, going up itself, slowly disappearing. I couldn’t stop showing my excitement !
Exactly in time we arrived at the point, Brome near Eye, Suffolk, of departure with the balloon.
We were 16 for today's flight. The staff in charge were: Mel, Sean the captain and Warwick.
The basket was lying on one side, like a huge basket you use for picnic ! They had already started to stretch the balloon and after a short briefing and training about what will happen and how they asked for our help to get the balloon ready. Everything was like in a fairy tale: the meadow where we were, the way that the rays of the sun passed through the trees, the mist still hanging on in the air and making the light look unearthly and the BALLOON! It was exactly as you see it on the television, just it was real, in front of you!
It started to inflate, slowly rising from the ground like a giant waking up, unsteady, but determined to stand up !
When everything was ready: the balloon in the air, all the ropes connected between the balloon and the basket, we climbed in. Simple, as you climb in a box, and the next moment we were in the air ! It was extraordinary the way everything was so smooth and easy ! If you closed your eyes and imagine you were alone you could feel like your body was floating and moving by itself in the air ! The peace, the air, the beauty around you were indescribable ! The truth is that one can’t describe exactly how it is, only somebody who did the same thing can really understand.
Sean, the captain was dealing with the balloon and Warwick was with us too.
I realized it is not easy to handle the balloon. First because there is no turning right or left, just up and down. But by taking the balloon up and down you can make it also turn because of the change in the pressure of the atmosphere. This was all explained by the captain. He was taking the balloon up and down by using the burners which were on top of the basket, above our heads. Which he did a lot, and it was not easy. At a moment we were quite low, not even above the trees and heading towards two groups of trees! The captain managed to take the balloon exactly between ! It was fun ! And the next minute we were high up again !
Sean told us that we were about 1000 feet up. He could take us up to 2000 feet but above that the oxygen would be rare so it wouldn’t be too comfortable for you.
The flight took about one hour. We were briefed what to do and how to sit for landing, "landing position". We were warned that it would be bumpy and be prepared. But the landing, because the captain was very good, was quite smooth: we were just a little bit shaken while the basket touched the ground and was dragged a bit. That was all ! We were again on the ground, on a field just harvested, it was barley.
Mel followed us with the little truck. We helped again, packing the balloon, pulling the basket on the platform attached to the truck. To reach civilization some of us climbed back in the basket in the back of the truck (of course I and Simon were among those) and others got in the truck. Even this little journey was full of fun, passing through bushes and trees !
Champagne and a bus to takes us back to where we left from were waiting for us !
About half past eleven we were back home, still in awe from the experience we'd just had !
If you fancy a hot air balloon ride over parts of Suffolk and Norfolk, our flight was with Broadland Balloons. We highly recommend them. Our flight was a wonderful experience!
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