Hot air balloons, bird’s-eye views of our world

By Sergio González | 10:20


Hot air ballon rides have become very popular since the Bristol Belle was manufacturated in 1967

The Montgolfier brothers were the first in designing a successful manned hot air balloon ride-an ornamented airship with a grandma’s curtain pattern look- after noticing a sheet rising by the updrafts of a chimney in their father’s paper-factory. The year was 1783 and the location Paris.

The first use given to Montgolfier’s balloon was as an observation post during the Revolutionary Wars of France, launched by the European Absolute monarchies who didn’t like liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Several centuries before, the Chinese strategist Zhuge Liang had created an unmanned hot air balloon for military signing during battles.

Nowadays, Kongming lanterns are the central part of the several Lantern Festivals held in many countries of Asia. The first full moon of the new year, thousands of people fill the skies with delicate rice paper lanterns, fueled by their incandescent wishes.

The principals applied to both designs are the same.

Hot air is lighter than cold one so the moment it gets warm, air goes up pushing down cool one, making air masses move. This goes on everywhere and in every size, from our homes -which are warmer upstairs- to the winds created in Earth’s atmosphere.

This force –known in physics as buoyancy– is what keeps the hot air balloon up in the cold air.

Ever wondered why hot air balloons do not have a seal at the bottom?

Hot and cold air don’t weigh the same so the pressure is different between them.  The air at the bottom of the envelope is cool, the same as the surrounding one, so it behaves like a cork preventing hot air from finding its way out.

Bird's-eye view of Luxor at dawn

Modern hot air balloons have become a popular entertainment anywhere in the world and the perfect birthday present. Enjoying a ride in the free air is an appealing idea for many but rarely we find the time or the reason. If you want to surprise somebody, here come several hot hot air balloon rides with the most amazing bird’s-eye views.

The Nile Valley is an unusual landscape, a flow of deep water bringing green life to the hottest sands in the world. But it’s ancient ruins and temples of pharaoh’s Egypt we are looking for. Rent a flight from Luxor to see it all like you never did.

We couldn’t leave Africa without a hot air balloon ride over Serengeti, the great National Park of Tanzania. Joining a balloon-safari at dawn to watch a family of elephants take a bath or herds of zebras running free in the vastness of the savannah is something we all should do at least once in our lifes.

If you are bold and looking for extreme sights, Quark Expeditions has the perfect offer for you. A tethered flight over the Artic Pole in extremely thick coats -if the weather is nice, it’s about 15º Celsius below zero.

South Asia has Bagan in Myanmar and Angkor-wat in Cambodia as the mystical balloon ride option. If you want to enjoy the same views of Buddhist temple complexes against a wild jungle that brought you here, you’d better lose ground. The pictures are always taken from the air.

In Europe, you can’t miss a flight over the hanging monasteries of Meteora in Greece nor an aerial view of the fairy-tale castles of the Loire Valley in Southern France.

The natural wonders of the American continent are huge in number and level of wooing experienced from viewers, but I would go to New York. We’ve seen so many time NY bird’s-eye views that unless we hit the basket we risk to have the feeling that something’s missing in our trip to the Big Apple.

The longest distance ever flown was from Japan to Canada in 1991, 5000 miles over the majestic Pacific Ocean. Concerning altitude, Mr. Singhania from Mumbai reached almost 70000 ft in 2005. Dare to beat them?

Photo Credit: Paul J Everett

Photo Credit: r h


  • posted by GBFDVHPPSXNAMPECJK | 29 August 2018, 20:26,

    Very nice info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thanks 🙂


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