- up up and away -

filling upOne moment you’re sat behind your desk, tapping away at the keyboard, wishing you were outside skiing. Then, you get a call and your wife says that there is a spare place in a hot air balloon and would I like to go? Would I like to go?!? I was out the front door in less than ten seconds. Admittedly I had to run back inside to get gloves and a hat. Then I had to go back inside to get all my camera stuff!

A Dutch ballooning group use the farm once a year in the winter to take guests up in their balloons. They very kindly offered the

The farm from above

family a couple of free places and because everyone else had already been, Martin and Barbara suggested that I might like to go. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

So what was it like? The set up was great fun, watching the pros skilfully unfold and attach all the necessary parts together. Also watching the balloon getting inflated only added to the anticipation of the flight. The children were running around and the pilot let me take a few pictures from inside the balloon as it was being inflated. Next the burners were fired up to increase the temperature inside the balloon then we were told to jump in the wicker basket.

fantastic views

It amazed me how quickly we took off. We had climbed probably 200-300m in a matter of seconds. One minute you could see all the children waving and smiling then they were mere dots scattered around the farm.

For me the first part of the journey was the best. As the wind took us over all the areas that I regularly mountain bike on. Great seeing everything from this view point. With Martin and Barbara in the balloon as well, it was interesting listening to all their stories about all the other farmers in the area, as they pointed out their farmhouses.

towards Kitzbuehel

The wind took us east, along the face of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range, over Ellmau, past Going and we finally came down about 3km away from St. Johann. Fantastic views in all directions. Across to Kitzbuehel, we could see the Winter Snow Polo competition which we were planning to visit the next day.

The descent was much tamer and we had a large snow covered field to come down in. After more photographs and a bit of helping to pack away the balloon, we all set off home again with smiles on our faces.