But what’s he doing in the basket?

In the very early hours in what can only be described as the middle of nowhere (a very small village some 50 minutes out of the centre of Zürich), we were the 1st to arrive at the chosen meeting point. It was still dark, it wasn’t chilly but you might of benefited from a jumper; The English are used to such climes.

Within 10 minutes, some 30 or so enthusiasts also arrived.

Coffee & croissant‘s were served from a chaps car, and those pilots who were in charge of their balloons separated from the group had a pilot briefing.

We then drove to our chosen departure field which, quite literally is selected on the fly (pardon the pun) as you were driving along – about 10 minutes away from the initial briefing zone. A field, opposite a machinery sales office!

A carefully orchestrated and very well rehearsed unpacking of the trailer, basket, burners, and balloon meant that we were ready to lift off within 20 minutes from the car’s engine being turned off.

With the burners having filled the balloon we are ready for lift off.

It was quite possibly the most placid take-off I have ever, and will ever experience. A professional rope was clipped to the front of the car and when we had reached enough height Balthasar released the rope and we were drifting up slowly into the sky at a glacial pace.

The pictures ready to speak for themselves. We were flying for about 90 minutes and it is possibly one of the most surreal experiences I have ever encountered.

As we drifted over the Swiss villages, all that could be heard was the sound of cowbells hanging round their necks as they were herded across a field; that combined with the church bells meant a 7:30 AM flight on a Saturday morning was quite a pleasant and majestic way to start the weekend!

Thank you to Balthasar and Hugo (the retrieval driver) for a truly epic flight.