It's hard to say which moment is the most fascinating. Is it the first few seconds when the basket lifts off the ground? When it climbs higher and higher, when trees, houses and people become smaller and smaller? Is it the soundless gliding in the air, when your gaze wanders into the seemingly endless expanse? There is one thing everyone agrees on: a ride in a hot-air balloon is an unforgettable, literally uplifting experience.
But if you want to experience this fascination for yourself, you have to get up early (or keep the evening free). Because the thermal conditions are most favourable then, balloon flights usually take place in the morning or evening hours. In strong or gusty winds, however, the basket and the envelope, which weighs around 150 kg, should not lift off the ground. If there is only a one percent chance of a thunderstorm, the launch must be postponed. If all precautionary measures are observed, a balloon flight is statistically far less dangerous than driving a car, for example.
In preparation, the pilot first calculates the total weight of his "cargo", i.e.: the passengers, who must therefore declare their body weight before the flight. The propane burner, which heats the air in the balloon, is carefully checked for proper functioning. The envelope itself is usually made of tear-resistant, air-impermeable special nylon. It is first filled with cold air before the burner is used. The envelope then rises majestically little by little - until the air is heated to such a high temperature (around 100 °C) that the balloon and basket take off. When the holding ropes are cut, there is only one direction left: upwards.
Incidentally, the first creatures to take to the air in this way were a duck, a rooster and a mutton. They served as test passengers for the first balloon flight on 19 September 1783 in Versailles. Two months later, the Frenchmen François d'Arlandes and Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier were the first humans to dare a balloon flight. However, the brothers Jacques-Étienne and Joseph-Michel Montgolfier are considered to be the inventors of the hot-air balloon that can be used by humans. The silent aircraft are therefore also called Montgolfiers. After take-off, a hot-air balloon can only be steered indirectly, namely by the pilot changing the altitude by releasing hot air or heating it up again, thus taking advantage of the different wind directions. The wind alone decides where the journey goes. A balloon flight usually ends after about 75 to 120 minutes - for premiere passengers traditionally with a champagne christening. Those who prefer to forego this and drink the noble drop should simply let the organiser know beforehand.
These renowned hot air balloon events with participants from all over the world will take place over the next few months. All venues are within easy reach of a nearby Romantik Hotel.
Balloon Festival Grave, 09.08.-10.08. in Grave, Netherlands
Romantik Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt, Isselburg (DE)
Barnstorf Balloon Flying Festival, 23.08.-25.08. in Barnstorf
Romantik Hotel Walhalla, Osnabrück (DE)
Warsteiner International Montgolfiade, 30.08.-07.09. in Warstein
Romantik Landhotel Knippschild, Rüthen-Kallenhardt (DE)
Romantik Hotel Stryckhaus, Willingen (DE)
Romantik Berghotel Astenkrone, Winterberg (DE)
26th Lower Bavarian Hot Air Balloon Race, 30.08.-01.09. in Landshut
Romantik Hotel Fürstenhof, Landshut (DE)
Vredefeesten, 06.09.-08.09. in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Romantik Hotel de Orangerie, Bruges (BE)
12th International GermanCup for hot air balloons, 27.09.-29.09. in Pforzheim, Germany
Romantik Hotel Walk'sches Haus, Weingarten (DE)
Romantik Hotel Sackmann, Baiersbronn (DE)
If you want to go on a balloon flight yourself, you will find plenty of offers from local providers on the internet. The Romantik Hotel Hof zur Linde in Münster-Handorf even offers its guests specially organised high-altitude flights in Münsterland with its magnificent moated castles. A balloon flight over the wildly romantic Tauber valley is also an unforgettable experience. At Happy Ballooning (happy-ballooning.eu), you can book anything from a sunrise flight to an evening flight - and then enjoy your stay at the Romantik Hotel Markusturm.
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