Riding in a Balloon

I have always wanted to go for a balloon ride. It seemed like a magical thing to do, but I didn't think too seriously about it because it seemed like it would be a long time before we could actually afford it. So it was a little unreal when the travel agent not only offered us a balloon ride at sunrise over Luxor, but also offered a price we could justify. Since the revolution, Egypt has been struggling to bring in the number of tourists they are used to, which is unfortunate for them, but worked in our favor.

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We had to get up way before the sun was up and take a boat ride across the Nile to the west bank where the balloons take off. Several balloons were preparing to go up, and my idea of magic was not disappointed. As the balloons fill up, they alternate lighting up as the fire heats up the air inside.

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There were about 20 people in the basket with us, not including the crew. As I was standing in the basket waiting for the balloon to take off I suddenly got rather nervous. It occurred to me that I was going to go up in the air in a basket and it would probably wobble and we would all fall out. As I was worrying about this, the balloon secretly took off and before I even realized we were 10 feet off the ground, and then a whole lot more. It's the smoothest take off I've ever experienced. If you closed your eyes (or keep them open) you won't notice. You're just suddenly floating. The basket doesn't rock, no one falls out (even Jordan who's perhaps a little too tall for the height of the basket), you're just floating, like, well, a balloon.

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The balloons aren't supposed to cross the Nile because the airplanes fly on the east side, but of course, a balloon goes where it wants and ours wanted to go over the river. So we went over the river.

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Of course it looks magical floating over the Egyptian countryside at sunrise.

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And then, just like in the all the stories I've read about, the balloon landed in a field. The farmer was actually out plowing when two balloons decided to land right where he was working.

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Then a shepherd came by with his flock and I ended up with one of the lambs. I'm still not entirely clear how that happened, but I like to think I look like a natural.

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Recent Comments

Lisa Decosse
Lisa Decosse Thu, 02/07/2013 - 01:18

What an incredible opportunity. Great pics.

christy cole
christy cole Mon, 12/31/2012 - 20:08

WOW!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your pictures!!! It's something I've always wanted to do, even more so now having seen your shots!!!

Shawna Adkerson
Shawna Adkerson Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:43

Absolutely Gorgeous Photos!!! I've always wanted to do this, but my slight fear of heights probably will keep me from ever riding in one. :(

Lizanne Killian
Lizanne Killian Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:31

Wow, that looks absolutely amazing! And what beautiful pictures - thanks for sharing! I have yet to take a balloon ride myself - maybe that will be one of my "bucket items" for the future...

Marisa Lerin
Marisa Lerin Fri, 11/30/2012 - 00:14

There's no door on the basket, so you have to climb in, a bit like climbing a fence (there are foot holds). The landing is a bit bumpy, but you're braced for it.

Liz Smith
Liz Smith Thu, 11/29/2012 - 23:57

I've always wanted to go on a balloon ride, but DH doesn't.
How did you get in and out of the basket and was the landing bumpy?

Shuckclod Meow
Shuckclod Meow Thu, 11/29/2012 - 21:25

Love the black lamb! I would never go in a hot air balloon. I hate to fly :( The pictures are great, they sure live close together. Thank you for sharing.

Angela Hoynes
Angela Hoynes Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:15

wow, an amazing adventure!

Lady Phillippa
Lady Phillippa Thu, 11/29/2012 - 11:50

Wow! That's amazing! I'm surprised they can fit that many people in a balloon, too. I had no idea.

Marisa Lerin
Marisa Lerin Thu, 11/29/2012 - 09:22

We were just there less than two weeks ago. So it's still fresh!

Emelyn Magpoc
Emelyn Magpoc Thu, 11/29/2012 - 09:18

WOW!! What an amazing adventure!! And how cute for you to hold a lamb!! I was wondering how tourism is doing there after the revolution, when did you go on this trip? Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!!

Kristen Hess
Kristen Hess Thu, 11/29/2012 - 09:12

Wow, amazing photos! We lived in Albuquerque for a year and never managed to get a balloon ride in and I've kicked myself for that for nearly 10 years. Now, I'm really kicking myself. (But doing a ride in Egypt would be even more amazing.) Thanks for sharing.

Fernanda Pudo
Fernanda Pudo Thu, 11/29/2012 - 08:55

Hi Marisa,

I just want to congratulate you! After a couples months out of the computer, I found your website done and just perfect!
Please keep going the great job!

God bless.

Sarah MacIntosh
Sarah MacIntosh Thu, 11/29/2012 - 08:37

What a beautiful experience! Your photos are breathtaking (and I'm sure in person it was even more so!) Thanks for sharing!

Marisa Lerin
Marisa Lerin Thu, 11/29/2012 - 07:17

Cappadocia would be a wonderful place for a balloon ride!

Brooke Gazarek
Brooke Gazarek Thu, 11/29/2012 - 07:05

Reading about your experience, and Oh, the photos -- incredible! Thanks for sharing! Just stunning!

peggy aplSEEDS
peggy aplSEEDS Thu, 11/29/2012 - 00:25

oh my goodness, what an amazing experience! look at those pictures! i saw a lot of balloons when we were in cappadocia but since we were on a group tour didn't even have time to ask how much. too expensive, i guess. but wow, maybe i should add a balloon ride to my bucket list!