Saturday, 27 March 2010

Hot air balloons near Chatellerault- One up, One down

We were driving home last Sunday evening when we espied in the sky two hot air balloons one higher than the other. As we approached, we veered off route to witness the excitement of an unexpected landing.

But the second one didn't need to make this emergency landing and continued its flight.
"Nobody can be uncheered by a balloon" said Winnie the Pooh. It brought back memories of my hot air balloon flight which took us across the nave of a cathedral. I must find the photographs taken before the digital camera age. We were on course to land either on the beach or a marshy field but fortunately a dryish field between the two was chosen...being lightweight I had the better basket landing. What fun and laughter completed the adrenalin rush especially when the champagne breakfast was served. I can still hear the gas jets and the smooth silence in the sky.

When I was a teacher I loved to tell the story about the Montgolfier brothers and the duck, chicken and goat which were transported upwards in a basket below the balloon. Animal rights welfare protagonists would have something to say about that! I now realise that history is not always accurate and we should not always believe what we read.

For example, although various references have been made that the Montgolfier brothers came from Ch√Ętellerault, our nearest very large town, I cannot find any references to prove this. It appears true he had a nephew who was associated with the town. It is also said the Ch√Ętellerault is the capital of the Montgilfieres, and yet the last National Championship of Montgolfieres (people who enjoy the sport of hot air ballooning) was in 2002 so I believe. I will have to go to the local library and see what I can discover.

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