An email from Fred triggered my curiosity to attend the hot air balloon festival at Kyle. I had been hearing about hot air balloon festivals from friends in Austin and wanted to have the first-hand experience. Few friends even scared me by talking about the freak accidents and I had my own inhibitions. But it really does no harm as long as you are not riding one of those 🙂
The early morning saw few of those colorful balloons already floating on Kyle’s skyline and the excitement was up. As the shuttle dropped us at the Kyle Lake park, the action had already begun. The odd one with the chariot’s shape took most of the attention initially, but it was for a moment. Soon the sun had lit up the sky and more and more multi color balloons were getting ready for their flights.
There was this huge team work for getting the balloon filled with hot air and then getting it ready for its flight was more hard work than it might be to pilot it, I imagine. The kids were really excited and the atmosphere was hot and thrilling.
Flying has always fascinated man and one of the first experiences of flying were through Hot air balloons. Hot air balloon remains an interesting way to enjoy a flight up in the air and festivals like Kyle’s “Pie in the Sky” Hot Air Balloon festival is an opportunity to watch this amazing skill in action, with a huge collection of colorful balloons making it to the sky.
My moment of ecstasy was when one of the Pilot’s offered some of us to take up for a brief moment, to experience the ride. As I got into the small basket crammed with few more enthusiasts, the feeling was amazing. Ditching the gravity by using this age old technology of hot gas, while feeling the real heat and noise of the flame was the exciting first-hand experience.
Took me back in time for a while when men might would have had attempted these feats using the means that they had. It must have been a tough experimentation. Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes took the first balloon flight on November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, in a balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers.
As we took some height, it was more of a fairy tale experience with suddenly all the people appearing tiny and with some nice views of the park and the activity around.
During a conversation with our pilot, I came to know that they do have lot more control than we really think. Since the balloon can be moved up and down using the flame, and there are different currents of air in different layers of the atmosphere, they can adjust the direction to suit. The landing was obviously much gentler than an aircraft.
It was absolute fun to catch that excitement while capturing some of those colorful panoramic shots into my camera. I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone and I and hoping to get a longer ride during my next encounter.