Western Spirit Balloon Tours and Events travel blog

"The" Band

Cooper

Opening Ceremony in the Snow

Opening Ceremony

HR Giger Museum

Opening Day - Crew

Opening Day - Jon and Robin

The famous Chateau d'Oex church in the snow

Gruyere Castle French Gardens


It has been snowing like crazy since the middle of the night and many inches of snow on the ground. Jon, Al, Steve and Jeff went to the morning Pilots meeting for the weather briefing. The opening ceremony was still held at noon in the snow with three sponsor balloons (Parmagiani, BCV and Chateau d'Oex) balloons tethering but no other balloons flying today. Honored guest David Cooper, who was a member of the Breitling crew that launched from Chateau d'Oex in the first successful around the world balloon flight, arrived on the launch field via helicopter.

We all worked together and combined the borrowed equipment and our US balloon stuff into one perfect system ready to fly if the weather clears tomorrow.

We took advantage of the weather and drove to Gruyere in the Fribourg foothills to tour the Gruyere Castle and have a late lunch of cheese fondue and Cailler chocolates at the Hotel de Ville. Gruyere Castle was built between 1270 - 1282 and has had 19 Counts that have lived there over five centuries. Great stories of wars, fair maidens (beautiful Lucy), and Knights were all part of the tour. One can imagine how beautiful the gardens are in the summer. In 1983 it was turned into a public museum and is supported by a private foundation. We also stopped at the Giger Museum and bar that is in the Castle complex. H. Giger created the monster in the Alien movies and the bar is a real HOOT with table chairs and bar stools made from skeletons of the monster.

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