Western Spirit Balloon Tours and Events travel blog

Our launch site - Saanen Airport (really icy!)

Saanen airport from the sky

Old Roman church in Rougemont

Our Irish Friends - the Meath Balloon

Jon looking at the instruments

What a view!!!

Who's flying the balloon?

The landing site!

What a great trailer - and fabulous crew!

At the Pilots meeting this morning, we were told that the cloud cover and incoming weather in Chateau d'Oex was not conducive to balloon flying until 2:00 pm. BUT!!!! We could drive about 5 miles up valley towards Gstaad to an airport where all the "pretty people" land their jets (kind of like Aspen Airport!!) to go skiing in Gstaad and Chateau d'Oex). We could launch from the tarmac of the airport if we could do it quickly while they stopped the jets from landing. It was a unique experience since we were launching on ice with a light snow cover (tricky at best!!). It was very cold indeed!

Jon, and our dear Swiss friends Pierre and Magili flew and had a fabulous flight down valley landing on a ski run of the Rougemont side of the Chateau d'Oex ski area. It was amazing to see these seasoned pilots "dancing in the winds". Jon had a great steam of wind carrying him straight to the target on the launch site down valley, so several pilots were trying to get very close and ride the same winds. An Irish balloon was so close, they looked like they were dancing around each other in the sky. Jon followed the "best of the best" onto this landing site. Roland de Montgolfier, the great great great grandson of the first balloon pilot in Annonay, France landed right before Jon in the same spot. We traded pins and he gave us a wonderful book about their balloon and ballooning history.

We had a great lunch at Le Chalet Frommagerie of cheese fondue and chocolate. We were all exhausted after such a big flight and two loads of laundry so we napped and snacked then had dessert about 8 pm and headed for bed.

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