Monday, August 24, 2009

Up, Up, And Away

As most of you know, the Loire Valley is a popular tourist destination in France because of all of the royal châteaux up and down the river. Where we live, we are in close proximity to four of the "biggies," namely Chambord, Chenonceau (the one pictured in the banner at the top of the blog), Cheverny, and Valençay.

The balloon flying low in the Cher River valley.

Hot air ballooning is a very popular tourist activity here as well. It gives people a chance to fly over some of the castles and vineyards that are spread all over the valley. There are a few balloon operations based in our area and we will frequently see their craft floating by the house and over the vineyards. Hot air balloons are called montgolfières (after the inventors) in French.

You can see the burner going in this shot (click to enlarge).

This one came by at seven on Sunday morning. Callie and I were just heading out for our walk and we heard the tell-tale whoosh! of the propane burner keeping the air inside the balloon at the proper temperature. The sun was just coming up, so the photos are a bit dark, but I think they came out okay.

An evening shot of the balloon. You can see its color better now.

Later, in the evening, the balloon was back up and floated above the back yard and over the vineyard, so I snapped a closer shot (above). Back in June I took a little video of Callie barking at the balloon flying over the vineyard. If you didn't see it, you can find it here.


  1. Oh, I remember that little video :))

    Cool photos today, plus I love the one of your garden shed window with the flowerbox. How scenic!


  2. I always thought it would be cool to do that. Any information on what it might cost?

  3. judy, thanks. The window box photo is from a couple years ago.

    starman, we looked into it once in 2006 and the price was about €150 per person.


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