Monday, July 23, 2007

Thanks, Nir!

So a sheep, a rooster, and a duck walk into a hot air balloon...

I know, it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But it actually describes the first-ever montgolfiere (hot air balloon) ride with living beings, a test drive carried out in front of the King of France in 1872 by its inventors, the brothers Montgolfier.

And thanks to the generosity of the best man at my wedding, Nir Modiano, Claire and I took our own hot air balloon flight on Saturday. He bought us tickets for our wedding gift and we finally had the chance to use them (for reasons which became apparent with the bumpy landing, pregnant women are forbidden to go, which is why we had to wait until now to go).

We took off close to the tiny ville of Moret-sur-Loing and drifted with the wind at about 30 km/hour for just less than an hour. It was truly a unique experience and a lot of fun. Thanks, Nir! Now for some pics:
.
French for the Day: the word for "to inflate" is "gonfler".
Liftoff! Each balloon held 10 people plus the pilot. There were 2 balloons launched at the same time, which was great because it allowed me to take pictures of the other balloon.
The second balloon flying just next to the nearby ForĂȘt de Fountainbleau on the distant left.
That's our shadow!

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