Up in the clouds
Up in the clouds. Your attention, please. Thank you. Well now. Have you ever dreamed of flying in a hot-air balloon? Before rushing into an answer try to remember your childhood days….are you sure you haven’t? Correct. Flying on a hot-air balloon has been a common childhood fantasy from the very first successful flights of the late 18th century. In fact, Paris was the first place where such a flight took place in 1783. A few years later its first military use brought the strange new invention into the sphere of practicality but the people’s and especially the children’s infatuation with the new flying machine grew even stronger.
According to Fiona Stafford, Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, there was a certain ‘balloon mania’ in Romantic literature from 1785 to 1830. The balloon craze continued well into the late 19th century with novels like Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) of the French novelist Jules Verne and others making the trip on a hot balloon a near-mythical human endeavor ingrained in the common literary tradition of the world forever.
What about today? Well, today you have the chance to fulfill your childhood fantasy. There are hot-air balloon flights that can last up to 3 and 4 hours outside of Paris (about a 50-minute train journey from Montparnasse train station) that cost up to €220 offering onboard dinner and champagne, while you fly above the French countryside with valleys, woods, castles, and charming villages. More