Waking up at 4:30 am is never fun but is totally worth it when you get to ride a hot air balloon in Brno. It might not be a hot air balloon ride over Prague, but while I’m sure that would be a nice view, you just don’t get what Brno can offer. The Czech Republic (or Czechia, as it goes by now), has so much more to see than just Prague. And to see it from above, just WOW!
If a ride in a hot air balloon isn’t a bucket list item, I don’t know what is! It’s been on my list forever and I was both nervous and incredibly excited.
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Besides, Brno is only a 2.5 hour train ride from Prague and the region is full of history, gorgeous buildings, great food, and tons of wineries. There’s so much to do here and so much to explore. Not gonna lie, though, the hot air balloon was my favorite thing to do, followed up by cocktail bars and visiting wineries. But those are other posts! Back to the balloon.
View my YouTube video of the prep, ride, and landing
Prepping to fly in the balloon
There were 8 of us and as we walked up, they were unrolling the balloon. What a sight! Seeing the massive piece of fabric lying there on the ground and know that’s what is going to give us flight, well, it felt impossible.
The basket was taken off the trailer and placed sideways so the fan could be put on the ground and blow up the balloon a bit before the flames started.
While this was happening, some of the group actually went INSIDE the balloon. They were invited, of course! Don’t step on the balloon unless invited to do so. That’s your lifeline, people!
Once they started getting some hot air in there, the basket started to move and stand up-right. Then we were allowed to get in while it was still attached to the jeep. Little latter holes are built into the basket to be able to get inside easier.
Then it became real…I’m in a hot air balloon. WHAT?!
Thank you Tammi from www.tammileetips.com for this fun picture!
That probably comes off a bit silly for those to skydive or hang-glide or ride in a hot air balloon often, but for me it was magic.
Taking flight over Brno
We all piled into the basket and away we went! It may be obvious, but it’s all just so smooth with no sudden movements. I find the whole thing fascinating. We were taking flight in the Czech Republic in a basket held up by a balloon. So crazy.
The basket is divided into 3 sections two for passengers and one for the pilot where he has all his gear. From the gas to create the flame, to an iPad, to all the radios, he is prepared!
I was right next to the pilot which meant right next under the flame and it can get hot. So even if it’s chilly outside, I doubt you’ll be too cold if you’re by the heat source.
The pilot was so great about telling us where we were and what we were seeing, so we had some sense of direction and could see where we had previously been from a different perspective.
Sometimes we were chatting away with each other, sometimes we were taking photos (how could you resist?!), sometimes we were going live on social media to share the awesome view. But sometimes it was silent. No motor, no talking, no mechanical sounds. Then the fire would turn on and startle me back into reality. Then silence again. Have you heard silence before? Nothing making sounds–not even white noise. It was a moment when the silence helped drown out all the constant thoughts and left me feeling peaceful.
Landing in a hot air balloon
After about an hour of flight, our pilot looked for a spot to land and found it right on the other side of a cornfield where the crop had already been harvested. We were given a brief before we took off on how to land because, let’s be real here, the only way to steer is with a flame and a balloon.
Put your back towards the direction you are landing since you don’t just float down like a feather and land straight down. The balloon glides along until you touch the ground. There are handles inside the balloon to hold onto, and you really need to hold on in some cases!
For our ride, we glided in as normal, but the wind gusted a bit at the last second and slowly tipped us sideways as we were landing. It was so funny because we knew we were on the ground but, hey, Mother Nature has a sense of humor. We didn’t slide too far and we were all completely fine. This is why you listen to your pilot.
We crawled out with a good laugh and really, just couldn’t stop laughing for a while. Makes for a good story and better photos. Meh, if that’s a rough landing, I wouldn’t even worry about it.
Celebrate and pack it up
For the full experience, you get to help pack up the balloon! All you have to do is roll it into a hotdog shape and put clips around it. Then it gets rolled into a ball and put in a bag.
Do you know how to get all the air out of the balloon once it’s packed? Jump on it!
Celebrating with Champagne is a fine tradition in my opinion. Celebrating a successful flight in that way just sounds perfect to me! We “cheers” it up and got “baptized” with our first name and the name of the closest town where we landed.
Hi! I’m Jessica of Bratčice. Nice to meet you 🙂
The ceremony was highlighted by one of the crew members blowing in our hair, putting a bit of dirt of the land we landed on in our hair, almost lighting our hair on fire and dousing it out with a bit of champagne. Was not expecting that but what a fun routine!
If you want to take this awesome ride, Balon.cz are the people to take it with. They are so nice, informative, and really know what they are doing.
Would you ever take a hot air balloon ride? And if you have, where did you take it?
Wishing you love and travels!
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