A hot air balloon flight over Blois

Weightlessness in the Loire Valley

Discover the landscape of the Loire Valley from the air - the balloon experience is second to none

On a Sunday in August, we found ourselves in a field on the edge of the forest, north of Blois, preparing to experience our first balloon flight, finally making a childhood dream come true. The gigantic was canvas stretched out on the ground, and Mickaël, our pilot set about the task of filling it with air - cold first, followed by heated blasts from the burner.

As the envelope lifted gently, its true size reared up impressively, and we were ushered into the tiny wicker basket, taking off immediately without ceremony. Driven by the winds, the balloon carried us up above the foliage to reveal Blois and the river. The noise of the city drifted up to us, attenuated, as if on a cushion of cotton wool. Truly weightless, we floated towards the historic heart of the royal city.

Floating with the balloon over the châteaux, grazing the river in the early morning, through the mist and rays of the rising sun

Wide eyed at the sight of the royal Château de Blois, the three bridges over the Loire and the cathedral, superb in the light of this late summer afternoon.

Our balloon drifted over the river, and for a moment, the basket brushed against the surface of the water - an extraordinary feeling - before heading back upwards and towards the Forest of Russy.

Floating in silence, time seemed to stop. The basket nearly touched the treetops.

With deer grazing peacefully on the edge of the forest, unaware of our presence, we flew over a particularly charming château, where a big party was going on, the guests waving up at us. Back to earth with the gentlest of bumps in a vineyard, and to our delight we were invited to have a drink with them! Our heads are still up in the air!

Julie, Jane and John