My first hot air balloon ride was remarkable not as much because of the views of downtown Albuquerque but because it was in the midst of hundreds of other balloons dotting the skies with striking colors. Today David and I got to take another flight which was remarkable because it took place along the Nile near Luxor.
We left the boat we are taking down the Nile around 6:00 am and took a ferry across the river and were then driven to the balloon launch site. Like the launch in Albuquerque, we were the second flight of the day and we arrived to find a gondola full of other tourists just back from their hop. We switched out groups a few people at a time to keep the weight in the balloon pretty consistent (lest it float away) and after a quick lesson in assuming the landing position we were away!
We flew over the small villages and past the Ramesseum and the Collosi of Memnon chasing our shadow across the sugar cane fields. It was a bit hazy in the morning so the pictures were not great but it was a really great way to see a different perspective on the ancient ruins.
As we came in to land in a field, the gondola bounced a couple of times and came to rest right against a sugar cane field. We had to wait for the ground crew to come and literally pull us back across a very muddy field (they were up the their knees in gooey muck as they dragged us) so that we could get out and they could deflate the balloon. We hiked a bit to the van and were soon on our way back across the Nile and to the next temple.
The Ramesseum from above
Flying past the Collosi of Memnon
Gliding across the sugar cane fields
This guy was just standing there as we landed. Seriously... he was just standing there.