AS HUMAN BEINGS we nearly all have some type of Bucket List whether it is in our heads or written in a notebook from when you were a teen. If there is one thing that you can find on people’s travel bucket lists I’m sure somewhere on the list, there is a hot air balloon ride. I traveled to Prague just for a short 4-day city break and when I explored the internet and came across the opportunity to go up in a hot air balloon I couldn’t say no. I mean it is an experience of a lifetime, although the thought of getting out of bed at 4 am is not something I am enthusiastic about, I had to do it, sure wouldn’t you? The family owned company- Balloon Adventures Prague were the ones I trusted to carry out my first flight experience. The company offer two flight options; a sunrise flight or a sunset flight and it being my last day in Prague I decided to do a sunrise flight as it was a perfect way to say goodbye to the breathtaking city.
Matej (the companies transport driver) collected us at 4:30am from our apartment joined with other eager tourists from around the world. It took approximately 40 minutes to arrive at the destination. There was a lot of anticipation as we all watched a huge balloon been blowing up by fire attached to a van so it wouldn’t blow away however, we were given a selection of pastries and drinks to fill our nervous bellies. The pilot Jan was very welcoming and made us all feel at ease as soon as we saw him beginning to work, he knew exactly what he was doing. We were shown a safety demonstration and all had to sign a weaver. Now for the experience...
Three people fit into each corner of the box, it is a lot bigger than you may think so there is enough room if you want to look over the edge or stay in the middle. I would recommend taking warm clothes as it was a little chilly waiting for the balloon to inflate, however once you’re in the air the burners will keep you warm and cozy. The flight lasted for about an hour but if I had it my way I would’ve stayed up for another two hours, it was breathtaking and not to mention much smoother than an airplane flight even the landing was peaceful. Jan showed us everything we wanted to see, from the skyline of Prague city to even lowering us right down into a corn field and then into a lake! It was amazing to see people running out of their homes with their kids pointing up at us with grins on their faces waving at us while we floated over their house.
The fun part of the flight was that you don’t have a specific landing spot so Jan has to keep an eye out where he can land the balloon, he shared stories with us about the many times he had to land in someone's garden or even on their road and had to repay them with beer or sometimes money! I was in shock; I think it would be a magical experience to see a hot air balloon land in my back garden but I know Max (my dog) wouldn’t be too happy with it. At the end of the flight you are presented with a certificate from Jan and glasses of prosecco, you may think at 6am it is too early for some bubbly but the adrenaline makes you forget about the time.
Take the risk, tick the bucket list and float to the stars! If you are interested in traveling to Prague and want to take part in a hot air balloon flight, then here is the website! www.balloonadventures.cz