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Five years ago today: Ballooning in Egypt


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Posted on Monday, April 28th, 2008 at 10:55 pm CET

Five years ago today, on 28 April 2003, we did one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. On this day we made a hot air balloon ride over Luxor and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Seeing the sunrise over the Nile was a wonderful experience. Here are some photos of this exciting journey:

Luxor Balloon Ride

A car picked us up at our hotel before dawn and we made our way to the balloon on the west bank of Luxor by car, ferry and another car. When we arrived at the balloon they were already setting it up:

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
It was a mad rush to the balloon as it already starting to lift off. Everyone scrambled to get in and get a place. There were a few extra passengers than officially allowed, so it was very tight.

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
After we were in the air the ground crew started with a second balloon right away, which you can see here:

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
We saw the sunrise over the horizon just after we lifted off:

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
Here you can see that the green strip around the Nile abruptly ends where the desert starts

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
These are the Colossi of Memnon, two huge statues that we had passed the day before when we biked around the west bank of Luxor:

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
It was so quiet up there and it was magical to hear all the animals wake up. We heard lots of chicken and donkeys and we could see them too, as you could look right into the courtyards and roofless houses:

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
There were several other balloons in the air over the Nile that morning:

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
This is our captain. We saw him later on an episode of Globetrekker when Megan visits Luxor and does the same balloon ride:

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
We landed in a field somewhere and had to wait for the pickup van to locate us. It was a smooth landing.

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
An audience of locals gathered quickly:

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
The captain had to keep the balloon in the air until the crew arrived. They then laid out a large tarp:

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
Then we could finally climb out of the basket:

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
Here’s Amy watching them fold up the balloon. The crew did a a little song and dance routine for us and all the passengers received a certificate and t-shirt.

Luxor Balloon Ride

 
I can’t believe it’s been five years already. It feels like yesterday.

 

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