A great way to bask in the fresh air and soak in the beauty of Mother Nature is to take a hot air balloon ride. Many people have this activity on their bucket list, and for good reason. The views from above are priceless. The air is refreshing and being up in the sky is exhilarating. Consider hopping into a hot air balloon the next time you have a special event to celebrate or want a thrilling adventure.
Hot Air Balloon Facts
The first concept of a hot air balloon may date back to 181-280 AD in China. The unmanned balloons were first used for military signaling. The early balloon was basically an airborne lantern, similar to the ones launched today at weddings and other celebrations. They could be seen from miles away and were a perfect tool for communicating to those down below.
Animals were the first passengers to fly in a hot air balloon. It happened in 18th century France. Two brothers who had launched successful unmanned flights, put a sheep, rooster and a duck into the sky. The balloon rose as high as 600 meters, traveled for two miles, and safely landed in a field. The animals were fine and their flight paved the way for future human flights.
The Champagne Toast
One tradition that still exists today is drinking champagne after a hot air balloon flight. The French brothers offered the drink to farmers, whose fields were landing spots for test flights. The farmers feared the balloons were dragons descending from the sky. The champagne helped ease the tension.
Weather is Key
On a sunny day, it’s a specular sight when one or more hot air balloons are spotted high up in the sky. The balloons can’t take flight in bad weather, however. The balloon is much harder to control in the rain as the water builds up on top. The extra weight burns much more fuel and a heavy balloon is less safe.
The Modern Hot Air Balloon
Hot air balloons were brought into the mainstream in 1960. An American named Ed Yost designed one using lighter nylon and a liquid propane burner. The balloon design was cheaper and easier for recreational use. Hot air ballooning began to spread throughout the U.S. and Europe. Modern hot air balloons are now a feature in many top tourist destinations around the world.
Ballooning is Healthy
Heading up on a hot air balloon is good for your health, too. The exhilaration of going up, up and away releases endorphins in the brain and makes you feel happier. Your heart rate also goes up and burns off calories. Ballooning gives a person peace and quiet and a sense of calm. Relaxation helps to improve the immune system. The clean, fresh air is also good for your lungs.
Freshen the Air in Your Home
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