'Earth moves away' as hot air balloons fly high above Swiss Alps

January 27, 2024 5:29 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Dozens of colourful hot air balloons dotted the near-cloudless sky above the Swiss Alpine town of Château-d’Oex.

During an annual festival that enthrals scores of balloon fliers and spectators from around the world.

U.S. balloon pilot Eliav Cohen, who has recorded more than 1,000 flight hours around the globe, describes the chance to fly above the Swiss Alps as “the greatest blessing I could ever ask for in my ballooning career.”

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“This is the most incredible place to fly in the world,” he said. “To be able to fly above the Alps at 8,000-9,000 feet (2,438-2,743 m) is absolutely mind-blowing.”

Seventy-five hot air balloons are taking part in the nine-day International Balloon Festival Château-d’Oex, which closes on Sunday.

Located in an Alpine valley, the town is renowned for winds that make for particularly good flying.

“Flying in a balloon, there is no turbulence,” Cohen said “The Earth moves away from you, versus you moving away from it.”