with LILLET in the AIR
01 May 2016
It was a big one on my Bucket List since childhood, when my parents used to take me to an annual event in our neighborhood (no idea what exactly it was all about as I was too young) - but I remember watching many many Hot Air Balloons taking off - always wishing I would be on one of them.
Its a fascinating thought, to float in a little straw basket elevated by a grand balloon rising majestically and silently into the air and getting carried by the wind. It must have been even more mindboggling when the technology first came up, being the first successful human-carrying flight technology. Originating in France, it was in the year 1783 when the first man carrying flight was operated using a balloon created/designed by two french brothers. A little over a 100 Years later, two different french brothers started experimenting with mixed dried orange peels to create a liqueur - creating LILLET - the popular summer aperitive we all (including James Bond by original reference in the Casino Royale Book) like to enjoy.
So french brotherly inventions came together last week, when LILLET invited a group of press and guests on a hot air balloon ride high above Zurich, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the crew.
Accepting the invitation was a no brainer - one those few invitations that you REALLY look forward to from the moment you received it. Big Fat Agenda entries - I was happy that a childhood dream of mine was coming true.
Theres few things one does not anticipate when boarding a hot air balloon - the silence of it, the fact that theres no draft at all because one moves with the wind. The taking off and landing is a bit like getting on and off a camel - as the wind picks up on the balloon and lifts it the basket can swing from side to side. Holding on tight is essential. I was too nervous to film takeoff - but I managed to catch the landing which I am sharing with you in my little video of impressions below.
I guess the welcome drink by lillet did ease nerves a bit on all sides. It was great fun - images speak louder than words. Have a look at the little video I made about the trip.
Big Thanks to Lillet for having me on board.