Up, Up, and Away - A Bird's Eye View of Paris from a Hot Air Balloon
I've been keeping an eye on the sky this week waiting for the weather conditions to be just right to go soaring 150 meters (492 feet) above Paris in the hot air balloon at André Citröen Park. Fortunately, the wind was not too strong yesterday morning, so I went to the park, paid for my ticket, and was told that I should hurry to join the group of school children who were already on the balloon.
With hindsight, it's probably a good thing that I didn't have too much time to think about what I was doing because it was only after the balloon took off that I realized that there wasn't much between me and the ground. It was, however, an exhilarating feeling to be up so high in the sky.
The hot air balloon isn't only a form of entertainment, it also changes color once per hour according to the quality of the air in Paris. The scale ranges from green (good) to orange (medium) to red (poor).
Helpful hints: The balloon operates every day from 9:00 a.m. until 30 minutes before the park closes. As the balloon does not operate during adverse weather conditions, it's advisable to call "Ballon Air de Paris" (01 44 26 20 00) right before you plan to visit. The woman at the ticket desk speaks English, as do most of the other staff members. Try to schedule your visit in the morning because it's less crowded and the wind is usually not as strong as in the afternoon. The park, which is located next to the Seine, is a good spot for a picnic.