Touch the Sky Hot Air Balloon Company offer trips over the Jezreel Valley at sunrise followed by Champagne and breakfast. Quite an experience! If you're looking for an idea for an unusual wedding present, here's an idea you may not have thought of ...
One of Karin and Dan's wedding presents was a trip in a hot air balloon. So one summer's day, they put on their alarm really early, rolled out of bed and were headed north out of Tel Aviv by 4.00 in the morning. I asked Karin how it went ...
Where do you take off from?
Each time you start at a different place - it all depends on the wind direction. So we headed for Afula and phoned Almog, our pilot, on the way and he explained to us where to meet. Apparently, if you don't do the right calculations with the wind, you might not be able to take off at all but Almog assured us that it had never happened to him - I would hate to have got up so early for nothing!
How many people were there in the balloon?
The balloon we went up in had eight people - four couples - plus Almog, but it can take up to ten people.
Tell me a bit about the flight ...
The whole flight was maybe just over an hour. It was awesome
to watch the sunrise from above the clouds. When we went down below the clouds, we saw that we were above a village called E-Taibeh, which is a village near to Moshav Moledet. The inhabitants were just waking up at that time and some of them waved to us from their balconies and rooftops. It must be strange to wake up and see a hot air balloon floating above your house!
How was the landing?
Well, it was a bit bumpy and you have to hold on to handles inside the basket but we landed OK and it didn't tip over or anything.
When we climbed out, there was champagne - according to hot-air ballooning tradition! Then we were taken back to where we started. Of course, you never know where you're going to end up because there's no navigation - only up and down - so the route depends on the wind on that particular morning.
And what about breakfast?
We all drove to Gilboa Ski and ate at a coffee shop there called Adam's. We could choose whatever we wanted from their breakfast menu and we ordered the breakfast for two - a choice of eggs, cheeses, smoked fish, tuna, salad and some nice fresh bread. It also included hot and cold drinks - we were quite hungry by this time so we really enjoyed it!
So, you'd recommend it to others?
Yes, definitely ... if you're not scared of heights and you don't mind getting up really early in the morning! I can't speak for other companies, but we didn't have any complaints about Touch the Sky (Laga'at B'shamaim in Hebrew). I suppose it was quite an unusual wedding present but we were very happy with it!
For reservations or more information about Touch the Sky Hot Air Balloon Company, phone: 054-476-1704.
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