Why hot air balloon is so magical in Luxor
I’m pretty sure there are people like me who would be surprised to discover the city Luxor in Egypt being one of the best destinations for hot air balloon rides. Luxor (world’s first open air museum), a southern city in Egypt is an exotic destination to ride in hot air balloons. The city consists of some amazing histories, monuments, tombs and everything else we saw in the classic Stephen Sommers’ “The Mummy”. And the Nile of course, DUH! So imagine riding in a hot air balloon to witness everything that was mentioned above and plus, the beautiful sunrise! Very dreamy, huh?
How I came to know about the hot air balloon in Luxor
When I decided to travel solo to Egypt, I researched the hell out of the internet for “must do’s”. Every blogger was talking crazy good about Luxor and its iconic attractions. And I was sceptical about visiting Luxor since it was a different city like Cairo. However, I immediately got rid of my second thoughts after reading the blogs on hot air balloons being the top most must-do activity in Luxor!
The driving distance from Cairo to Luxor is about 640 kilometres and it takes around 10 hours by train and bus. But it is wiser to travel via airplane which only takes about an hour. I took a one way trip to Luxor by train for the experience…
My first hot air balloon experience
Honestly, I was not sure about riding in a hot air balloon after I googled about the risks involved in it. Google is the worst best frenemy for many! But life is one and short, you cannot stop living it. About 300 people fly in hot air balloons everyday. I went ahead and booked with http://www.hodhodsolimanballoons.com via tripadvisor. It is the safest company and the most reputed one too. There are few other companies that illegally fly for cheaper rates without Government’s approval. So be more careful about choosing the right one. Also, there are chances for the ride to be cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather. Pray and wish for some luck before you take the ride!
Journey to the take-off site
Finally, the most awaited day was here! I was picked up from my hotel at 4:00 am and got transferred across the west bank in a ferry. P.S. Don’t forget to carry a scarf/jacket because it is going to be cold when you travel across the Nile in a ferry. I waited for about 20 minutes in the site to ride in a hot air balloon. The wait time was not boring because I was watching other balloons take off and it was so MAGICAL! And I’m not even exaggerating a bit! The one which I rode carried 25 people, split in 5 compartments. There were other balloons with a smaller room space as well.
The extra hot basket
It was very hot inside the basket and it felt like my head was on fire *heheh*. I wore a scarf to protect my head from the heat and it ended up being picturesque in the photos that I clicked (yay).
Flying across the ancient land
I witnessed the most beautiful sunrise of my lifetime. The landscapes were breathtaking with the views of the Nile, Valley of the Kings and the farming lands. Everything about it felt like a dream, a dream that I never wanted to wake up from!
Kids following the balloon
The balloon landed safe and smooth on the farming land (the farmers were not happy about it though). The landing usually depends on the wind direction and there are safety procedures to be followed while on a bumpy one. There were many local kids from the fields following the balloon during landing and it was visually so beautiful! I’m glad I took the ride because it was one of my best experiences in Egypt. I would cherish it for lifetime!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.