Hot Air Ballooning over Pharaohs Land in upper Egypt Home
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Short before takeoff On the eve by a little walk I discovered by chance the agency of Sindbad Balloons at the quay of Luxor. Von den bekannteren Ballooning Companies wie Hod Hod Soliman oder Magic Horizon war keine Spur.
The boss of the Hot Air ballooning agency was very kind, the very reverse of the usually pushy egypt dealers.
The price for ballooning of course is like every deal in a arabic country open to negotiation.
We agreed after intensiv bargaining on 57 Euro inshurance inclusiv - which is transformed to german conditions sensationell cheep.

Exact 5 o'clock in the morning I was picked up from my Hotel ship. First we crossed over with a small boat to the westbanks of the river Nile - to West-Theben, the city of the death.
On the boat coffee, tea and sandcake were served. A minibus brought me to the balloon starting place. There was allready hustle and bustle. In total 7 balloons were made ready for takeoff, three of them are owned by Sindbad Balloons.
The burst of flames and snorting of the gas burner in the dawn creates a ghostlike atmosphere.
The passengers in my Balloon come throughout from Asia, mainly Indian - in total we were 8 passengers + Pilot.

The Balloon of Magic Horizon wants to throw his shadow onto the Pylon of Medinet Habu

During takeoff the ground crew sings, drums and dance in the glistening light of the gasburner. As our balloon raises, they shout "Allahu Akbar - God is great".
It is now 05:59 o'clock and the new day announces pink-coloured on the wide horizon of the desert. The balloon envelopes of the silent in desertwind through the fertile Nile valley of Upper Egypt floating balloons glow in the twilight like colorful lanterns, when the Pilot ignites a burst out of one of the two gasburners.
Our first target is the terrace temple of Hatshepsut. But before getting closer to Hatshepsut's temple, the wind drifts us towards Ramsesseum and Medinet Habu.

In the deep below passing villages everything is quiet. The Egyptian often sleep on the roofs of there houses, direct under the beautiful starry sky.
Slowly the sun rises geht die Sonne above river Nile and life wakes up.

While our Pilot is whatching the happening chickenhearted from save elevation, his more brave collegues sneak on low elevation over the temples.
The red balloon of Magic Horizon flies deep and close to the Pylon of Medinet Habu.
Busparking lot in front of the Collossi of Memnon

I'm wondering if he drops down and throws his shadow onto the V-shaped Portal of Medinet Habu Pylons. Unfortunately our balloon turns in a for me unfavorable position and so I can't shoot a good photo.

GPS-Track Hot Air Balloonig in Theben GPS-Track of Hot Air Balloonig in the Land of Pharaohs (14,3+km)

Now it is 6:30 am. Faraway the Collossi of Memnon appear on the horizon. Now our Pilot drives within touching distance to the giant stone monuments.
Infront of the Collossi of Memnon at the bus park it is crawling with tourist busses. The souvenir dealer open their shops.

We proceed our loudless balloon trip at low elevation close to the tree tops of palm trees. We nearly can harvest the mellow date fruits.
Immediately the 45 min flighttime is elapsed and we perform a really soft "egyptian style" touchdown inbetween a field not far from the Collossi of Memnon.
The groundcrew is accompanied by a horde happy cheering children, which follow the landing balloon over the harvested fields. We are not yet allowed to disembark. The Pilot lets the balloon in the state of uncertainty and the helping crew tears it to a nearby street, where our escort vehicle with the groundcrew is waiting.

    Photos from Hot Air Ballooning in the Land of Pharaohs
Verleihung der Urkunden

Sindbad Balloons certificate During the presentation of certificates a donkey is a calm and patient spectator.

The mandatory Champagne baptize needless to say is cancelled in Egypt, because we are in a strict Islamic country where alcohol drinking is not allowed :o((

Our way back to the Nile cruise ship was the same with Bus and boat. Clocklike at 8:30 am I was back for breakfast in my Hotel ship.

Many Thanks to Mohamed, our Pilot from Sindbad Balloons for a sensational and unforgettable adventure.
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