Hot Air Balloon Rides Napa Valley
Napa Valley, among the most visited regions in Northern California, is not only recognized for great wine. You may already be aware that hot air ballooning is very much appreciated among visitors here. In fact, you might even be thinking of ballooning, and are exploring the various hot air balloon Napa options. And although you may think you know everything you need to know prior to boarding, think again.
Sure it’s important to learn all you can before going on this adventure, but here are also some fun facts about hot air ballooning you may not have come across during your research on Napa balloon rides:
- Hot air balloons were invented in France in the 1700s.
- Sheep, a duck and a chicken were the first passengers aboard a hot air balloon. They survived the very first hot air balloon flight, which lasted about eight minutes.
- The longest hot air balloon flight ever recorded was piloted by Richard Branson. The flight originated in Japan and touched ground in northern Canada. This flight was also the fastest recorded, flying across the skies at 245 miles per hour.
- The world’s largest hot air balloon festival is hosted in Albuquerque, New Mexico, each year. The festival lasts about nine days and features more than 750 hot air balloons.
- Hot air balloon flights are not possible in the rain. This is because the heat inside of the balloon can bring rain to boiling temperatures on top of the balloon, thereby destroying hot air balloon fabric.
- Traditionally, each time a hot air balloon lands, champagne is shared. This, you may have known, but you may not know how this tradition came to be. It is said that back in the day local farmers believed that hot air balloons that were landing in their fields may have been dragons descending from the skies. To soothe the farmers’ fears and make peace, the hot air balloon pilots would share a bottle of champagne with the farmers whose land they have disturbed.
- Record height for a hot air balloon is 68,986 feet. This was accomplished by avid hot air balloon pilot Vijaypat Singhania, who, along with his copilot, had to wear an oxygen mask to stay alive at such heights.
- While you may think of romance, peace and beauty when you think of a hot air balloon, some think back to the American Civil War. During the war hot air balloons were used by both sides for reconnaissance missions.
- Hot air balloons have a chase crew. This is a very interesting fact most people are not aware of. What is a hot air balloon chase crew? This is a ground crew that follows the hot air balloon throughout the flight in a chase vehicle. And the chase vehicle must be big enough to take on the balloon, its wicker basket, as well as the passengers at the end of the balloon flight.
And now for the most interesting and exciting fact of all: Napa Valley is one of top seven best places in the world to go hot air ballooning, coming in second, only after the incredible sights of Cappadocia in Turkey. Therefore, you can rest assured that your hot air balloon ride experience in Napa is going to be a great one.