We went up with a hot-air balloon today! It was a 5-year-anniversary surprise present from D. So at 19.00 we went to the meeting place which is luckily in the park right behind our appartment building. There were many balloons going up at the same time so we had to wait at least an hour, hanging around and checking how the balloons got inflated with air and flew away one by one. Ours was the last one, there were 20 people "on board". Thank God I didn't wear a skirt cause although it's the 21st century and our 'pilot' was using lots of electrical gadgets to determine the altitude, speed, wind, air temperature and location you still had to CLIMB in the basket.
Ok I didn't have any problem with the whole flying thing until we got to a really high altitude above the city. Then I was SCARED sh*tless. But after ten minutes of grabbing the ropes inside the basket intensively and not daring to move my feet I got used to the feeling of being so out in the open so high and I started taking pictures too. We saw Gouda from above: our house, the lakes (Reeuwijkse plassen), even the North-Sea was visible on the horizon. After an hour, hour and a half we landed on a farmer's field in Bodegraven. The touchdown was surprisingly soft, no bumping, no falling over. The owner came with wife and kids to check out the balloon phenomena appearing on his property. Plus we had extra audience: the neighbouring nudist camping's current habitants also came out to greet us (why is it that only old and ugly people become nudists?). Then another boring hour passed folding and packing the envelope in a van. And after a glass of champagne a bus picked us up and we drove back to Gouda.
You can check out the pics in my album on Facebook.