Night Glow, Hot Air, and Flying Chickens
From 23 to 31 January, 2010, Château-d’Oex will host the 30th edition of the Festival International des Ballons. Over the course of the Festival, the Swiss mountain village will welcome more than 90 balloons from 15 different countries (and some pretty surreal ones at that – see below). But the event not to miss is the Night Glow, which takes place on Friday the 29th at 18:58 precisely.
During the evening's event, balloons are lit up like torches and litter the mountainside, pulsating like giant lightbulbs.
Add light displays and fireworks, and you've got a spectacle unlike any other. Check out this video.
If you make your way there for the Night Glow, don't miss the extraordinary daytime display either. Over the years it has featured everything from flying scotsmen to giant chickens and wedding cakes.
In addition to being the town where British actor David Niven lived and died, Château-d’Oex claims to be the world's ballooning center. The festival has been held here since 1979, with hundreds of balloonists gathering every year.
In 1999, the Breitling Orbiter 3, the first hot air balloon to circumnavigate the earth, took-off from the village.
Unfortunately it wasn't shaped like a giant chicken. Shame. RM
Images: Fabrice Wagner