If you have ever seen hot air balloons fly by, it is a magical site. There is a sense of joy watching those brightly colored balloons float by and a wonderment of knowing that there are people riding inside large baskets. If you have ever ridden a hot air balloon then you understand that there are little words that can express the excitement of it.
Flying over the Nile River in Luxor Egypt, in a hot air balloon and watching the sun rise was pure uninterrupted joy. It was magic! This was mine and my friends first time riding a hot air balloon, and what a spectacular experience it was. Riding hot air balloons over Luxor is a definite “must do” if you plan on visiting Egypt in the future.
Interesting Fact: Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis, now modern day Luxor was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
It was our last day on our river cruise form Aswan to Luxor and we had opted for the early morning hot air balloon ride excursion. The pick up from our boat was very early in the morning, if I recall it was before 4:00 AM. We were loaded onto a small shuttle bus with other passengers and taken to the banks of the Nile. From there we boarded small boats which had morning instant coffee and of all things, Twinkies! The boats were taking us across the Nile, so we could board another shuttle bus that would take us to the hot air balloons. For those who are not early risers, I know this all sounds crazy but it was worth the hustle!
When we arrived to the other side of the Nile, we had the thrill of watching each balloon being filled with hot air. The open glowing flames underneath each of the balloons was a beautiful site, especially during the break of dawn.
When my friends and I climbed into the gondolas, we could hear the roar of the burners and feel the excitement of everyone around us. Many people were both excited and nervous at the same time- it was a great feeling!
Our hot air balloon was one of the first ones that took off, so we were fortunate enough to watch the other balloons float up, one at a time.
At one point, we were the highest balloon over Luxor!
Watching the glorious sunrise over the Nile River in Luxor was an unforgettable and peaceful moment.
Landing the hot air balloon was another adventure in itself. We could see the truck with the men who were going to pull us down, chase the balloon across the fields and then jump out when we were low enough. They were able to manually pull our balloon down but not after being dragged through a banana plantation first! It took them two times of chasing our balloon and grabbing the ropes until we were brought down to Earth.
Once we landed, it was the same journey back but in reverse- shuttle bus, boat across the Nile River and another shuttle bus back to our cruise boat. It was a very early excursion and it seemed quite long although it was only a few hours. It was worth it, just to stand in a big basket with a bright colored balloon overhead and floating over the ancient lands of Egypt.
Tour information– More than likely if you are visiting Aswan or Luxor for the temples, you will be hiring a private guide to take you there. It is very important that you hire an official guide in Egypt to take you to the sites, and just not someone on the sidewalk asking you if you want to take a city tour. On our trip to Aswan and Luxor, plus our cruise along the Nile River, we chose Egypt Gift Tours who I highly recommend. They had professionally coordinated us on private tours for all of our trips from Aswan to Luxor.
What I love about this crazy life, is the adventure of it …– Juliet Binoche
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre