3 Sep - Take off
On board - 5 Sep
 
 
 
 
 
Airborne
4 Sep 2020
Airborne    4 Sep 2020
  Goreme, Turkey   
S M L
 
 
 
 
 

If not for the visual evidence, a passenger in a balloon might hardly know that he had left the ground. You do not feel the wind; you simply inhabit it. Sounds from below—children playing, dogs barking—come at a muted remove. For some fliers, the stillness is accompanied by a sense of negation of the self. You are suspended as if living in a postcard, or perhaps undergoing the kind of out-of-body experience some people report after brushes with death. Now you can stare a mountain peak in the face. Only the rhythmic burning of the fuel—a jet of flames for a few seconds, followed by silence for several more—serves as a reminder that you're in a wicker basket, kept aloft by the temperature of some air particles.

The pilot has less time to take it all in. There are tasks to complete for maintaining altitude and direction, instruments to monitor, fuel tanks to swap out when empty.

Bertrand Piccard in The New Yorker

 
 
 
 
Goreme's neighboring town of Uchisar in the distance  
 
 
 
 
Goreme's neighboring town of Uchisar in the distance  
 
 
 
 
Goreme's neighboring town of Uchisar in the distance  
 
 
 
Another butterfly takes off  
 
 
 
 
Another butterfly takes off  
 
 
 
 
Another butterfly takes off  
 
 
 
 
3 Sep - Take off
On board - 5 Sep