This morning begins Les Montgolfiades, a hot-air balloon festival held every year in October in Saint-Émilion! And this year, I had the chance to take part in it.
It was an unusual morning. On this very cool autumn night, my alarm clock rang much earlier than usual: 4:30 am. Direction: Saint-Émilion.
Arriving on the spot, I meet a small group of early risers ... ready to take off. Because yes, this morning begins Les Montgolfiades, a hot-air balloon festival that takes place every year in October in Saint-Émilion! And this year, I had the chance to take part in it.
Once all the participants have arrived, Patricia - organizer and conductor of the event - makes the roll call and (a little moment of embarrassment) checks the weight of each passenger: the basket shouldn't be too heavy!
I board with my three adventure companions in the pick-up of Patrice, my pilot: it's off to the take-off site. And that's where the experience really started for me! Here I am holding the basket, unfolding the balloon's canvas and finally literally jumping into the basket as it leaves the ground. It's rock'n'roll!
For about twenty / thirty minutes, I fly over the vineyards of Saint-Emilion. The day dawns. The colours are marvellous. And the harvest is still in progress! Patrice brings the balloon down to a small meter above the grape-pickers who wave to us. Magic!
After this moment out of time, the balloon lands and I am back among the earthlings. I don't have enough words to translate the emotions I felt up there, flying silently over the landscapes I come into contact with on a daily basis. And you, when do you fly away?