Alpine Ballooning - Flying the Swiss Alps
The Letchworth Balloon Team traveled to Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland to attend the 26th annual balloon week, January 24th - Feb. 1st, 2004. 90 balloons participate in the most beautiful setting in Europe.
The team was in awe on every flight, at times reaching 8,000 feet above the majestic Alps. Chateau d'Oex (pronounced DAY) has a unique micro climate which has made it Europe's most popular ballooning destination. Light winds with rich blue skies during the day and gentle snow at night, certainly make it something to yodel about! The daytime temperatures, usually in the 30's made this western New York team feel tepid.
The village of Chateau d'Oex is exactly what your vision of Switzerland may be. Swiss chalets built centuries ago with a backdrop of mountains not unlike an artist's painting. The people are equally as warm and friendly.
In 1999 the Breitling team of Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones launched from the town festival site and became the first humans to travel round the world in a balloon! Chateau d'Oex will always be famous!