As the summer is replaced with Autumn, some might think that the plethora of things to do would be reduced……how wrong they would be. It’s as if this tremendous area of France not only delivers on activities in the summer, but it also keeps some of its special events for later in the year. One such weekend is the Montgolfier Festival, at Rocamadour, at the end of September. Montgolfier is such a lovely word which so aptly describes the magical sight of over thirty hot air balloons taking to the skies in a very picturesque valley, beside one of the most beautiful villages in France.
We arrived in the afternoon of the second day of this two day festival, to watch all the balloons and their baskets arrive on trailers and begin to get set up on the valley floor. I am no expert but the conditions looked perfect – little wind, great visibility and a lovely sunny day. We found a good place to stand looking down into the valley as the balloons were beginning to be inflated and were nestled closely together as they waited for the off. The brightly coloured balloons swayed gently contrasting with the dark green and brown of the trees, then the silence was broken as the roar of the burner could be heard and the first balloon began its accent followed swiftly by the rest.
It was an incredible sight as the festival was in full swing and the many balloons floated like coloured bubbles against the cloudless azure blue sky. The balloonists were a joy to watch as they skilfully and effortlessly manoeuvred these very large craft around the valley as the sun began to set over the majestic village of Rocamadour.
It truly was a most memorable and entertaining day – can’t wait for next year’s event (24 and 25 September 2016).