Montgolfieres du Perigord

or flying low over Daglan

Open all year round (weather permitting) and with several flights a day, montgolfiers take people on a leisurely panoramic journey high above the châteaux’s of the Dordogne. Carried by the whims of the wind at an altitude (usually) of about 300 meters, passengers get an amazing view over La Roque-Gageac, Montford, Castelnaud, Beynac, Daglan, Domme and Marqueyssac.

These photographs were taken on a very sunny evening while relaxing on the balcony. We thought that this Montgolfier was going to land behind the church.

Close call

Close call?

But no,

Up, up and away

phew, made it

phew, made it

Followed soon after by a companion. What a terrific view of Daglan and the surrounding valley.

Balloon with a view

Balloon with a view

Close enough to hold a conversation with the people in the basket

Wave and shout 'salut'

Wave and shout ‘salut’

Although I am told it’s an incredible experience it is one that I must, unforunately miss, due to a fear of heights.

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Excitement, Montgolfiers over the village

This was a typical Sunday morning market full of tantalising smells to excite the senses. Fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, cheeses, wine, and of course roast chicken, all grown or reared locally. It was mother’s day in France so the flower stall was particularly vibrant

typical Sunday morning market

typical Sunday morning market

When my husband and I went outside we noticed that the local people were all looking up to the sky, we thought that it was because they had not seen the sun for a long time, but no.

Low flying Montgolfiers

Low flying Montgolfiers

The Montgolfiers (named after the Montgolfier brothers who in 1783 took to the air for the first ever hot air ballon flight) were flying very low over the village. This blue one just missed the spire on top of the Marie.

That was close

That was close

You can see all of the birds trying to get away.

Dropping in for a chat

Dropping in for a chat

At first this Montgolfier was high in the sky, then it also started to descend.

Smiley face Montgolfier

Smiley face Montgolfier

You can see the people in the basket, so close you could talk to them.

Close to the trees

Close to the trees

You can see how near they came to the trees on the side of the valley

Voices from  the sky

Voices from the sky

They came so low that you could talk to the people in the basket.

They were shouting to us below and several people shouting back, I heard “tournez à gauche à la fin de la route” – turn left at the end of the road – followed by laughter

Then with a whoosh of burning gas and hot air they started to rise once more.

Montgolfier descending.

Montgolfier descending.

My husband and I rushed to the car park because we could see the blue Montgolfier descending.

a one man Montgolfier

a one man Montgolfier

This was a one man Montgolfier, the pilot sitting in a cradle, not a basket

Close encounter

Close encounter

You can see how close he came to the trees.

The Landing

He landed in the car park

I rushed over to see if he needed help, he nearly fell out of his cradle when he heard an English person talking to him. He was fine and in total control of his Montgolfier, he had ended his morning flight and radioed his position to a car to collect him.