Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Christmas Cards for Balloonists

balloon holiday cardJust in time for the Holidays, here are a couple of holiday cards featuring Saint Nick in a hot air balloon over vineyards. Maybe he'll leave some good Champagne in good balloonists' stockings?

The cards are from Americards and cost a dollar apiece, with volume discounts available.

The first shows Santa high over wine country waving with the Northern Lights in the background. It's called Card #07 - Santa Hot Air Ballooning in Wine Country. You can see it above or order it here.

balloon christmas cardThe other card has the jolly old elf swooping low over crimson colored vines, holding out a gift in a balloon decorated like the classic montgolfiere of old. It's Card #20 - Wine Country, Classic Balloon, Harvest Time with Santa, shown at right and available here.

Card size is 5"x7" and includes a white envelope. They're printed on heavy card stock, coated face side. Custom imprints are available. You can call AmeriCards at 800-860-3417.

Hot air balloon Christmas cards from other vendors are also available.

Mass Balloon Wedding in China

China hot air balloon wedding28 couples in Nantong, in eastern China's Jiangsu Province, took off in hot air balloons and had a romantic group wedding ceremony in the sky. The weddings took place on On Wednesday, October 26, 2005.

Most couples were newlyweds, but one was an older couple celebrating their golden anniversary.

The ballooning was part of an ongoing airsports competition held in the city of Nantong. All of the events, which also include flying ultralights and microlights, take place in the air.China wedding anniversary in hot air balloon

While getting engaged in a hot air balloon is relatively common, hot air balloon weddings are rare as the limited size of a wedding party and dependence on good weather limits this to couples with a real sense of adventure.
balloon festival in China

Yemen's First Balloon

A Yemeni has imported a custom designed Firefly balloon to introduce the sport to this middle-eastern country. Mohammed Al-Maqaleh, already known as the king of hang-gliding in Yemen, is keen on expanding his country's participation in airsports. After receiving training in Florence, Italy last month he purchased the balloon himself. Ideally he'd like to start a national airsports club, but needs government support to accomplish it.

The hot air balloon features a giant photo of Yemen's president, writing in English and Arabic, and Yemen's flag. Al-Maqaleh is convinced that airsports will attract tourism and entertainment opportunities.

He'll be flying solo until he's comfortable he's got the feel for it. “Ballooning is certainly spectacular,” he enthuses. “The views it offers are unique, and the prospect of looking down on the Old City of Sana’a or the green mountains of Ibb is mouth-watering.”

Read more in the Yemen Observer, find information on flight training or balloon manufacturers, get links to flight instructors or look up the type of national balloon associations Al-Maqaleh would like to establish. Here's hoping he succeeds. If you're planning a trip, here's a few places offering balloon rides in asia.