French for hot air balloon is montgolfière (f), after its inventors. A company offers flights over a selection of Loire valley chateaux, and we went to enjoy the experience. The flights take place at dawn and dusk because there is less wind at these times, and we set off at dusk. Our target chateau was Chenonceau.
Steering hot air balloons is a bit hit-and-miss. The pilot relies on the likelihood that the wind is going in slightly different directions at different heights. We set off quite a few miles from Chenonceau, so we were very dependent on a fair wind. Four balloons were launched and we established different heights to try to determine which one was the best one to take us to the chateau. The wind direction turned out to be about the same at all heights and we ended up slightly off to one side. But not so far away that we couldn't take any pictures.
In the end though, it was the flight itself that was the fun thing; the destination was largely irrelevant.