Hot Air Balloon Ride – Not

Rosa bought us tickets for a hot air balloon ride. It was part of the Festival de Montgolfières de Gatineau – the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was something I’ve wanted to see for years and never made the time.

Rosa is very proactive though, and she bought tickets a few weeks ago – they were around $200 per person. Today was the final day of the festival. The weather did not look promising. Clouds, rain, and wind.

We left for Gatineau early, as we expected another traffic jam like for the fireworks show. When we arrived, we had a very difficult time finding the parking lot entrance. The signs were confusing and many of the streets in the area were one-way. Eventually, we found the lot and parked. We went to the entrance to ask about the rides. I tried to ask ‘en français’, but I could not understand the reply, so we had to find someone who could help in English. The ticket attendant called the organizer, but the go/no-go had not been finalized. After further discussions, we found we would have to buy tickets for the festival ($18 each) and go to the balloon launch point in order to get our refund, should the rides be cancelled.

We went in and went to the balloon ride starting field. There we were told we would have to sit and wait until the decision was made. They were nice and came out to keep us informed of the progress of the discussions.

After over an hour, it was announced that the rides would be cancelled. The winds were too high. They took down our name to indicate that we had been on-site, and then we could leave. We wandered around some craft tents before we got bored and left for home after sunset.

One Reply to “Hot Air Balloon Ride – Not”

  1. It was an unpleasantly cold and gloomy Labor Day afternoon, sitting in a lawn chair waiting for the cancellation to be confirmed. Comparing to the super-fun Saturday and Sunday we had in Montreal, this was like a punishment to finish off the long weekend.

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