Welcome to Chateau d’Oex Balloon Festival…………..
This just might have been one of the coolest things that I have ever experienced! We took the panoramic train to the festival in Chateau-d’Oex. The train ride is about 45 minutes and has views which are absolutely breathtaking as you leave the city of Montreux and head into the mountains. Everything you see looks like a painting. And if you are thinking it looks cold, it was, very cold!
Once in the city of Chateau-d’Oex we had arrived to the International Balloon Festival This year they celebrated their 35th anniversary! Since its inception, in 1978 they have had over 2,500 balloons lift off here and take flight. Here are a few of the amazing balloons setting up and taking off into the sky….
The town is very quaint with lots of little shops and restaurants around every corner. There are a few small hotels too, which if we go again I would prefer to stay here verses Montreux. The event pretty much goes all day long and there are food vendors set up outside around the balloons where you can get homemade bratwurst, sausages, hot wine and baked goods just to name a few things.
The entry fee is 10 franks per person and with entry you can get pretty close to where the balloons take off. Just before the show they do an acrobatic airplane display and have a parachute drop from the balloons. There are also para gliders and wingsuit jumpers. And if you have some extra cash you can pay to take a helicopter ride as well which I’m sure has amazing views.
We met up with some friends from the Internations Group and they had attended this even before so they took us on a hiking trail. One thing that we learned while hiking in the snow is that neither Paul or I have the proper shoes to hike or walk in the snow. Note to self for next time. But even with freezing feet, the views on the hike were just amazing and worth it!
If you ever get the chance to visit Switzerland, I highly recommend that you go during this festival and check out Chateau-d’Oex. It is really a site to see!