Flying High in Chaplin’s World Balloon at Chateau d’Oex
Chaplin’s World is a fabulous attraction located on the outskirts of Vevey in Switzerland. Celebrating the life of the famous actor, musician and all round hero of the stage and screen, Charlie Chaplin, the museum is a must-visit attraction and suitable for old and young alike.
The museum recently acquired a hot air balloon which is available for small ascents in the garden of Chaplin’s World. However, I was lucky enough to go for a ride in the Chaplin’s World balloon when it participated for the first time in the 40th International Balloon Festival in Chateau d’Oex.
A meeting point for hot air balloon enthusiasts (and their balloons) from all corners of the globe, the International Balloon Festival is a sight to behold. Located on a nursery ski slope in the quaint town of Chateau d’Oex – unfortunately, despite its name doesn’t have a castle, as the last one burned down many years ago and was never rebuilt.
The Chaplin’s World Balloon in vivid pink and black is hard to miss and really quite stunning. It also contrasted beautifully against the bright blue skies we enjoyed at the Festival.
I watched as it was carefully unfurled on the snow and gradually the balloon was assembled with judicious use of blowers and burners. As soon as it was ready the basket which had been lying on its side was turned upright and the pilot, Simon Drake, got in.
We then all jumped into the basket quickly and before we knew it we were drifting beautifully above the crowds below. Jean-Pierre Pigeon, the Managing Director of Chaplin’s World was on the same flight (see photo below) and was telling me how Chaplin’s World decided to invest in the balloon as an added attraction for the Museum and that it was proving very popular.
Having really enjoyed my recent visit to the Museum I was not surprised to learn that despite having just opened in 2016, Chaplin’s World is already surpassing its visitor targets and proving to be one of the most popular attractions in the area. If you haven’t yet visited you really must, as it is totally fascinating and they use a variety of media to tell the remarkable story of Charlie Chaplin.
Our flight was about an hour an a half to two hours (I was so mesmerised by the views I wasn’t really concentrating!) but as well as enjoying fabulous views of the surrounding mountains – we could see for miles – we also got a great view of many hang gliders and all the other balloons.
At the end of the flight Simon landed the beautiful pink and black Chaplin’s World hot air balloon (which was almost exactly the same colour as my jacket and snow pants!) safely in a nearby airfield. We then had to jump out onto the snow after experiencing a fabulous journey in the sky.
International Balloon Festival Chateau-d’Oex
Dates: 27th January – 4th February 2018
For more information on the International Balloon Festival at Chateau-d’Oex see here.
For more information on Chaplin’s World see below:
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