I don’t know how environmentally friendly balloon flights are – a lot of fuel is burnt, recovery vehicles trundle around and the burns are noisy, if short. But it does seem to be the ultimate in slow tourism, a leisurely way to see places from a unique perspective. And a balloon, a small world of its own, floating over towns or empty places has a romantic beauty bringing to mind Phineas Fogg in a distant age of tourism.
I had never thought to put them in the same category as cheap flights and giant cruise ships, carriers of the tourism blight to sensitive places. David Horan has shared on Facebook this picture of Cappadocia, Turkey, which might make me change my mind. Romantic beauty is replaced by an impression of alien invasion.
Photo: 1 Colossi of Memnon, Egypt, 2000; 2 Balloons over Cappadocia, Turkey, September 2017 (photo David Horan)