Imagine a time when people dreamed of flying but didn’t have the resources available to us today to make that happen. They looked at birds and were envious of their way of seeing the world. Before there was even a thought about the first plane or spaceship, inventors dreamed about a balloon that could fly and show them the glory of our planet from the sky. When it actually happened, the first hot air balloons were created, and people began to witness the first specks of moving colors on the horizon. The creators made the hot air balloons the conquerors of the sky. These conquerors reveal themselves to the public each year in Câmpu Cetăţii at the Hot Air Balloon Parade.
Romania’s center - Transylvania, is a delight to the eyes. Hills and mountains of different sizes blend together, creating wonderful scenery. People here view nature as an architect and marvel at its creations. Câmpu Cetăţii is a small village, 38 km away from the city of Târgu Mureş. With a population of around 376 people, this village is a bit under the radar. Around 95 percent of locals are Szeklers, people of a Hungarian descent who settled in Romania in the Middle Ages. This is why in Câmpu Cetăţii, visitors get to feel a bit like in Hungary. The Hungarian is taught in schools, and children grow up to be bilingual.
The name of the village comes from a fortress that used to exist in the area. It translates into "the field of the fortress”. Even though the citadel is long gone, the villagers still like telling tales about it to the curious folk. This is especially the case during the hot air balloon parade when tens of balloons fly across the hills, where the citadel was once seen.
The Hot Air Balloon Parade is at its 14th edition this year. Hot air balloon owners from all over Europe bring their colorful flying objects to be marveled at in the sky at Câmpu Cetăţii. The great thing about this festival is that visitors get not only to see the hot air balloons from the ground but also embark on them and have an experience of a lifetime. When a flight with a hot air balloon ends, the balloon doesn’t fly back to the starting point. Workers follow it around in a truck and offer assistance after the descent by deflating the hot air balloon and packing it up. Balloons and passengers are transported back to the starting point by truck.
The event organizers also offer paragliding and glider flights. Imagine what a sight there is to behold while paragliding over the hills of Câmpu Cetăţii. The view can take your breath away. Between paragliding and hot air balloon riding make sure to stop for some Hungarian goulash, smoked trout or other delicacies at the event’s fair. Everything is fresh and made by locals.
The Hot Air Balloon Parade takes place each September, at the end of the month. Because the hot air balloon owners need a cooler outside temperature to control them better, the balloon parade takes place in the mornings from 7 am to 9 am. After that, visitors can still admire them from the ground and try the other available gliding opportunities. For those of you who wish to reserve a hot air balloon or paragliding flight, check their availability online.
Man’s wish to exceed its limitations and be able to fly has brought us the sky’s conquerors at Câmpu Cetăţii. Witness the Hot Air Balloon Parade this fall in Romania’s center, in Transylvania, and bring some extra colors into your life. Feel the wind against your face, see the beauty of Romanian nature and be reminded of the wonders that humanity has accomplished.
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