Today Gosau has bidden farewell to a week-long celebration of hot air balloons. The Night of Hot Air Balloons on Wednesday, January 17 marked the culmination of a week filled with airborne wonders, captivating spectators with its magical display.
Having eagerly anticipated that night, we set out to experience it personally. Excitement filled the air as we embarked on our journey to witness this enchanting spectacle. By the way, the venue can be reached within 10 min. by foot – no need to take a car and struggle to find a parking place. Here is our short report on the magical evening, definitely the highlight of the week.
The evening was blessed with agreeable weather, a welcome relief from the chill of the days before. The milder temperatures set the stage for a magical evening filled with warmth and anticipation.
As darkness enveloped the landscape, hot air balloons gracefully took their place on the lower ski slopes of the Hornspitz. The vibrant hues of the balloons added a surreal touch to the snowy surroundings, creating a scene straight out of a winter fairy tale.
A diverse crowd gathered there - families with children, couples, groups of friends, locals and visitors speaking different languages giving the event an international flair. The festive mood was palpable, with excitement building as the night unfolded.
Entertainment and Atmosphere
A specially erected stage became the focal point for entertainment, featuring a DJ who not only set the musical tone but also conducted interviews with the hot air balloon teams. Countdowns orchestrated by the DJ added to the anticipation, culminating in a breathtaking display of fire into the balloons' cupolas, creating a vibrant contrast against the winter night.
Stalls offering a variety of drinks and snacks dotted the landscape, providing sustenance to the enthusiastic crowd. Even the local police officers, friendly and warm, served coffee from thermoses and shared information about potential imposters making false phone calls.
Parking lots and nearby streets were brimming with vehicles, their license plates revealing the diverse origins of the attendees. The buzzing atmosphere and the captivating feeling of being on a ski slope late into the night added to the overall charm of the event.
Ski School Extravaganza
Adding to the spectacle, Gosau ski school instructors showcased their prowess with a dazzling performance. A snake-like formation of instructors, each holding burning torches, descended the slope to the lively tune of 'Schifoan,' creating an awe-inspiring moment for all present.
As the balloons were gracefully whirling to a waltz – as a tradition on such a night, we watched young parents holding their kids on their shoulders, elderly couples swaying to the sounds of the waltz, laughing school children sliding down the slope, people admiring the beautiful giant balloons, their colours against the velvet darkness of the night, enjoying the crispiness of the air and the moment of peace. As we got back home, the dog was happy to welcome us back. We went out into the quiet garden, and surrounded by the sparkling frozen trees watched the night sky together.
Photos: by L.Novak