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    Posted February 26, 2013 by
    Frisco, Texas

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    Luxor Balloon RIde


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     The fatal hot air balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt, on Tuesday prompted Texan iReporter mmhopkin to send in these images of his own balloon ride in 2008 in Luxor. "We didn't feel in any way that it wasn't as safe as air travel could be," he said. "The crews seemed reasonably proficient, and judging from the number of balloons, [flying] is a very frequent occurrence."
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    We took a balloon ride in Luxor in March, 2008. It was early in the morning to be able to see the sunrise while in the air. It was a beautiful day, cool and clear. We were traveling on a river cruise and were docked on the east side of the Nile and the balloon ride was on the west side, so it was a very early departure.

    They were unloading the balloons where we arrived and we were able to see them laid out and prepared for inflation. The fires of the of the gas burners seen in the early morning darkness thru the balloons was beautiful. The heat from the burners in the early morning coolness was a plus.

    Our gondola held about 12 - 15 people. We all got in and off and up we went. We were one of the early departures so we got to see many of the other balloons leaving. True to advertising, we watched the sun rise over the Nile.

    The area along the Nile was unbelievably green. The atmosphere was clear except south of Luxor around the river. We could see the Valley of the Queens and the entrance to the Valley of the Kings. Queen/Pharoh Hatshepsut's temple was the most wonderful sight of the ride.

    I think we were up about 30 minutes before descending to a slightly bumpy landing.

    It was near the top of the highlights of our trip
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