Jacek Proniewicz travel blog

picture and movies from my travel

Posts tagged ‘Chateau -D-Oex’

How the hot air balloons works

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Hot air balloons are an ingenious application of basic scientific principles. Here we will show exactly how the balloon works, what makes it rise and fall and how a pilot is able to maneuver it when it is in the air.

The basis of how the balloon works is that warmer air rises in cooler air. This is because hot air is lighter than cool air as it has less mass per unit of volume. Mass can be defined by the measure of how much matter something contains. The actual balloon (called an envelope) has to be so large as it takes such a large amount of heated air to lift it off the ground. For example, to lift 1000 pounds worth of weight you would need almost 65,000 cubic feet of heated air! To help keep the balloon in the air and rising, hot air needs to be propelled upwards into the envelope using the burner (see separate section on burners for more information.)

A hot air balloon is made up of 3 main parts:

The Envelope
The actual fabric balloon which holds the air

The Burner
The unit which propels the heat up inside the envelope

The Basket
Where the passengers and pilot stand

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The burner uses propane gas to heat up the air in the envelope to move the balloon off the ground and into the air. The pilot must keep firing the burner at regular intervals throughout the flight to ensure that the balloon continues to be stable. Naturally, the hot air will not escape from the hole at the very bottom of the envelope as firstly, hot air rises and secondly, the buoyancy keeps it moving up.

The controls for piloting a balloon are actually extremely simple….

1 – To move the balloon upwards – the pilot opens up the propane valve which lets the propane flow to the burner which in turn fires the flame up into the envelope. Works in much the same way as a gas grill, the more you open the valve, the bigger the flame to heat the air, the faster the balloon rises.

2 – To move the balloon downwards – the ‘Parachute Valve’ at the very top of the balloon is what is used to bring the balloon down towards the ground. It is essentially a circle of fabric cut out of the top of the envelope which is controlled by a long chord which runs down through the middle of the envelope to the basket. If the pilot wants to bring the balloon down he simply pulls on the chord which will open the valve, letting hot air escape, decreasing the inner air temperature. This cooling of air causes the balloon to slow its ascent.

So essentially this takes care of the up and down movement, so how does the balloon move from place to place? Again the answer is very simple, the pilot can maneuver horizontally by changing the vertical position of the balloon because the wind blows in different directions at different altitudes. If the pilot wants to move in a particular direction they simply ascend and descend to the appropriate level and ride with the wind.

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GoldenPass: a train from Montreux to Lucerne

The GoldenPass train line connects Montreux with Lucerne via Château-d’Oex, Gstaad and Interlaken. A five-hour trip in panoramic cars across one of the most picturesque Swiss landscapes.

20130320-134306.jpgThe exceptional attraction of the GoldenPass railway line is indeed the countryside. The train connects Montreux, Château-d’Oex, Gstaad, Interlaken and Lucerne with an itinerary through Nature. The GoldenPass crosses the vineyard terraces of Lake Geneva, the pastoral and forestry expanses in Upper Gruyère, Saanenland and in Upper Simmental, holding in store the most captivating views of the Swiss countryside.

The GoldenPass inaugurated the concept of panoramic travel with above-average comfort in its carriages offering wide views of the countryside. On advance booking, travellers can occupy seats in the very front of the first carriage, while the driver sits above them in a small bubble. The journey becomes as captivating as a fairground attraction.

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Gstaad ,Berner Oberland

Gstaad
Bernese Oberland
The Gstaad-Saanenland holiday region in the Bernese Oberland is popular with a charming mix of visitors: while the chalet village of Gstaad attracts countless stars and starlets the smaller neighbouring villages offer attractive options for families with children.

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20130210-140150.jpgIn the past years the centre of Gstaad has developed into the most popular and shortest shopping street in Switzerland. With its top hotels, gourmet restaurants, luxury chalets and nearby Saanen airport, the car-free resort of Gstaad is a popular destination for international celebrities. With the neighbouring resorts of Saanen, Rougemont, Schönried, Saanenmöser, Zweisimmen, Gsteig and Lauenen, the Saanenland as a whole however offers a considerably broader spectrum: the nature preserve by idyllic Lake Lauenen with its waterfalls and high moors, the narrow streets in the historic village centre of Saanen, the advantageous situation of Schönried and Saanenmöser for winter sports enthusiasts and the peacefulness of the idyllic mountain village of Abländschen are examples of an extremely diverse holiday region.

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20130210-140316.jpgThe Saanenland ski and hiking arena with 53 transport facilities has been given the name «Gstaad Mountain Rides». It is accessible from several villages by link transport facilities. The Montreux-Oberland-Railways (MOB) and buses connect Gstaad with other base stations in Saanenmöser, Schönried, Zweisimmen, Gsteig, Reusch, Lauenen Rougemont and Château-d’Oex in the French-speaking neighbouring region of Pays d’Enhaut.

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