I had originally wanted to visit the Turquoise Museum, but it was closed on Sundays. Man, we were just getting no luck that day. Nonetheless, the balloon museum was quite quirky and enjoyable, with plenty of hot air balloons and factoids.
After this visit, I totally want to make it back some day for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
In 1783, both hot air and gas balloons were invented near Paris, France.
Blanchard's Balloon was the first crossing of the English Channel and the first international flight on January 7, 1785 from Dover, England to Calais, France.
On September 19, 1783, the first balloon passengers were a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. King Louis XVI of France, wary of whether men could breathe at that high of an altitude, insisted on testing the balloon out on animals first. After the flight's success, the sheep spent the rest of its life in Marie Antoinette's menagerie. No idea what happened to the duck and the rooster.
The average hot air balloon is 70,000 to 90,000 cubic feet in volume.
Just how big is that?
That's big enough to hold 22 elephants inside!
The museum wasn't all hot air. Hehe. There were hydrogen gas balloons as well.
In the 1930s, airships provided the only regular non-stop commercial transatlantic flights. They could cross the Atlantic Ocean in only two days. In these luxurious airships, passengers dined on gold-rimmed Bavarian porcelain plates, drank imported wine from custom-etched crystal glassware, and were attended to by uniformed stewards.
The Graff Zeppelin, a hydrogen gas balloon, had a gondola that was 98.5 feet long and 20 feet wide and a balloon that was 100 feet in diameter, 110 feet high, and 775 feet long. It held 3.7 million cubic feet of gas with a cruising range of 10,000 miles. It featured five 12-cylinder 550 horsepower Mayback engines.
There were 10 sleeping compartments, each with its own window, washrooms, and a dining room for passengers.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place the first week of every October at Balloon Fiesta Park, 365-acre grounds near the museum.
It started in 1972 with just 13 hot air balloons and now features 600+ balloons that take to the skies.
Can you just imagine the sight when hundreds and hundreds of balloons are floating?
I didn't give much thought to balloons before visiting this museum, but it was just so quirky that I couldn't help being charmed.
We browsed the gift shop a bit to see all the balloon-related stuff before heading out.
A little campy, but I kinda like this wardrobe.
Bye Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum!
Unfortunately, we only had a few hours to spend in Albuquerque since we were headed to southwest Colorado.
While stopped for gas, I was struck by the wide open skies behind this random adobe building. I wish I had more time to explore New Mexico. There was something I can't define that makes me want to come back.
Posts in this series:
Sadie's of New Mexico - Albuquerque - New Mexico
Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum - Albuquerque - New Mexico
Shiprock - New Mexico
Ted's Taco - Mancos - Colorado
Balcony House - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
House of Many Windows - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Hemenway House - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Cliff Palace - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Spruce Tree House - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Petroglyph Point Trail - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Cortez Cultural Center - Cortez - Colorado
Main Street Brewery & Restaurant - Cortez - Colorado
Absolute Bakery & Cafe - Mancos - Colorado
Four Corners Monument - Shiprock - New Mexico
Pine Country Restaurant - Williams - Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) - Arizona
Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113-2425
1 year ago today, How to Eat a Pomegranate.
2 years ago today, Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana - Monterey Park.