- Come fly with me July 10
We've come a long way from the first hot air balloon flight in 1783. That adventure featured a duck, a sheep and a rooster "piloting" a balloon constructed from paper and fabric.
Just a few months later, two men sailed into the air for the first "free flight." Scientist Jean-Francois Pilatre De Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes flew, untethered, over France for a 20-minute sail through the sky.
Today, France's neighbor Spain hosts one of the largest hot air balloon festivals in the world, the European Balloon Festival. More than 60 balloons lifted off into the air from Igualada, Catalonia, dancing over thousands of spectators and beneath breathtaking fireworks. Check out some of the gorgeous participant balloons below, and thank your lucky stars you weren't a duck in 1783. --Sarah Eberspacher
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
Subscribe to the Week