One of the truly exceptional viewpoints in Berlin is the large HiFlyer a tethered balloon near Checkpoint Charlie.
If you are out and about in downtown Berlin, you can see the big “world balloon” going up most days. The HiFlyer is a tethered balloon filled with helium. It is permanently connected to the ground with a cable and is pulled back to earth with the help of a winch on it. For the use of the balloon one is dependent on the thermals and the wind. Due to this, tethered balloon may have to stay on the ground.
Our flight experience in the HiFlyer
It took us a few attempts until we finally made it and could look at the big balloon at the departure point. Every time we had time and actually wanted to go, the call to the info hotline stopped us. The announcement of bad weather and no flight threw a wrench in our plans several times. But it was better than standing on the spot and not being able to fly.
Yes, but finally it worked out. We stood in the Zimmerstraße and looked at the balloon from below. The weather was very gracious to us. There was almost no breeze, the sun was shining and so our anticipation of the flight increased. But also the slightly queasy feeling in the stomach area. So far I had never risen with such a balloon in the air.
Every 15 minutes, the tethered balloon takes to the skies. We had to wait exactly two flights until it was time to say “boarding please”.
Depending on the wind force, a maximum of 30 people are allowed to fly. I have not counted, but would claim there were fewer passengers on board or do they say in the basket?!
The door closed and with much fire and noise the balloon rose into the air. A good 150 meters upward goes the flight and thereby one can discover Berlin from above. Yes and the view is really worth it, with good visibility you can look really far.
What I had not counted on that you are allowed to move freely in the basket / gondola during the flight. Even if the tethered balloon has turned slightly, I could really enjoy a 360 degree view of the city. I preferred to avoid the direct view downwards. 150 meters can be quite high.
No sooner had we arrived at the highest point of our journey than we were already heading back . The steel cable of the winch tightened and pulled us continuously to the ground. Shortly before we reached the ground, we had to balance the swing a bit and then we landed again. Quickly we went out of the basket, the next visitors were waiting for their experience.
We stayed for a while and watched the tethered balloon from below. I was impressed by the flight and the view was really great!
Zimmerstraße 95-100 (Ecke Wilhelmstr.)
April till September
October till March
daily: 11-18 h
Attention! It is really useful to call the wind hotline in advance: +49 30 5321 5321
Leave a Reply