Thursday, May 19, 2011

Riding a Zeppelin Over Miami

The other day I rode a Zeppelin. I know. A zeppelin. Do they even make those things anymore? The answer is yes. Yes they do. They make them in Germany and they haven't stopped since 1908, Hindenburg be damned. I rode on Airship Ventures' Eureka ship, the largest passenger airship in the world. 246 feet of helium-filled goodness. It was like sailing on air.
The gondola only holds 12 people and you only need to stay seated for about 90 seconds after lifting off. Then you're free to walk around the cabin, stick your head out the window (!) and take in the views of the landscape below. The ship is only here through the weekend and offering tours that least anywhere from an hour to an hour and half. More info here.
The condo canyon in Sunny Isles.
Our pilot was Captain Katherine Board, the only female airship pilot in the world. So yes, she's hard core. And there are a few female blimp pilots out there, but piloting this beast is a completely different game.

Our tour left the airfield at North Perry Airport in Hollywood, then veered east and south, sailing over the ocean. We soared to 1200 feet, thus allowing for detailed views of the landscape below. Floating over South Florida's flat terrain I was struck with how many swimming pools are out there - practically every home has one - and how interesting all those condo buildings look from the top. We rarely take in those buildings in all their skyscraping splendor but here I was able to appreciate some of their structural nuances.
The panoramic back window.

Gulfstream race track (and massive parking lots) in Hallandale.


Rick said...

Sooooo...was it as fun as it looks?

sara said...

Yes, Rick! Sorry I didn't have much detail here at first, just wanted to get the pics up. But I've updated the post to add more info. Thanks for the link!

ChadC said...

Looks so cool. What an experience. I was fortunate enough to go hot air ballooning in New Mexico once. The idea of sailing on air is very true. Post more pics please.