Your imagination didn’t prepare you for this.

Imagine stepping into a 4 seater Cessna 172. You’ve seen these planes back home. You put on your headset and you hear the pilot — sitting right in front of you — preparing for take off. “Am I really doing this?” you wonder. The engine growls to life and you’re taxiing to the only runway in this local airport. The pilot talks on the radio. The little Cessna springs to life and next thing you know you’re racing down the runway — the plane lifts and you’re airborne!

You look down at the farm houses passing below you. Then a wide river — the Loire — slips below you. Next you see a golf course and then the vineyards. More and more vineyards. It’s only been 3 minutes since take off and now you hear the pilot’s voice on your headset: “We’ll level off at 2000 feet (600 meters), cruising at about 120 mph (180 kph). There, look to your left — that’s Sancerre.”

You walk those streets everyday to class at Coeur de France, but you never realized how truly beautiful it is: A striking hilltop town, covered in red tile roofs with a single medieval tower standing guard at the top. Quick, the camera!

Castles hidden from earthbound tourists are visible everywhere from up here. The pilot says you will see at least 5 in the next 10 minutes! You feel transported back in time….

Flying along, history comes alive as you begin to understand why castles were built where they are. Sancerre really was impregnable wasn’t it.

Picturesque villages, each more scenic than the last, glide beneath your “wings”. It seems only a few minutes since take off but the pilot says you’re heading back and will be landing shortly. Has it already been 30 minutes? A quick glance at your watch confirms that you’ve been floating over châteaux, villages and vineyards for half an hour!

The little Cessna banks and you hear the pilot speaking French on the radio whilae the plane quiets down and prepares to land. Pastures and farm houses grow larger. You see the airport straight ahead. You gradually descend and then you hear a little ‘chirp’ as the wheels touch the runway.

Gravity has got you again.

The little Cessna taxies to the hangar. The pilot finishes shut down tasks and cuts the motor. You open the door and step out.

Walking away, you catch your reflection in the window. You’re absolutely beaming! “When was the last time I smiled like that?” you wonder!

You glance back at the little white Cessna that magically transported you to another dimension and time.

You may be earthbound again, but your step seems lighter than ever!

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