IGCSE descriptive essay | 2010 Oct-Nov | Imagine that you are up in a hot air balloon.


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

Imagine that you are up in a hot air balloon. Describe what you see below and how the experience makes you feel.

Model Essay

The hot air balloon ascended gently, carrying me higher and higher into the morning sky. As I peered over the edge of the wicker basket, my breath was taken away by the breathtaking panorama that unfolded below. The world transformed into a vivid tapestry of colors and textures, each detail more mesmerizing than the last.

Below me, the landscape stretched out in a patchwork quilt of greens, yellows, and browns. The fields of crops were meticulously divided, each section a different shade depending on the type of plant. The golden waves of wheat swayed gently in the breeze, while the lush green of the cornfields stood in stark contrast. Interspersed among them were patches of wildflowers, splashes of red, purple, and blue that added a touch of whimsy to the orderly rows.

A meandering river cut through the land, its waters sparkling like a ribbon of silver in the morning light. The riverbanks were lined with tall, graceful trees whose leaves rustled softly in the wind. The trees formed a lush, green border along the river, creating a serene, picturesque scene. As the balloon drifted closer to the river, I could see the occasional canoe or fishing boat gliding along, the people within tiny, animated figures against the vast landscape.

Villages dotted the countryside, their red-roofed houses clustered together like miniature toy buildings. Smoke curled lazily from chimneys, indicating that breakfast fires were being lit. The village squares were easy to spot, marked by small gatherings of people and the spires of old churches that reached skyward. Roads crisscrossed the fields, winding their way through the villages and connecting them like veins in a vast living organism.

As the balloon floated further, I saw a dense forest emerging on the horizon. The trees formed a thick, dark green carpet, the canopy so dense that the forest floor was hidden from view. The forest looked mysterious and impenetrable, a stark contrast to the open fields and orderly villages. The sight of it filled me with a sense of awe and a hint of trepidation, as if it held secrets that were not meant to be uncovered.


The gentle swaying of the balloon and the soft hiss of the burner added to the tranquil ambiance of the flight. The world below seemed almost surreal, like a beautiful painting that had come to life. The sense of peace and detachment was profound; up here, the worries and noise of everyday life seemed distant and insignificant. The only sounds were the occasional bursts of the burner and the soft whisper of the wind against the balloon’s fabric.

As I looked down, a sense of wonder and freedom enveloped me. The experience was exhilarating yet calming, an extraordinary blend of excitement and serenity. Floating above the world, I felt a deep connection to the beauty of nature and the intricate tapestry of human life. It was a reminder of how vast and varied the world is, and how small we are in comparison.

The view from the hot air balloon was a revelation, a perspective that offered a unique and profound appreciation of the world below. It was a moment of pure magic, one that left an indelible impression on my heart and mind. As the balloon began its gentle descent, I knew that the memory of this flight, and the feelings it evoked, would stay with me forever.

Word Count: 564