First a bump, then a mild churning of the stomach followed by a swimming sensation of buoyancy. The earth fell away and I was sucked into the sky. “No smoking. Absolutely no smoking!” warned the guide, pointing at the propane jets. “If you light up, we will all die.” He squeezed a lever above his head and the nozzles spat yellow-white tongues of flame into the innards of the balloon. Air, heated on the go. Our sustenance and stay on this ride. As we floated up, up, up into the air, without wings, in a hot air balloon, Appenzell spread out beneath us like a patchwork quilt.