This weekend just gone, we went up to Bristol to see something I’ve been wanting to watch for years: The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. We were going up on Saturday to stay for a couple nights in the area and watch the 6am mass ascent on Sunday morning. As we travelled up on Saturday I was a little worried as the Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning take offs had all been cancelled as the weather was too windy. I didn’t want us to go all the way up there and not even get to see a balloon. Luckily, however the wind was supposed to be very calm on Sunday morning and things were looking promising.
The balloons were supposed to start at about 6am and the carpark was open from 5:30. This meant getting out of bed at 4:30, which was a tad earlier than I’d normally get up but was definitely worth it as the crowds and roads are considerably quieter! If you don’t mind an early start I’d definitely recommend going to the morning lift. As we got there nice and early we were able to grab some breakfast (bacon and cheese crepe) and a cup of tea from one of the many food stalls and grab a good spot to watch from.
We saw the crews unravelling their balloon and testing their burners before all leaving to go and have a pilot’s meeting. A few minutes later, they emerged and rushed to their baskets. A loud siren hailed and for the next two hours the most colourful, exciting hot air balloons took flight. I expected them to all take off in one go and it all be over in a flurry, but it wasn’t like this, it was much better. They took off gradually in stages which made the whole thing much more of an event and gave you new and interesting things to look at for almost two hours. In the sky you could see balloons drifting off into the distance.
Anyway there’s not much point describing it all in immense detail. Just take a look at some of the photos I took of this incredible event: