8 In travel/ uk

postcards from the bristol balloon fiesta

dear friends,

those of you who follow me on twitter know exactly where i was this weekend. for those who don’t, nic and i headed for bristol to take a hot air balloon ride as part of the bristol balloon fiesta. we took the train over from london on friday night as we had an early start on saturday morning… we needed to be at the site, ready to go by 6am which meant a 4.30 am start!

nice day for a balloon ride
nice day for a balloon ride

oh, it was most definitely worth it. according to our pilot (who has been doing this for 20 years), we couldn’t have picked a more perfect morning for it. there were no clouds as far as the eye could see, cool still air and the warm sun beaming at us over the horizon.

we were all giving instructions on how to get into the basket, and a safety briefing, then we were off. floating up into the gorgeous bristol morning with the rest of the balloons.
bristol balloon fiesta

we flew for about 75 minutes, commanding a spectacular view over bristol and the clifton suspension bridge
bristol uni balloon & the clifton suspension bridge

after a stunning flight and some very welcome bucks fizz, we headed into to town center for some lunch before heading back to our b&b for a quick nap… then, we headed back out to the ashton court estate to see the red arrows.
red arrows

ak, i was thinking of you as we saw these guys… it’s like the ultimate in drag racing being up there i expect :)

then we watched the balloons go up for the evening flight. there was definitely more of a crowd around this time and finding a good spot was tricky.

after the launch we decided we needed to be closer to the arena, so headed for one of the beer/pimms tents, where we managed to grab a table & chairs right on the fenceline for the finale of the evening, the night glow. set to music & beautifully choreographed, the night glow had the ballooons lighting up for us in an amazing display.
night glow

by the time this was done, neither of us could bear the thought of queueing for hours to get on a bus, so waved down a cab and headed straight back for bed. a most amazing day from start to finish.

nic and i both have a stack of photos to sort through… these are just a few of the highlights.

  • Di
    15/02/2010 at 22:30

    Absolutely stunning images!

  • Carol
    13/08/2009 at 21:05

    I love the idea of going up in an air balloon… but the idea also terrifies me. What a great experience :-)

  • gkgirl
    13/08/2009 at 19:20

    ahhhhhh…
    this is fantastic!!!
    i am so envious…
    :O)

    and what stunning photos!!

  • Kay
    13/08/2009 at 11:06

    That looks like a beautiful experience. We just about went on a balloon ride this summer in Qtwn, but the weather was poor and the window disappeared. … One day maybe …

  • storm
    11/08/2009 at 20:27

    looked absolutely amazing! i am completely jealous of the experience…….one day…..

    thank you for sharing with us

    storm

  • Amy
    10/08/2009 at 18:40

    What an incredible experience, and those photos are lovely. I know what you mean about having hundreds of photos to sort through, too… and I didn’t do anything near that amazing over the weekend.

  • Jo
    10/08/2009 at 09:18

    Amazing photos! I’m so glad you had such a lovely time! x

  • pen*
    09/08/2009 at 23:20

    oh my god,
    it looks amazing!
    and your photos are AWESOME!