Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon when we set off for our road trip to Bristol, for the 34th International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which is apparently Europe’s largest annual Hot Air Balloon event. With almost 250,000 visitors on Saturday alone it most definitely felt like it!

With a night stopover just outside Bath, having left it late booking a B&B it turned out to be almost impossible to get any decent accommodation within 20 miles of Bristol! Just as well though as we came across this gem of a cottage in beautiful countryside – many thanks to lovely Angela and Chris for their warm hospitality even though it was such a brief stay.

Very early on Saturday morning, when most people are turning over in their beds and dreaming of the impossible, we set off for Bristol aiming to get there by 6am for our hot air balloon flight. Unfortunately this didn’t happen for us or the hundred or so people who were booked for sightseeing flights due to high winds up at 2000ft, even though on the ground it was very calm and windless with a clear sky. It turns out that hot air ballooning is a very complex operation, with the weather, mostly winds, being the main factor. The exhibitor’s flights still went ahead though as planned. Despite a little disappointment it turned out to be a great day that was finished off with the famous ‘Night Glow’ where around 20 or so balloons were glowing in time to music – quite spectacular, followed by fireworks!

Balloons getting ready for ‘Night Glow’

A short video from the day…

With a great and needless to say long day behind us we set off for a 3 hour night drive back to Brighton – getting home and crashing out in bed never felt this good, even though it was almost sunrise :-)!