Come Fly With Me...  

helga_hansen 50F  
3122 posts
8/10/2006 2:19 pm

Last Read:
8/16/2006 10:57 am

Come Fly With Me...

Each summer (the second weekend in August, to be precise) the city I now call home hosts the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, the largest event of its kind in Europe, at Ashton Court Mansion, on the southern side of Bristol.

Hot air balloon pilots from all over the world gather here, and it is quite an amazing sight to see 200 hot air balloons all inflated and ready to launch. I can see some of you shaking your head in bemusement... "so what" you're thinking, "they're hot air balloons, big deal!" Well, normally I would consider agreeing with you, but I've always loved the sight of a hot air balloon drifing gently across the sky. What makes this fiesta so special is exactly that... the "special-shaped" balloons.

I've seen Thomas The Tank Engine, Skydiving Action Man, a Scottish bagpiper, a fire hydrant , a Coca Cola bottle, a boy in a supermarket shopping trolley, a giant green Monster... the list of special shapes is endless, and has to been seen to be believed. British favourites like Bertie Bassett are there, along with the very recognisable day-glo orange RAC roadside emergency van. One balloon that will have you thinking perhaps you've been sipping at the cider for too long is the Upside Down balloon. It can usually be seen in tandem with its mate, the Rightside Up balloon.

The festivities kick off on the Thursday with a free pop concert, sponsored by one of the city's commercial radio stations, and the evening ends with the fabulous Night Glow. Here about 30 balloons are tethered, and their burners are fired in time to music. This is well choreographed, and the finale comes with fireworks, which have the crowd suitably oo-ing and aah-ing.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning (6am) and in the evening (6pm) there is a mass ascent, where all the balloons lift off (suitable weather conditions are a priority). There is another Night Glow on Saturday evening, and there is a carnival atmosphere in the ground. Over 100,000 people visit each day, and I would recommend this festival to everyone! So, if you live in the UK, and you've got nothing planned this weekend, why not come down and enjoy this wonderful event yourselves. And for our foreign readers... if you're planning a visit to this beautiful country, try to remember the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta!!

See you there!!

Originally posted on 8 August 2005 - just proves how timeless something like this is!

Love, hugs and kisses from ♥♥HH♥♥

digdug41 50M

8/10/2006 2:33 pm

hey helga have fun at the festival

roaming the cyber streets of blogland

TheQuietGuy2005 56M
2386 posts
8/10/2006 2:50 pm

Last year I said I really had to get down there for this spectacular display ... and now I find myself saying it for a second year.

Next year, definitely next year!!

GB_Cple 67M/56F  
3118 posts
8/10/2006 10:43 pm

dutchpete 55M
563 posts
8/11/2006 3:02 am

Do the passengers of the balloon have to carry clear plastic bags too ?

Hope the weather is good enough to sit and enjoy the take-off of all those different shaped balloons.

toothysmile 52M
16517 posts
8/13/2006 3:10 am

seems like i've missed it; perhaps next year?... kisses.

brightblonde3 59F

8/13/2006 7:06 pm

just passing through in a balloon, saying hello, dear Helga.



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