Three years ago, we experienced our first International Balloon Fiesta in Bristol. It was one of many times when I wondered how I had never discovered such an incredible event. I was hooked. Ever since I was a child, I have loved hot air balloons. They are so majestic, gently and quietly moving across the sky. So to see them en masse it a truly amazing sight.
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta takes place every August and this year was its 39th year with over 130 balloons taking part in the ascent from the picturesque grounds of Ashton Court over the weekend. It is free entry but you do need to pay for parking and if you have children, you will undoubtedly be talked into handing over money for the many fair rides that are there.
It is hugely popular, attracting thousands of people and it is an event which attracts people of all ages. Apart from the balloons, there is a huge fair with lots of rides and also stands and tents for you to explore. If you are hungry, there are also lots of vans and stalls selling everything from street food to pick and mix sweets.
This year, I was determined to go and in spite of a busy weekend, we pencilled in the Sunday ascent and the weather was perfect (the balloons can’t go up in high winds). We arrived to see crowds filling the whole area and an incredible atmosphere.
I may have taken a few (hundred) photos. I can’t help it, it is such an amazing sight, from the first balloon to the wonderful sight of balloons floating off into the distance as more take off. So sit back and enjoy a few of my photos from Sunday’s evening ascent.
This is one of my favourite events and judging by the crowds there, I am not alone in thinking it. Watch out for it next year and add it to your to do list, you won’t regret it.