There’s something about the view of 120 hot air balloons floating above you that makes waking up at 5am to see them, worth it. I never imagined myself as the kind of person who’d enjoy this kind of experience, but it honestly was great.
The annual International Balloon Fiesta in Bristol is the biggest in Europe, this year there were 325 flights over a 4 day fiesta. You can either wake up at inhumane hours of the morning to see the balloons go up at 6am, or come in whenever suited, go on some of the rides, listen to the music and see the balloons go up at 6pm. However the British weather never seems to be on our side during these events and often prevents flights.
My uncle, dad, brother and I decided that we would wake up at 5am to see the balloons on Saturday 9th as it was predicted to rain at 6pm. Waking up was not an easy task, especially for my brother. We all somehow managed to drag ourselves out of the house and made our way to Ashton Court Park.
Upon arrival, we noticed that we were hardly the only people there, as hundreds of people filled the park, all eagerly waiting for the first balloon to take off!
I noticed a free spot to stand by a rotting old wooden fence that separates the spectators from the field holding 120 balloons, and there we stood as the first few were filled with hot air!
Slowly, more and more balloons began to inflate, and then finally “THE FIRST BALLOON IS ABOUT TO TAKE OFF” echoed out of the speakers, and up it went, followed by a round of applause! Followed by a few more balloons up.
We then started to notice some interesting looking balloons, such as one shaped as a football cup, a smurfs head, a square balloon, one that once in the air resembled the balloons from Up and most terrifyingly,this:
Just imagine, some poor Bristolian waking up, opening their curtains and seeing THAT!
“THE 100TH BALLOON IS NOW IN THE AIR” was announced after an hour of standing by the wobbly old fence.
The sky looked magnificent, as the sun slowly rose and the balloons floated away into the distance. I know that this day may not be regarded as coolest thing ever, but its a nice change from normal teen things.