Monday, 11 August 2014

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2014

Hi everyone!

So this is going to be my first joint blog post that is going to appear on both of my blogs - Behind Door Thirty One and Emma Meek Photography as I feel I will only be repeating myself if I write a separate blog post on each blog.

On Saturday, I visited the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Gate, Bristol for the first time. Expectations were high and I was really looking forward to visiting with my friend Kate (it was her first visit too).

The journey down to Bristol was taxing I must admit as we got stuck in traffic following an accident, I hope all those involved are safe and well - 6 cars were involved we counted. When we arrived at Ashton Gate around 1pm (following a slight detour - oops!) we were able to park quickly and headed to the main area of the Fiesta. 

As we reached the main part, we were greeted by a fairground - rides and stalls, the usual stuff! We walked through this area and into the next. The next part was full of more stalls - food, drink and things to buy such as clothing, jewellery and crafts. There were also a number of charity and local business stalls.

I kind of expected the stalls but not like this, I hoped there would be more about the hot air balloons and maybe somewhere you could get up close and personal with one. You, of course could book a hot air balloon flight but this was very expensive.

After looking round the stalls, we found a spot at the fence ready to watch the hot air balloons and other attractions. Unfortunately due to rather rubbish weather and heavy downpours some of the expected attractions didn’t happen including the 6pm lift off of the balloons which was really disappointing. 

We were however, treated to parachute display team, seeing a Spitfire and Hurricane, a Rolls Royce Spitfire and someone doing Parabatix which looked like great fun.

After being at the Balloon Fiesta for 5 hours we finally saw a balloon, it was wasn’t a full size balloon it was a model hot air balloon. These are fantastic and I would love to own one! Whilst the model balloons were being shown the full sized balloons began to take their places ready for the ‘Night Glow’ which was to be followed by fireworks.

The ‘Night Glow’ was stunning, it was set to music and the hot air balloons pilots burnt their fuel in time and in different sequences to the music. It was certainly an amazing sight. Here is my favourite photo from the glow. 

The fireworks after were fabulous!

Leaving the car park was certainly another challenge, it was badly organised and poorly run which lead to a 50 minute wait. It was very frustrating as you could see there was a better way of managing you leaving.

All in all, I’m not sure I would go that early in the day again, my highlight was certainly the Night Glow, it was stunning and well worth the long wait! I think if I am to go again I will travel down for this only or this and the evening lift if there is good weather. The car park last entry was 7pm which would work well to just see this part of the Fiesta. I would however advise that you get to the Fiesta round 5pm if you want a space next to the fence to be able to get some good photos, the fiesta is very busy and any further back from the fence will mean people’s head will get in the way!

Did you visit the Fiesta? What did you think of it? I would love to hear your opinions!

Until next time….

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