One of Bristol’s summertime attractions is its Balloon Fiesta and, wind-direction permitting, for a few days in August the skies above the city fill with balloons. One of the advantages of living in the village these days is that I can walk to the suspension bridge in a couple of minutes, so once the twitter feed confirmed the first launches I was able to catch then on their ascent from Ashton court.
A week later, I was lucky enough to be able to experience the reverse angle, taking to the skies with Bristol balloons for a flight across Bristol and beyond. Helping with the ropes during the inflation was a sufficient distraction from my pre-flight nerves, but I needn’t have worried. It’s possibly the calmest method of transport I’ve encountered; until, at least, you ‘land’. (In our case, ‘crash into a hillside’ would be a better description!) We drifted up and over Clifton and the north of Bristol, before trading the city for rolling countryside, ending up (after about an hour) in a field near a place called Rangeworthy, about twelve miles from the take-off point. It really was an ideal evening: despite the day before and after being a wash-out, we were blessed with dry weather; it was windy enough to make swift progress but not enough to cause problems; there was plenty of scenery to admire, in gorgeous light due to the approaching sunset; and I had the company of good friends too. It’s not cheap, but I’d say it’s definitely worth it. Naturally, I took a lot of photos whilst I was up there: