Yesterday we went to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta for the day, it was a very long day, but very worth it, and we had the reward of the famous “night glow” at the end ^^
The fiesta is held every year at Ashton Court Estate, and it’s the 2nd biggest of its kind in the world :)
The hot air balloons are not the only things to enjoy there though, as there are lots of places to get food, games to play, and rides for children to go on.
It looks empty of people in the photos because these were taken in the morning, but later in the day the place is absolutely packed ;>.>
There are lots of other stalls / booths to see as well, for a variety of interests, including a Wii U games area, army and navy stalls, a small selection of animals from the nearby zoo, and even Optimus Prime himself ;)
Throughout the day there are several airshows, with the overall theme of the day being aviation.
Yesterday we had the chance to see wingwalkers on bi-planes, parachute displays, a Typhoon jet (brilliantly loud XD ), model planes (the 3rd picture below is a model), and a Spitfire, among others :)
One of the main things people come to see though, since this is the balloon fiesta after all, is the hot air balloons.
Depending on weather conditions they usually do 2 mass ascents each day during the fiesta; 1 at 6am and 1 at 6pm……we saw the 6pm one, and it was brilliant to watch ^^
Close to 100 hot air balloons launched, including a few interestingly shaped ones (a battery and a massive trophy among them), it was amazing ^-^
The other thing that we were reeeeaaally looking forward to, was the “night glow”, which we waited all day for :P
A selection of the balloons are tethered around the inside of the main arena, and they all light up in time to music. They get really bright, and it was our favourite part of the whole day :)
The night glow is immediately followed by a fireworks display, that wraps the whole day up nicely :)
It’s a brilliant place to spend the day, but note that it does get very crowded as the day goes on.
The only bad thing about our experience, was that after the fireworks when everyone was trying to leave, it seemed very unorganised. We had to wait in the car for nearly 1 hour, and barely moving for the majority of that time, until someone finally started directing the traffic better. At least this is how it seemed for us stuck in the car, but if there was another reason beyond their control for the holdup, then I will take back all of our mutterings that we ushered while stuck there after a brilliant day ^_^;
I would still very much recommend going along during one of the days for the fiesta though ;)
Just remember, if you’re there to see hot air balloons, they fly at 6am and 6pm, and the night glow is only on the Thursday night, and the Saturday night :)