I have now moved back up to Bristol for the last leg of my 2009 south west tour.
The Bristol Balloon Fiesta which is usually held on the second weekend in August is now one of the largest in Europe and attracts balloon enthusiasts from various parts of the world.
The free event in the 850 acre Ashton court estate is held over four days and it has been said that 100,000 can be in attendance on any one of the days.
|Ashton Court on the edge of Bristol city centre.|
On arrival in the park, the crowds were in awe as the Red Arrows RAF team arrived to do what they do best .... giving a jaw dropping aerobatic display...
Despite the team being formed in 1964, they have a long 20th century history in other forms and despite threats in more recent times of the fleet being dismantled due to spending cuts, it took the British Government to step in and overrule the decision as a matter of public relations for worldwide air shows.
|Maybe not quite the 1000 km/h maximum speed|
It was time to take my place of the showground and got a good vantage point near the fence ready to watch the colourful spectacle as the balloons arrived in their ground transport.
I didn't expect to come across another colourful spectacle as I took my place behind a feathered friend.
|"Who's a pretty boy ?!"|
|... and his mate.... "yeah, he always gets the attention, what about me ?!"|
I seem to be attracting all kinds of animals as a dog arrives on the scene and doesn't seem too excited about what is going on in the field.
Unfortunately the Parrot is not so sure and requests a swap from the shoulder to the opposite knee and is also for alternative reasons not too bothered about what is going on the other side of the fence !!
I hope you enjoy the following series of images as a more intimate introduction to the festival...
|"I think we are missing something! "|
|"I'm sure I packed the balloon in here last week !"|
|"Found it... I hope this stitching holds that I did after last time ! "|
|" Having difficulty inflating.... I wonder if I can ask for a volunteer ? "|
|" I'll come and help blow it up "|
|"That's better, keep blowing we're getting there"|
|"Help, I'm getting crushed against my car with a balloon ! "|
|"Not much to look at but it's warm in here "|
|"First up, all done and ready to go, just need to wait for all the others now"|