Bristol balloon experience: part two

Bristol balloon experience: part two

[ Aug.2017 ] I continue talking about our experience of hot air balloon flight in Bristol in south west England.

The balloon went up and up and we flew over the Bristol city.

When we had a flight in Cappadocia in Turkey, the highlight was the unusual unearthly landform, but here the view was the town where many people are living.

I was a bit scared briefly looking down on the town, but soon I got used to it.

Once I got used to it, it looked like a toy town and my husband said “I feel I can stretch my arm and grab the cars and move them” and I agreed to that.

Our pilot, Steve called the control tower of the airport first and then called his colleagues for a few times, who were following us by car on the ground.

Apparently, hot air balloons move depending on the wind and you cannot choose which direction you go and where you land, so he was talking to his colleagues about his guesses where we would land.

Steve is not a guide, so he did not talk about the town unless someone asked some specific questions.

During the one hour flight, there were two events, one of which was taking photos.

They fastened a camera at the end of a rope and he pushed it out in the air and took some photos of us.

This service was extra and we paid £20 for one set of photos later, though most of the other passengers did not buy it.

The other event was to drink Champagne.

Drinking Champagne in the air was much nicer than drinking the sparkling wine after landing which I did in Turkey when I flew for the first time ( For the second time, they served only juice because their Islamic laws got tighter).

We moved on from the city to the outskirts and landed on a farmland where a herd of cows came and looked at us.

Before landing, Steve instructed us to sit down and hold the rope.

And unexpectedly, we did not land straight, but sideways, which means we were lying on our back when the basket stopped.

The people in the lower part got out of the basket first, then we got out by twisting our bodies.

It is impossible for elderly people.

And the event did not finish here.

We had to fold the balloon.

I wondered if it was correct for them to ask us to work, who paid a lot of money, but on the other hand, doing the work made us feel more close to the balloon itself and somewhat it was a fun.

All the people looked happy anyway.

After the work, they took us back to the starting point by their cars and then we parted.

I imagined that it would be cold in the air early in the morning, though it was in August,  so I was wearing an undershirt + a cotton jumper + a cashmere jumper + a leather jacket + a scarf , but the temperature up there was not so different from the ground and I did not feel cold (not hot, either).

By the way, I was curious why Bristol became the mecca of hot air balloons and found on the internet that in 1960s a man called Don Cameron who worked for Bristol Aeloplane Company wanted to build a new type of balloon which was developed in the USA.

He did it and by 1970, he resigned from his main work and lived on his own balloon business called “Cameron Balloons”.

So Cameron Balloons is the original balloon company in Bristol.

I saw their balloon flying.