Bristol Balloon Fiesta

After having some nice breaks in Germany and London, Matthias and Maria finally reached Bristol, to attend this year's edition of the popular Balloon Fiesta. The British Model Balloonists had organised the part for the 'small ones', involving nice activities like a barbecue and a visit to the Cameron Balloon Factory.

The weather was what we used to describe as 'typically British', with rain, wind and sun changing rapidly in all combinations. As a matter of fact, the rather bad forecast for Friday morning seduced us to catch some extra sleep, what resulted in missing the only flight of the fiesta and so - literally - not seeing a single balloon in the sky ;-)

However, tethered balloons were to be seen the lot of them, during the days and at two spectacular night glows (which would certainly have been cancelled all the way in Germany due to the gusts). Plus, we had our model balloons, which we took around the arena whenever weather and flight control permitted.

Our supporting programme left no chance for boredom coming up: On Friday, we were lucky enough to take a tour 'round the Cameron Balloons factory, which still claims to be the biggest manufacturer of hot air balloons worldwide (haven't checked the sales figures, though). Many thanks to Nick Purvis, who led us through the departments and patiently answered all our questions.
Muir Moffat and his wife deserve great gratitude as well, inviting us to their country house at Alveston for a big barbeque on Saturday - our balloons didn't miss out, of course, transforming Mr. Moffat's garden into his own little mini balloon fiesta ;-)

The scheduled model balloon competition at Bristol, however, had to be carried out in baggie target throwing, as the weather permitted no reasonable window for free flying. Stefan Bölle from the Balloon Club of Stuttgart proved to have the right touch on the thing, and so he finally could take home the trophy of the 'UK Model Balloon Champion 2010'.

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