Oh my goodness. Not only is this the best thing I've ticked off my bucket list so far, but it's probably up there with one of the best things I've ever done. EVER.
Doug and I got up at 5am and trudged through the morning light to Ashton Court. We were greeted with a pretty sunrise & a few other sleepy and excited people, heading over to a few landrovers behind the mansion.
Yep, this was the launch site for our hot air balloon ride!!
The pilots introduced themselves & ran through what would happen, as well as health and safety stuff, then we were put to work! I loved that we all had to help set up the balloon, as well as pack it away at the end.
Doug volunteered to look after one of the fans that helped to inflate the balloon, and before we knew it, these huge expanses of fabric started to look like balloons. Once the flames were lit, they stood upright, and were even bigger than I expected!
We hopped in and began to float away, waving goodbye to Ashton Court and watching everything get smaller and smaller until Bristol looked like a toy town. We spotted the suspension bridge, and the Severn estuary in the background, and I even worked out where our house was!
Halfway through the flight, we practised our landing positions, and then were served champagne!
The feeling of drifting with the wind is wonderful. It's so calm. I wish it could've lasted forever.
We floated on a little further, over some countryside south of Bristol, and soon our hour was up and it was time to land in a field. The wind had picked up a little, which meant a bit of a bumpy landing - the basket even tipped over! However, it wasn't scary at all, and we were all in hysterics.
After helping deflate & pack away the balloon, we had a bumpy ride through the lanes back to Ashton Court, where we were all given little certificates!
Having a hot air balloon ride has been on my bucket list for quite some time, and I'm so glad I got to finally do it! I definitely want to experience it again, maybe in this stunning location!
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