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Hey there! I've decided to continue blogging at a different blog. The MEXT archives and some of my travel posts will remain here, but I'll be moving some stuff over. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Saga International Balloon Fiesta Guide (Part 1)

Sorry for this being late! But here's a summary of all five days of the Saga International Balloon Fiesta - as well as what it's like to be a volunteer.

A typical day

Try to wake up at 4:45, actually wake up at 5am. Freeze while trying to change into warmer clothes.

Get to the place at about 6 am. Continue freezing until someone gives you the handwarmer.

BALLOON TIME! This is, however, subject to weather conditions. But if the weather is good, the morning balloons are fantastic, I managed to get shots like this:

A warning though - the sun rises from behind the spectators stands, so if you want to get a shot of the balloons against the sun, you'd have to somehow get your way into the restricted area. Anyone willing to volunteer?

Picture taken on the last day
 A popular spot for photographers would be on the river opposite the launch area. But, if you don't have a pretty powerful camera, it may be hard to take photo. I did, however, spot this house that for some reason reminded me of Up:

And this is the photo that got the best reaction (apparently).

After the the competition balloons have taken off, then its time for the Fiesta balloons to take off! I don't think this happened on every single day, but it was pretty when it did. More hot air balloons are always welcomed!

When all the balloons have finally flown into the sky, there's a wait before it's time for the 'Fun' balloons (which by the way, can totally fly)

Tom! I also saw a smurf!
 One great thing about the fantasia balloons is that they're open to public. You can't take a ride in them, but you can get up close for photos. I managed to get this shot, thanks to the very obliging pilot, who pulled the flame for me.

By the way, can anyone guess what the thing in the middle is? It provoked a lot of questions... and quite a few people got it wrong.

Although being part of the Net Team was tiring, especially the waking up early part, having this vest was incredible useful, because it got me access to some restricted areas, so I could take lots of photos.

Part 2 will be about the afternoon activities, and Part 3 will be about the non-balloon but related activities, so watch out for those posts! I'll end with two more photos that I quite like, and I hope you enjoy!

The pilot getting ready to throw his marker

Getting the balloons ready XD

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