Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Saga International Balloon Fiesta Recap: Day 5

Finally, we're at the end of the recap! Unfortunately, the winds grew rather strong from the afternoon onwards, so there was no afternoon flight or the full version of the night balloons. But I'm jumping ahead of myself.

Morning Competition


When you want to sleep but everyone is like
"Get up and fly!"





Balloon Fantastia

The late morning was pretty fun! First, we got a visit from someone from the Panda balloon and LOOK AT HER NAILS!




And I got to chat with two of the teams in the Balloon Fantasia.



The basket of the Saga Balloon Museum team can hold 10 people and the maximum wait is over 1 ton! That's because the balloon is like twice the size of regular balloons!!



We also learnt that transporting balloons is expensive (rich people use planes, everyone else ships them) and so pilots sometimes opt for smaller baskets. It makes the balloon lighter too, which is good. But it does mean that the canisters have to be hung outside the basket which poses risks of its own.

And this is the Snow White balloon. It's 50 meters tall and the cloth alone weighs 350kg!!



The balloon was originally commission by some rich German toy makers (I think they were brothers?) and ended up sleeping for 10 years until the pilot bought her. She's travelled around Europe and America, and this is her first time in Japan!

Fun fact: the balloon is so big that they have to enter it and inflate her head with a tiny burner first. Then they inflate the rest of her the normal way. Which is why she looks like she's waking up whenever she gets inflated. And the pilot (who's from England) really loves the people of Saga! He was very appreciative of them and repeatedly expressed his thanks for being here.

Afternoon

We decided to go out for a little while and passed by the scarecrow festival. And I saw some dancing!


And then pigs flew


There was a public meeting, where it was announced that due to weather conditions, the afternoon competition could not be held.


My farewell photo

Night burners

The last night was a burners-only version, which is kinda cool but not as nice as when the balloons are inflated.




Everyone was having a good time, though, with dancing going on. I joined this skipping in a circle thing (to the amusement of my friends).



And that was it, actually. We headed back straightaway (because we had a bus to catch) and got back before midnight.

And that's a recap of the five days that I was there this year! Hope you enjoyed the photos!