While I get up at around seven in the morning almost every day, it was the first time in quite some time that I actually left the house that early. It turned out to be a good decision to go early Friday morning since it was the first day of the competition and it seemed everyone was only slowly getting started closing off the meadow for the expected spectators over the weekend.
This is what a balloon looks like on the inside. Over the weekend it was even possible to walk inside a balloon. First a strong ventilator blows air into the balloons ...
What was interesting to see was that at the top side of the balloon there was always someone pulling a rope. I suspect that was to ensure the envelope was unfolding properly.
In case video doesn't show up, you can also watch it on YouTube.
Since one usually sees balloons high up in the sky, here again two pictures that show how big some of them were. Just look at the people.
And yes, there was also a battery taking part in the competition. During the other days there were also the Orient Express and a small penguin. But I think they were just for demonstration purposes.
Balloons across the city. You can find aerial views of the starting area and views from the balloons of the city if you follow the links.
I had plans to go to another event. Either to the Night Glow event on Friday night or the final Key Grab event on Sunday afternoon in which the balloonists have to try to grab a key that's mounted on a eight meter high pole on the meadow. I decided to go on Sunday but unfortunately the weather got worse and worse and the competition got cancelled because of clouds and drizzle. Too bad I didn't go to the Night Glow but you can find some nice picture from the event in this gallery.
A final photo taken the next morning from my apartment. It was once again early morning and the balloons flew in a different direction. You can see how some of them leave a condensation trail in the sky.
You can find larger versions and some additional photos in the gallery.