A Photo Essay From Our USA Road Trip!
Whilst having travelled 5,000 miles across the USA back in 2011, we never made it to the state of New Mexico. So this time around on our latest road trip, we made it a priority to visit ‘The Land of Enchantment’, and headed straight for Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city.
Not only was ‘Breaking Bad’ filmed here, one of our favourite US dramas. But our visit was perfectly timed to coincide with the ‘International Balloon Fiesta’, the opening ceremonies taking place on none other than my birthday!
Balloons take to the sky during the early morning ‘Mass Ascension’ on 4th October 2014.
As a birthday treat and a nice weekend break from camping, we booked into a motel on the east side of the city in readiness for what Albuquerque claims is ‘The World’s Premier Balloon Event’.
Panorama during the ‘Mass Ascension’ on the opening day at the Balloon Fiesta.
Green Chilli and ‘Breaking bad’ are not the only things Albuquerque is famous for!
From its modest beginnings back in 1972 where only 13 balloons took to the sky, the 9 day event held every October in Albuquerque has expanded over 40 years. It now brings together balloons and pilots from a variety of countries who all travel to New Mexico to be part of this great colourful spectacle.
We had a fantastic view of the balloons as they took flight.
Visitors can get really close to the balloons as their teams get them ready.
There were hundreds of people enjoying the morning event.
The ‘Fiesta’ is now considered the biggest gathering of balloons anywhere in the world, with more than five hundred of them taking to the skies in a mass ascension. To help put into perspective how huge the event is, the Balloon Fiesta Park itself has a 78 acre launch field, which is comparable to 54 football fields put together!
The spectacle that everyone was clambering to see – 500 balloons taking to the skies of Albuquerque.
A barrage of colour filled the air as far as the eyes could see.
Firing on all cylinders!
Seeing the crisp, clear desert skies of Albuquerque become painted with a kaleidoscope of colour is what attracted us to the event. It is perfect for photography, with plenty of opportunities to experiment with light, colour and movement. Just what Wayne wanted for a great time-lapse sequence!
Wandering around the Balloon Fiesta Park as teams prepared the balloons.
Each balloon had a unique, colourful design.
Balloons with their pilots getting ready to launch.
And we were not disappointed! Despite a wake-up call at 3am, then having to queue in the Coronado Mall Parking Lot for two hours for the ‘park & ride’ service with literally thousands of other people, just so we could all get to the park in time for the ‘Mass Ascension’ scheduled for 7am – the golden hour – it was all worth it!
Taking the ‘park & ride’ service to get to the Balloon Fiesta Park in time for sunrise.
Showing a sense of scale!
Sunrise over the Balloon Fiesta Park.
Filled and ready to launch…
It was a great birthday treat and unique experience to wander amongst the balloons, see them being launched, then witness the barrage of colours filling the sky!
Perfect skies with not a cloud in sight.
Up, up they go… Creating fantastic colours all around.
We loved this striking balloon design.
The children were really excited about the ‘Angry Birds’ balloon.
More popular character balloons from Star Wars.
It was definitely a birthday to remember and a great reason to visit Albuquerque if you ever travel to New Mexico in October!