"Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta-Festival Extraordinaire" Albuquerque by VeronicaG
Albuquerque Travel Guide: 764 reviews and 1,591 photos
Two weekends in October draw thousands of people to New Mexico from around the world. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been thrilling enthusiasts since l972, when the first few hot air balloons were launched. This was the 36th year for the event.
My husband and I attempted to visit last year ('06)--our first year in the Dallas metroplex, but did not succeed in finding lodging or a flight that would match our schedule. This year, friends invited us months before the event to join them, so our flight was easily secured. We were invited to stay at a family member's home with them, which was just minutes from the grounds.
Originally, we were only planning to attend the 7:00 am Saturday Mass Ascension, but our small group decided to see the GLOWDEO* on Friday night, too. Unfortunately, it was too windy and this event had to be cancelled, but it was still a great evening because I had the opportunity to meet a fellow VTer who was working with the First Aid crew. Be sure to see my tips to find out her identity.
The Albuquerque Balloon Festival is listed in the 1000 Places To See Before You Die travel guide--it truly was a fantastic experience! Balloonists from Spain, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, Lithuania, Japan, France, Switzerland and the United States plied their talents to rise above the melee and soar to the heavens.
*The Glowdeo features uniquely shaped balloons, such as those resembling houses, animals, objects from nature or everyday items, such as a coffee pot. These balloons are then lit up to glow in the night, while tethered to the ground.
NOTE: A lengthy fireworks display concludes the evening and is well worth waiting for--be prepared for the huge traffic jam afterwards.
NOTE: Please peek at my Albuquerque travel albums to see more of what this balloon-crazed town offers its visitors.
My camera battery inconveniently died one afternoon at the fiesta and our friend, Larry Neely, had to step in to take some additional photographs. You'll see some of his pictures noted in a few of my tips.
The Sandia Mountains seem to embrace Albuquerque. They remind me of the Andes Mountains in Chile for they seem to follow... more travel advice
The vibrant yellow flowers seen in the center of this landscaping are Chamisa. These are great plants for Southwest... more travel advice
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