Albuquerque, New Mexico – Some people do whatever it takes to remove an item from the bucket list. However, this particular item traveled nearly 30 hours by car in just three days.
But I can confidently say that was the coolest thing I’ve ever done.
For nine days each year, the city of enchantments lives up to its name. The sky is depicted in more than 500 hot-air balloons in the refreshing autumn air with numerous colors and creatures. It is a canvas that catches the eye from all over the country.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the immediate availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, this year’s event was finally back.
Participants had several ticket options-general admission tickets, or some other perks of various clubs offering private seats, toilets, and some dining options.
I chose the Chaser’s Club ticket. This included private outdoor seating in a fenced area, breakfast, drinks, balloon glow and a close-up view of the launch. I wanted a complete experience while traveling, but with seats isolated from the crowd, this seemed like the best, most COVID-19 safe option.
Around 5:30 am on Wednesday, the adventure to the festival began, wearing a number of clothes in preparation for the early morning cold. If you’ve never been to New Mexico, their autumn temperatures are quite different from Texas. Therefore, when you visit, please dress accordingly.
The morning glow was set at 6:30 am. That said, it took me an hour to park, check in, sit down and get ready for action. Surprisingly, this process looked perfect.
There was a lot of traffic, but the route passed in no time. By about 6am, the balloons in the field were preparing to shine, so I had already parked and seated.
Despite a slight delay in rain, it wasn’t long before the fire in the hot-air balloon burned completely and its bright colors shined throughout the field. Seen from a distance, it looked like a holiday ornament on a Christmas tree.
The crowd cheered as the balloons lit every few minutes. But I knew very little that the real magic started at sunrise.
After 7 am, as the sun rose, all the hot-air balloons flew into the sky, and it was time for a massive rise to usher in a new day.
Hundreds of hot-air balloons spread all over the ground, all inflated, gradually floating in the sky and floating above us. These former giant balloons eventually went up enough and looked like stars, like small dots in the sky.
Every angle of the city was covered with hot air balloons in just a few minutes, which was breathtaking.
The rest of the morning spent wandering around the balloon Fiesta grounds as balloons of various colors, shapes and sizes continued to rise.
Simply put, it was amazing. It was calm. It was a positive piece in the chaos of the last two years, and I’m glad I had a normal feeling.
Even after leaving the Fiesta grounds, balloons remained in the sky throughout the morning in the city of Albuquerque. Therefore, even if you cannot actually participate in the launch on the Fiesta grounds, you can participate in the celebration from a distance and enjoy the beauty.
Finally, this is definitely a bucket list item and I encourage you to consider it. Despite the long hours in the car and the early morning wake-up call, trekking was well worth it.
If you want to taste the balloon event on Wednesday for yourself, check out the articles below.
For more information on Balloon Fiesta, please visit this website.
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I adventured from San Antonio to Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and it was breathtaking
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