Thursday, August 1, 2013

LMAB 31 July - evening

After a nice nap I strolled around through Pont-a-Mousson with Sarah, Kathy and my dad. For the first time we managed to visit the big church over there. It smelled rather moldy and it was quite an interesting sight to discover a giant rat trap placed next to the altar. We had a look at some of the shops in town and then headed back to our hotel room with small kitchenette in order to prepare some food. At 15.00 an interview was scheduled with some local tv stations. I'm not really sure what to think of the outcome. In the end I was talking less then a minute and I just didn't really know how to handle the 'do you get a lot of ballooning journalism requests from America' question after having written for Ballooning Magazine only three times. Hm. Anyways, it was an interesting experience as a journalism student myself to see the work attitude of the Frenchmen. At least six people all had their own opinion on what had to happen and the interviewer who wanted to talk about our fan website didn't really seem to have a clue about what he was asking me questions. Oh well, I hope it was ok in the end.

After the interview my dad and I went off to JT's second birthday party. What a happy little guy that is. We had some lovely food and good company from the British and Americans. JT was amazed by the bubbles I brought him and also the little drum session of my dad, Peter and Dave was a great success. The Head family stays at a little airport at about an approx. 20 minute drive from the Chambley airbase. It's such a nice place to hang out with friends, having a great view on the little planes taking off from there.

The weather looked just too good for this evening, so finally we could reach for the sky once again. Four previous flights had been cancelled so everybody was excited to finally have some action this evening. I managed to join Christian Muth with his Robbie Williams balloon this time. He took it nicely slow so there were many opportunities to shoot some great shots. You'll see them all on Facebook once my internet connection is better, so, when I'm back in the Netherlands. From the sky we had a great view on the motorbike special shape and the cluster of balloons above the former briefing hangar. It reminded me a bit of the famous Saturday morning flight two years ago but the balloons were dancing around a bit more wild this time. We were glad to have some distance from that mass of hyperactive balloons.

We landed just outside the launch field from where it took quite a while to reach the refuelling station. Nevertheless, it was extremely enjoyable to join Christian's team. I had a look at their fantastic camping spot. A big trailer which they transformed into a small airconditioned house. Love it! One beer and a few laughs later I headed towards the gasballoons which were scheduled to take off soon. Amazing things. Since they were situated at the other end of the launch field I was about to conquer the non-lighted path towards them. Luckily some Russians gave me a ride. I wouldn't be a Dutchman if I wouldn't have something to nag about, so I once again would like to address the French work attitude. Even when all the gas balloons were ready for take off, the self proclaimed launch master kept on running around without taking action. I just don't understand why some things here can take so long. Eventually Wilhelm Eimers was fed up by it so he helped the gas balloons lifting off having their proper amount of weight. It just stays one of the most fascinating things; a gasballoon taking off, complete silence and in the background thousands of twinkling stars. Time for a four hour sleep... ai!

Some of the gas balloons, earlier that day.

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