Friday, July 24, 2015

Fr 24-07: Off we go!

After crossing The Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg we arrived in good old Northern France again. It's becoming a true tradition, as it's already the eight time here. We didn't face any problems due to protesting farmers, so the whole trip lasted a little less than six hours. 

At Chambley Airbase the press badges were already waiting for us. Slowly but steady the briefing area was filled with pilots and crew members from all over the world. Tarp Head was just handing out business cards to some employees of a Japanese TV channel. When Tarp noticed us, our hugs were being filmed instantly. He had just told them that the magic of Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons is mostly about joyful reunions with friends. My dad and I agreed, and suddenly we were interviewed ourselves too. Main point: these days it's all about friendship, fun and flying. A little while later I was approached by a balloonist from Catalonia (which doesn't equal Spain, he mentioned clearly) about if he could have his picture taken with me, as he told me he had been following my work for a while already. Nice to hear that the ballooning stories and pictures are welcomed with a smile. All in all, it was a true delight to see so many friends again, even though I'm sometimes still mixing up how many 'hello again' kisses fit to which nationality and when a hug or handshake are more appropriate. Confusing matter!

Balloon Team Grand Britannia
Hello team Grand Britannia! (Picture by Bennie Bos)
The briefing didn't provide much good news. After a terribly hot day, some thunder, rain and wind was expected. When we headed home we passed the camping at the airbase and saw a lot of people fanatically holding on to their tents.

Not good
Back in Pont-à-Mousson a lovely elderly man was standing in front of two giant wooden doors. When we passed by he told us, with a comforting voice, "Look up there, the birds!". Two beautiful storks were sitting around on the Abbey. "Firstly I thought they were part of the building its decoration!". Sweet. Thunder and rain now, with a very small chance of flying tomorrow morning...

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