8. Montgolfières!

Quebec in summer is a land of festivals. One of the most famous among them is the hot air balloon festival in St-Jean-Sur-Richilieu, which is held each year southeast from Montreal. It is the largest festival of its type in Canada. It is held each year since 1984. It attract numerous participants from all over the world and many spectators. This year there were balloons from Canada, USA, Brazil, and Belgium.

We arrived there at about 3 pm. It was really hot. Too hot for me actually. I was happy to spend some time sitting in the shadows. Otherwise there were many amusement rides, but mostly for kids, free concerts, parachutists‘ show.

Enjoying shadows
Enjoying shadows
Paracute show
Paracute show

At about 6 pm, the balloons began to arrive, most of them in special trailers, rest – on pick up trucks and in vans. They took their places around the airfield where they are supposed to be launched, and started waiting for the weather forecast.

Everyone is in place, waiting for the weather forecast
Everyone is in place, waiting for the weather forecast

Finally, it was green! Everyone started applauding! The show was about to begin! The crews started inflating their balloons rapidly, they started growing like mushrooms after rain. A few minutes later the first one was airborne! The spectators greeted it with loud applause. Then the next one. Then one more. And just after a few minutes balloons started filling the sky, they were everywhere. There is something magical about hot air balloons. I felt like a kid, I was full of emotions! I have never seen anything that beautiful, it is an experience like no other. That is the Canada I was looking for!  Just look at these pictures!

Balloons start to get inflated
Balloons start to get inflated
Balloons pop up everywhere
Balloons pop up everywhere
First one is in the air!
First one is in the air!

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Some balloons are really unusual
Some balloons are really unusual

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Sadly, this one did not fly
Sadly, this one did not fly
This is my favorite. I liked it the most.
This is my favorite. I liked it the most.

This event is absolutely must-see! I’ll definitely come back next year!

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