Happy Friday again already. We had a public holiday here on Monday, and my week has epitomised that short post long weekend week in that it seemed to be both super short but also long at the same time! We’re really starting to feel like were pulling into the end of term (I think next week is week 8, so 3 weeks to go?), but also i just feel like everyone seems a little bit worn out (worn down?) at the moment. I’m not sure whether it’s the heaviness of the world right now, or the fact that we’ve hit 2 years now of pandemic looming over us, but there is just a weird vibe around lately. Personally I’m looking forward to getting deeper into the cosiness of autumn, and the excitement of Easter and school holidays and all that comes along with it.
Anyway, that’s really a bit of a tangent, though my favourite this week is long weekend – or Canberra Day at least – related. Last weekend we set our Sunday morning alarms for early and headed out around dawn to see the balloons take off on the shores for the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, an annual celebration and part of the Enlighten Festival.
I have lived in Canberra since 2000, and had been out to see the balloons once or twice in the first few years after I moved here, but last year was the first time we had taken our now 8 year old out for a look. It is absolutely a family friendly event – and if you have a look around on social media you’ll see there are loads of places around Canberra to watch from, and some people (with early-rising kids) go out a few mornings over the week to catch the balloons from different vantage points – but we are just not morning people, and I had never been able to bring myself to wake a sleeping toddler to go check it out! We al loved it last year though, and my daughter was thrilled to be going again.
While you can see the balloons up close as they inflate, both years we’ve watched from a bit further away to get a good view of them drifting over the lake. Apart from being an absolute wonder to experience in person, the event is also a photographer’s delight – between the balloons and the water and the rowers on the lake, the sunrise just peeping through, and some of Canberra’s most loved landmarks watching over, it is really hard to take a bad photo! The snap at the top of my post here was one of my favourites from the ones I took this year. The building to the right of the frame is the National Library of Australia, which is one of my favourite places in Canberra. (The view from the bridge I took the photo from, looking out over the lake and toward the library is actually one of my favourite views in Canberra.)
Of course part of the fun of going out on an early morning adventure is stopping somewhere for coffee and pancakes on the way home, and having Monday off gave us a great chance to catch up on a morning lie-in.
I’d love to know in the comments – if you’re a Canberra local too, do you head out to the Balloon Spectacular? And if you’re not, is there a special event like this where you live that you look forward to each year?