Granada, Spain

Sunshine in England, contrary to expectations – and our expectations were, unfortunately in this case, also contradicted in Spain! We arrived at Granada airport to pouring rain … and with small chances of weatherimprovement for next day.

The late afternoon was spent deciding on the take-off location for the airship. Our very friendly and, I have to say, most competent Spanish balloonist consultants (Miguel in Granada and Arnulfo in Madrid) showed us the ideal start platform on a hill just opposite the Alhambra.So, actually, the start was going to be a drop down into the valley that separated our take-off platform from the Alhambra. Our reception at the Patronato, the offices that run the monument, was wonderful – all the women (a really female-run place!) working there were excited about the event and working hard to make it all a success. We were received by the Directora, Maria Villafranca, in her lovely and spacious office that mixes ancient and modern very happily. Francisco, one of the head architects/archeologists, and Ana, the PR lady, drove with us to check out the starting location and then also showed us where the rest of the event would take place. We spend a long time determining the best positioning for the certificate handover ceremony in the Patios Reales – having to work around scaffolding, the lovely but, of course, not-sturdy reflecting pool, the hedges and the direction from whence the sun would shine …

And surprise, surprise, just before sinking behind the horizon, the sun gave us a signal and hope for next day with a beautiful red-golden sunset. The cameras could get it but, unfortunately, it was too short notice for an airship flight.