If you're familiar with Chevy Chase's "Vacation" movies, you'll understand when I say that our family trips often have a lot in common with those movies. Sometimes, everything works out. More often than not, however, there's some important element of our trip that is lacking detail. Our trip to the balloon festival in Paestum brought images of Wally World to mind. Thankfully, it was just a day trip!
Our recent adventure took us about 85 miles south to the town of Paestum for the "Mongolfiera" (Hot Air Balloon Festival). Paestum is an area along the Amalfi Coast with some very well-preserved Greek temples and also is a big producer of mozzarella di bufala. There's a great map at this link from Rick Steve's website which shows the position of Paestum in relation to Naples. (I can't put the map in the blog due to copyright issues.)
We were excited to photograph the hot air balloons against the backdrop of the temples. It was a gorgeous day, weather-wise.
We arrived around 9:30 a.m. and were told the balloons would start at 1:30 p.m. Four hours to kill. We filled our time with a leisurely stroll through the temples, got scolded for using a tripod (apparently that makes us look "professional" and, therefore, we weren't allowed to use it). We stopped a couple times to hydrate with some ice cold beer, and watched preparations for a wedding reception. After a delicious lunch (including mozzarella di bufala, of course) we headed back to the balloon launch site. We waited. And waited. Many people gathered, but there was no indication anyone was preparing their balloon to launch anytime soon. Bellies full and nap time approaching, we called it a day and returned home. There's always next year....
In the meantime, enjoy these photos. I honestly don't know if anyone can take a bad photo of these gorgeous temples.