Sunday 27 May: Closing ceremony

The championship is over. Such a pity! I would have liked to stay for a couple of more days. This morning I packed my bags and checked out. Around 11.00 o’clock the prize giving ceremony started at the opposite of the hotel. There were four women playing classical music. On the one hand this was very beautiful and emotional but on the other hand I didn’t really feel like being at a happy gathering. It was a nice and positive get-together though! The officials held their speeches and all top 10 pilots were invited to show their faces on the stage. Eventually the three winners were proclaimed:
1. Rokas Kostiuskevicius (Lithuania)
2. Thomas Merceron (France)
3. Pascal Kreins (Germany)
We are still very happy with our 8th place :).
After the closing ceremony we were invited to the banquet. What an abundance of food; it looked wonderful! I had a traditional ‘cepelinai’ (zeppelin), a potato with meat inside shaped like a zeppelin. I had a few tasty ones earlier this week but this one unfortunately could be placed in the category ‘very sticky potato’. The dessert was lovely.
It was great to get in touch with some more ballooning people during the banquet. I made a small chat with part of the Japanese team for example. They gave me a sweet little gift from Saga. This made me think about the wonderful stories of my dad when he visited Japan in the nineties. I definitely recognized the happiness and friendliness he told me about. I eventually gave them some typical Swedish candy called ‘polka pigs’.
Time to go home… While saying everyone goodbye I got a lot of positive remarks about my blogposts the last few days. I’m very pleased that this was such a success. Around 300 people visited per day!
In around five hours we were back in Riga. Time to get used to the normal daily rhythm again. Tomorrow I’ll show Simon, Tove and Bullen around in my favorite city and around 17.00 o’clock they’ll take the ferry home to Sweden.
This blog will now continue as a diary about three weeks in Finland. Saturday I leave. I’ll follow a summer school programme in graphic design in Mikkeli, Eastern Finland. If you’re interested you’re more than welcome to stay up to date about my adventures!
 Lietuva! From september onwards my home country for two years!
One last thing… As soon as I’ve finished my picture gallery and movie about the championship I’ll publish the links here.
A big thanks to everyone for this lovely first junior world championship! I’ll take a lot of nice memories and a good impression of Lithuania with me to the future. Hope to see you all again in 2014!

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