This year's Chateau d'Oex festival was the first one with two Corkscrew Balloons: CB I and CB II flew together.
On May 14, Christie's South Kensington held the Dr. Bernard Watney Corkscrew Auction. Alf's Journal covers that event; it also provides these pages' first coverage of London's phone booth tart cards.
From London, Alf went to Ireland. There he was joined by Robin and Stephani for a week of ballooning over the Emerald Isle. Most of the Ireland details are told by Stephani, with some before and after bits penned by Alf.
In July, Stephani was in charge of the France Journal, which covers ballooning in the Loire Valley and in Burgundy. The adventure began with some sightseeing in Paris, along with Bastille Day activities. The Loire days included stops at Domaine de Beauvois, Chenonceau, Cinq-Mars, Villandry, Chateau d'Artigny, and more. After a travel day to Burgundy, the troupe checked into Chateau de Vault de Lugny for three days. A few more Burgundian days in Beaune, and the trip was complete!
After the French balloon trip, Stephani went home to Florida and turned the journal pen over to Alf, who took a short trip to London. There were plenty of sights to see and a corkscrew auction to attend at Christie's South Kensington. The latter event provided a convenient excuse for the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club to have its annual general meeting.
In August, Paul's journal covered his first balloon flights. Paul joined Sandra, Ken, Jean and Alf in Zurich just in time for StreetParade 97. Ballooning and assorted sightseeing took place in various areas around Bern, then the group transferred to Prague via Austria. There was enough time in Prague for sightseeing and one balloon flight over the Czech Republic, and then Paul, Ken and Sandra were on their way home. Alf then picked up the pen and continued for several additional days in Prague.
In late September, the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts convened in Avignon. Among the events was a memorable tour conducted by a girl in white pants. Annie came along for the convention.
When the AGM was over, Annie and Alf transfered to Paris for another week of intensive sightseeing in the City of Light. When Lisa and Bryan joined them in France, everyone headed off to Burgundy for the remainder of October ... with a focus on ballooning over vineyards and enjoying Meals by Shamane.
In November, Alf created a five-day journal reporting on Paris and Vault de Lugny ... but then, upon realizing that you'd probably heard it all before, he treminated it and simply provided a collection of photos depicting his stops in Paris, Vault de Lugny, Paris again, and London.
Elisabeth closed out the year with her visit to Bangkok and her Christmas in Bangkok 1997 journal: Bangkok With Alf in Seven Lessons. Susan was also there for some of the festivities ... and thus was a very busy year brought to a close!