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coasterer

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  1. Your guys' comments are incredibly gratifying to read, and way too overly-gracious. And I'd just like to say that I really appreciate it. It's great hearing from you. As for the rest of Turkey: there's a lot of it. I mean, a looooooot. I'd actually encourage you to pull up a map in a different browser for this next part, cuz I'll be throwing around a lot of city names, and if "the world" is your thing, it's good stuff to know. While it might not be as big as the US, it feels larger for a lot of reasons. 1) There's so much countryside, and most of it is untouched, uncharted by anyone who doesn't live there, and wild. 2) The landscape is extremely diverse, ranging from enormous prairies to craggly stone mountains, and all sorts of greys and greens and reds and browns along the way. The whole place has a sort of "end-of-the-world" feel, landscape that stretches for miles without tree or inhabitant, and the sky sits sort of flatly, like the land goes on forever. 3) it's impossible to get anywhere. There is one train that runs once a day across the entirety of the country, from Istanbul to Kars (well over 36 hours), and really the only way to catch it in between those two points is to make it to Ankara, the technical capital, in the center of the country. It took me about 4 days to make the trip across Turkey, from Cesme to Hopa, and that was about as direct as I could manage. That being said, because I started in Izmir and not Istanbul, so I had to do a little hopping that gave me around 8 hours in Izmir, 8 in Ankara, and the night in Erzerum. For those not familiar with where Turkey is exactly, it's the country that connects Turkey and Asia below Russia (and the black sea above which is Bulgaria, Romania, and the Ukraine,), just to the right of Greece. It's left side is on the Mediterranean, and to the right you have Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. And below those, to the southeast of the country, you find Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Istanbul is in the far northwest of the country, and is the division between the European part and the Asian part. Most of the country is in the Asian part. Izmir and Ankara are the next two biggest cities after that - Ankara is the capital in the center of the country, and Izmir is on the Mediterranean, a huge beautiful crescent of a city built around a large inlet. Near Izmir is the biblical city of Ephesus, one of the oldest (if not the oldest???) cities in the world, and unfortunately just a little too out of reach for this trip. Erzerum (my last stop on the cross-country train) in the east is an enormous ski resort town, right at the base of the mountains, and apparently the skiing there is really up and coming on the international scene. The south of the country, along the coast, in the Antalya region, is where most of the good touristy beaches are. The plan for this trip was originally to take the tranSiberian to Mongolia, but I just wasn't in one place long enough to turn my passport in for a Russian Visa. So now the plan was to get to take a huge train voyage to Georgia as a second-best option to do some hiking in the Caucasus, specifically to see Kazbegi. I started in Milan with a super cheap flight and to get to the Italian parks the first weekend, then made my way to Greece by ferry and through it by bus, then to Turkey by ferry, taking the train most of the way across it into Georgia. (There are rumors of a direct train from Istanbul to Tbilisi in Georgia, but I didn't find anything like that once in the country). I had also tossed around some other ideas: One was forgoing Italy and Greece (Greece especially, since I was more going to it because it was in the way than because I wanted to see it, although I was enormously surprised and had an incredible time there), and just spending some more time in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The problem with this was that as of recently Americans can't get into Azerbaijan, and farting around this area of the world avoiding Baku is really difficult. Another idea was to try and get into Iran, but Visa requirements are still really tight, I probably would have had to go with a guide, and with the way the weekly train went (there was only one a week), I just wouldn't have had enough time there to make it worthwhile, even if I had gotten permission to get into the country. But back to Turkey, and specifically Izmir. I took the overnight ferry from Athens to Chios, one of the Greek islands right across from Turkey, and then the morning ferry over to Izmir. The ferry was really quite cheap, around 30 euros I think, which sure beats a plane flight - plus, since it was overnight, I didn't need a place to stay that night. I ended up meeting 4 other Greeks in their twenties and we spent the night playing cards and having a grand old time. It's too bad I'll probably never see any of these guys again. I got into Chios at about 3:30 in the morning, but luckily there were a number of cafes open all night right on the harbor, so I just crashed til around 7, and did a little walking around before the ferry at 8:30 into Turkey. Chios was beautiful, everything I expected from a Greek isle. Finally getting into Cesme around 9, noted for it's beeeeautiful beaches, I wandered around the town for a couple hours, grabbed a cheap sandwich at a corner stand, and had a wonderful meal with a Russian 40 year old guy who was bummed after having spent an unsuccessful week looking for a cheap boat to sail to Athens to see his girlfriend. I guess everyone has their problems. He was nice enough to walk me across town to the bus station, and I hope things look up for him in the future. Grabbing a bus to Izmir, I made a few tactical mistakes. 1, I didn't have a map already with me, and since I hadn't had internet for the past few nights, I didn't really have any idea where I was, and only had a blurry picture of the rcdb Izmir map I had taken on my camera, but then had accidentally uploaded, then taken another picture of so that I had at least a general sense of where they were. So I knew I needed to go to the top of the crescent a little bit inland, next to the grey smudged street that said G-something, and kind of at a blip in the harbor. haha... Next, I accidentally got off the bus too soon, at one of the pre-center stops, because everyone else was getting off too. I wandered for a while, and finally got lucky, making it to the water, and finding that Izmir had a ferry system that had stops all along the crescent water front. So my first stop, after finally figuring out that the ferry was indeed able to get me right near the first park up north (Turkish is nooooothing like any of the romance languages), and exhausted from not having slept on an actual bed in quite some time, was to set off in search of Girne Luna park. But what I thought the area should look like, from the blurred picture I had, turned out not to correspond to what was actually there at all. And after passing a couple monuments and at least 20 doner kebab places, I had to resort to asking people. And I finally found it... only to discover that the park had been demolished to make way for new residential areas (the people who worked at the car repair shop on the same block only knew two words in English: kaput, and residences. huh!) So I made my way all the way back, grabbed another ferry to the city center, and went off for park number two. Along the way I passed the only thing of architectural significance in the city (the whole place burned down like 80 years ago, so everything was pretty new), which was a stone clock tower, which looked really cool in pictures, but was underwhelming in person. However, just past that, was the biggest coolest outdoor market I've ever seen, and I spent a looooong time wandering the back alleys past chai shops and huge hunks of meat and hookah joints and fruit stands and appliance stores and knickknack stands and bead stores and painting shops and anything you could ever imagine. I finally made it out, and headed up the street to the main train station, right next to the entrance to a huge public park, in the middle of which, was Izmir Fuari. The whole park area looked kinda dumpy, but they were apparently preparing for a huge international festival that weekend, so I can understand why everything wasn't up and hopping yet. That being said though, the actual theme park was probably the least favorite of any place I've ever been. It was small and dirty, which usually I don't mind, but everything was just a dump. Rides were broken and not operating, the place was deserted, and the one guy who was there, the guy at the ticket counter (which was expertly hidden) wouldn't sell me a ride ticket to the main coaster because I needed 3 people to ride it... no wait, 4 people to ride it... no wait, now I needed 6. I don't think he knew. But finally, fiiiiinally, after minutes of begging in a language in which he must have had noooo idea what I was saying, a group of four came along to ride, and the ride op hopped in after starting the train, for our sixth, and we were off. It was a pretty standard model, but it was also probably the most pain I've ever been in after a ride. I know we joke about rides being chiropractors and all, and most of the time it's funny, but there was one part, coming out of the loop, were I was convinced I would have lasting damage to my spine. I don't know, it was just generally horrible. And I was still exhausted, which didn't help anything. The other coaster in the park, the wacky worm, wasn't operating. So that's Izmir pretty much. The rest of the time I wandered around the area, grabbed some bananas for the 20 hour train ride I had coming, and found a chai shop (and a pie shop). Turkish tea (all anybody drinks; in fact, all anybody does all day) is the best stuff I've ever had. Ankara's up next, enjoy the pictures, see you guys soooooooooon! -Danny Welcome to Chios. The sun wasn't up when we got here, but when you can finally see where you are, be ready for it, it's beautiful This is the shop I fell asleep in on a table at 4 in the morning. Thank youuuuuuu Just a boat I found. Wish we could have taken THIS to turkey Wandering the back roads Wherefore art thou, Romeo??? THIS guy.. No wait, THIS guy... Made friends with a big old Greek family on the way to Turkey - they gave me a bunch of crackers Goodbye Greece Kind of looks like a cross and a guy doing a russian dance Turkey - it's good to be back Charming little town - this was only a little bit of it, the beaches stretch all up and down the coast a half hour in each direction And after the whole bus slash map fiasco: IZMIR - I MADE IT OMG WHAT!??!?!? Izmir's north shore After a substantial amount of walking and a long time not knowing where I was - the only thing that remains of Girne Luna Park. I couldn't get the guys around the area to figure out what "when was it torn down", but they were all thrilled to tell me that residence houses would be built here Turkish women Izmir's clock tower at city center and behind the clock tower, the entrance to the largest outdoor market I've ever seen (miles, and milesssss of alleys) The tree behind my head kind of looks like it's part of my hair Anything you could ever want, you can find in Turkey Entrance to Izmir Fuari... I have no idea what the 'E' stands for Least favorite ride of all time. You win, Turkey. Close up of the most painful coaster spot I've ever experienced - right THERE Ride station The train was stuck here and the controls were all covered. Actually, there were 3 wacky worms I went to find in Turkey, and they were all closed, not working, or torn down. Bummer Unfortunately Elma Kurdu was more like Elma Kurdon't today It had a little walk over the ride to get to the station though. That was nifty POV - yayyyy Least worthwhile credit ever A quick look out toward the rest of the park Leaving. Bummerrrrr. Take it easy Izmir. I really thought, with the bananas and everything, the overnight would be alright. But unfortunately, before nightfall, a family of 4, complete with a baby, joined me and the night suddenly got a whole lot longer. See you soon!! Thanks for reading!!
  2. Here are the pics Some good old fashioned Turkish rail action from the Bridge Welcome to Cevahir mall. Apparently there's another Wacky Worm in the city limits, but it was wayyyy out of the way and almost impossible to get to The park was way down on the ground floor of the mall Up a steep lift hill, curving around the space it's crammed into The lift hill pokes up over the top before turning around and plunging back down And back down, picking up speed all the way Klingon Copybara, the ride Kind of themed to some weird Aztec alien hippy rave shabang Final stretch Shark bait, oo ha ha Bam, nailed it I love this place See that?? That's Asia. Right THERE gettin all artsy on you guys, sorry Take me back Just some exotic boats I found after winding my way around the fly fishers and the underground bazaar Favorite picture of the trip Turkish women Grand Bazaar!! Incredible. Bigger than you can ever imagine Black and white mosque Hagia Sofiasaurus-rex. I've wanted to see this building for soooooo so long. Incredible. Thanks for reading guys, hope you enjoyed! I'll be back some time soon with Izmir Ankara and Erzerum pictures, including three more parks
  3. Woooooo baby. Once I was done with Bostanci, I backtracked on the train a few stations and caught a bus tram thing across the river a little farther north, and was dropped pretty near my next stop, Cevahir Mall. The trip wasn't bad, but buying a ticket for the bus tram thing was a little more difficult because none of the machines were working. I eventually just stalked enough people til they led me to a remote ticket counter. Both of these parks I was able to do in a total of a few hours, and then got back to a quick rush around the back streets of Istaklal during the day time, and the markets of Sultanahmet, including the graaaaaand market !! Cevahir mall was enormous. I had trouble finding the coaster until I realized that what I thought was the whole mall on the map, was actually about an eighth of it. The shark coaster was back in the far corner of the mall, and was a big hit among all the kids, who kept running around to reride. The coaster was pretty much a triple helix we a solid first drop down into the lower level. I actually don't think the coaster went up at any point, once it cleared the lift hill. After a couple rides I headed back into town, and spent the next few hours just running around, before making my way back to the airport to head out. I'll try and get the rest of Turkey pictures up within the next day or so! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO -Danny
  4. TURKEY Hey guys, thanks for sticking with me. This part of the TR terrifies me, and is part of the reason I’ve been putting it off for so long. See, as far as countries go, Turkey is now my favorite. And I could probably write for years about how great it is and why you should go there, the beauty of the countryside, the hospitality of those who live there, why Istanbul is the greatest city I’ve ever been to, how pretty Turkish beaches are, how they lead the nicest most wonderful lives (disregarding all the religious persecution and what not) and how nice everyone is there. But in an effort to spare the both of us, I’ll try and keep this as short as possible. I actually went to Turkey twice, on two separate trips. The first time was through Istanbul on my way to the UAE, and the second time was part of an adventure from Milan to the Russian border in Georgia over land and over sea. I’ma say this again, just to make it clear, Istanbul is the coolest city I’ve ever been in, bar none. And what’s more, most people I’ve talked to who have been there, will agree. The amount of history there, and how much there is to do, is just unbelievable. At night, Taksim Square and the whole strip leading south, lined with restaurant after restaurant of outdoor seating, every place packed with people having the greatest time, drinks flowing, hookahs smoking, live bands playing every twenty feet, low lights creating a floating canopy in the narrow cobble stone lanes that amble on forever – it was literally the coolest night life I’ve ever seen. And the mosques in Sultanahmet – unbelievable. Just, please, go see for yourself. I could move there, and if I ever have the chance to, I’m taking it. It was that cool. The rest of Turkey I saw on a long drawn out journey overland, with about 40 hours in a train from Izmir to Ankara to Erzerum, a ski resort town way out east, and another 8 on a bus to Hopa, where I was able to hitch a ride across the Georgian border. The number of incredible people I met, how hospitable everyone was, and the love every person over there has in their hearts, is reflected both in the number of cups of tea people bought for me (it was a lot, and it was delicious) and on the smiles and nods you get when you pass people. And I have to say, I have never been one to drink tea, but whatever it was about Turkey, the stuff over there is like crack. Gosh, I have so many stories I don’t even know where to begin. From the 40 year old Russian hooker incident, to the Eastern European who walked me across Cesme to the bus station telling me how he couldn’t find anyone to buy a boat from so he could sail to Athens to see his girlfriend, to the family of four with an adorable little girl I shared a sleeper compartment with, to the guy on the train who found out I didn’t have a hotel room and led me to a place where he knew all the locals and proceeded to get me a discounted rate (none of them spoke English) and bought me dinner afterwards before arranging a taxi to get me to the bus station the next morning, to Esa, the guy who kind of looked like Gandalf who was a landscape painter from a small village of 30 goat herders, who made me tea all throughout the night while we discussed the differences between Islam and Christianity until 3 in the morning on our way to Erzerum. And of course I can’t forget Mostafa, a guy I was introduced to in Erzerum because we were kinda close in age and he knew around ten words in English. And then there was the world’s nicest tea shop owner. And the women who owned the Pie Shop. I mean, I couldn’t make up a more interesting group of people, and as I said, I would move back here in a heartbeat. There was, of course, the incident with gun in Izmir, the world’s worst hostel (I spent a half hour looking for it, having walked by it ten times because I thought that particular building was deserted, due to all the busted in windows and boarded up door), the Izmir open air market, Ankara’s sweater selection, the kids I met and leap-frogged with, mosque after incredible mosque, navigation of Istanbul’s Asian metro line, the delay on the way to Georgia due to a minor avalanche caused by the construction of the line to Baku, and the eventual acquisition of a little Turkish cap that all the old folks wear. Plus, you can’t beat a country with that many kebab stands. It’s done. As far as PARKS are concerned; I hit a few. But while there are a fair few spread across the country (it’s an awfully large country, and traveling across it will take you days, like around 4 of them), there wasn’t much to write home about in terms of quality of rides. The stories of how I finally managed to find the parks are far better than the few credits I was able to scrape from the parks that were actually open. I’ll probably break this segment up by the 5 parks I hit, and just fill in the rest with culture photos. Enjoy guys!! I know I certainly did. The first park was Bostanci Luna Park, in the Asian side of Istanbul. Getting there wasn’t horrrrrrible – I just had to take the ferry from the Sultanahmet across the Bosphorous (they’re really cheap, and setting foot on Asian soil, with an amount of land stretching out in front of you bigger than you can ever imagine, is really, really neat.) From there it was probably a 20 minute walk down the coast to the train, and then only a few stops to Bostanci, with the park about a ten minute walk north. I got there about an hour before the park opened, so was able to explore the area a little bit and grab a bite to eat – I don’t know what it was, but it was delicious. The park itself had a few nice flat rides and a wild mouse, built right smack in the residential part of town, right up against huge apartment buildings. Rides were on a pay per ride basis, so I only rode the mouse, and only rode it once, but it was wild. It was also one of those awkward scenarios where I had to search to find a ride op and somehow communicate that I wanted to ride, because there was literally no one else in the park. Awkward. The park was nice though, and while it didn’t have room to grow, it was a nice little carnival area for the few groups of kids that were showing up as I was leaving. More Istanbul to follow, sometime in the near future. Take care guys, thanks for reading!! Welcome to Turkey I'll start you guys off in Istanbul, the greatest of all the cities. Here's a marked just south of the Blue Mosque, complete with the smallest of all the old women and the largest of allllll the ripened tomatoes Blue Mosque. You guys it was incredible Made friends with the local birdwoman. What a sweetheart Blue mosque-cat ...yetanothermosque Inside Big Blue! People pictures are my favorite When I told my Dad I was going to Istanbul to see the Hagia Sofia, he told me he didn't know what that was. Then he asked me if I meant Haagendasz I think sunset that first night clinched my love for Turkey. It's breathtaking Some night markets The next day found me on my way to Asia... In search of this guy Welcome to Bostanci Luna Park, home of Twister about an hour's journey away from Sultanahmet, Istanbul's old town The park is built right smack in the middle of apartment buildings, and really sets a neat tone for the place a little closer up Park Entrance I love the way the park looks against the backdrop of the buildings Some kids got an early start on the swinger arm thing (what are these called again??) Can't forget the dark ride!!! This was only my second park in the season, and with so much uncertainty about where it was and if it actually existed, I was just happy to be here I thought Cikis might have meant entrance, but I'm pretty sure it just means "Everybody crowd onto the station and run around without any order whatsoever, right here. You can throw your bags and loose items and babies over by Giris" World's most charming ride op And of course, some wild mouse POV action. wowWOWwow what a treat. The rest of the park I really like this shot, flying around the buildings was something else. One last shot of Bostanci before it's off in search of the other park in the main city center, in Cevahir Mall I'll be back shortly for Istanbul part 2!!! Thanks for reading!!
  5. Ahhhhhhh Paris!! In a nutshell, it’s hard to go wrong when you have both the Eiffel Tower AND Notre Dame within two miles of each other. I could literally go back and forth between the two for a month, day after day, and not get tired of it. So my stay in Paris was about as brief as things get – through a long series of unusual circumstances, I ended up with a free flight because when a friend and I booked at the same time, my booking stole her credit card information, and counted my ticket as paid for (by her card) while her order went to a ‘timed out’ page. So she called her credit card company and got reimbursed, but my ticket was still magically paid for, although where the money came from now, I just don’t know. But the real reason my stay was so brief was because we had a huge project for school (literally, the only thing I’ve had to even remotely work towards all semester – what the Danish Institute for Study Abroad makes up for with a nifty acronym, it falls embarrassingly short in all the academic categories – which is another reason I’ve been able to travel so much, because I’m virtually on a 4 and a half month vacation, with the occasional hassle of having to actually show up to class… that and my grades don’t transfer, so everything I’m taking is pass/fail anyways haha) that we had to cut our trip short for (well, my trip now I guess, Diana never ended up buying another ticket). So with only 19 hours in France, and Disney an hour outside of the city, things were getting real tight. But gosh, what a great 19 hours. Paris completely blew my expectations out of the water. This is probably because they were so low - I just get so sick of hearing how much everybody raves about it, that I was expecting to not like the city at all. But as far as big cities go (and this one is BIG), it’s right up there behind Istanbul and Bombay for me, in the league of extraordinarily-awesome-places-to-lose-yourself-completely-in. Most of what I did was just run around. I saw as much as I could as briefly as I could, and have a whole lot of wonderful stories because of it. I almost missed my flight due to a sudden onslaught of that all too familiar ‘the-dinner-I-snarfed-down-was-way-too-saucy’ rumbledownunder coupled with Copenhagen airport’s untimely decision to close and be cleaning ALL of their bathrooms except for the one at the end of terminal B. I got stuck in the metro cuz I didn’t have enough change, skipped along the Seine at midnight with local jazz bars still floating music across the night air, got chased off the premises of the Louvre at 2 in the morning, (didn’t know the loose of assemblage of 8 metal gate things with huge gaps in between them meant you couldn’t run around the Pyramid taking jumping pictures, ok?) saw the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame all lit up, crashed in a horrible hostel with a room full of mask-wearing Asians around 3, and woke up two hours later for a sunrise Eiffel Tower photo shoot, and an early morning stroll down the Champs d’Elyssees, ate nothing but a pastry, a baguette, and 5 crepes (seriously, if you go to Paris and you don’t have a street vendor crepe in your hand at all times, you’re not traveling correctly. The nutella-banana crepes are heavenly), then ran [literally, was running] around Disney for 5 hours before getting back into the city to revisit Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower in the daylight. And for anyone who appreciates crazy modern architecture, the Pompidou Center is unreal. I actually usually don’t appreciate crazy modern architecture, and have studied this building in class without being impressed, but even just seeing it from the outside was enough to make me wet myself. All in all, this was one of the few cities I really felt pressed for time on, and would definitely recommend NOT trying to cram the entire city of Paris and Disney into a one day period. DISNEY, THOUGH, was fantastic. I don’t remember having that much fun at a park in a long long time. It might have been partly because it was my first park of the season, partly because I was giddy from the early morning’s sight seeing, partly because I think that Walt Disney is probably the second greatest thing to ever happen to the world right behind Jim Henson, and partly because I decided to end the day by crashing the blacklight sing along show with all your favorite characters with hundreds and hundreds of little French girls dressed up as princesses instead of waiting the 90 minutes for Crush’s coaster. So although I missed both Crush and the RC coaster due to eNORmous lines and no flash pass option, the day was an overwhelming success. It might have been because I was only hitting the major must-see attractions because I was pressed for time, but did DLP seem a little small to anyone else? I might be way off on this, but I feel like it was just a wee bit underdeveloped compared to it’s American cousins. Mostly though everything was just as I remembered it being from the US, with a few small exceptions. Obviously Space Mountain was a big change, and Indiana Jones seemed like not-their-best theming integration, but BTMR was nice. The castle was unfortunately under construction, which I just managed to cut out in the picture I have of it. Haunted Mansion was the same, classic, Pirates was the same old-fashioned goodness, and Rockin Roller Coaster was about as similar to the other two as I could remember. While Space Mountain wasn’t particularly good, I was expecting it to be horrible based on reviews, so I didn’t mind it so much. All in all though, it was a great time (surprisingly crowded though, given it was an early March weekday), although I feel like the Studios Park has a little way to go before it can stand on its own. And then it was back into down town Paris, with just enough time left to grab a million pictures and shove down a few more crepes! Thanks for reading!! Hope you enjoy the pictures. Thanks again for the comments everyone, you guys are all great. I really appreciate hearing back from you guys!! Take care, see you soon! -Danny Some Notre Dame photo magic Oh wait, no, THIS is some Notre Dame photo magic Oh, No, wait!! now THIS is some No... Oh dear RIP Javert So, I wouldn't say my Louvre adventures went as well as they could... I guess even at 2 in the morning, the guards don't mess around here Pompidou. Go. Your mind will be blown. I could literally spend months at a time under this guy and never get bored Wakey wakey eggs and bakey [??] Even cooler in real life than I thought it would be... and I was expecting it to be pretty darn cool Arc du whoamIkiddingIhavenoideahowtospellthistheFrenchway And then by 10 I had made it to Disney, the happiest place on earth [in France], having already spent the better part of 4 hours sightseeing Big Thunder Mountain hooooooly line flash pass Indiana Jones was fine I guess, just a little below Disney standards for my taste But one can never get enough of the classic, mundane-object-in-the-foreground shots, can they? Was literally running to get to Pirates And good THING!! How can you pass up THESE GUYS!?!? Dumbo. Gosh I wish I was 5 again Here's to the future Castle was really pink, and unfortunately under a great deal of construction, which I've artfully omitted for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome And we're back... but we're broken. So it was a quick Haunted Mansion run, before making it over to BTMR, which was great We're walking right down the middle of Main Street US,AAaaaaooooohhhhhh... The studios park seemed a little underdeveloped in my opinion, and it was also suuuuuper crowded Tower, looking fine, even though it's French My two favorite people!!! Add Jim Henson in here, and we'd have a party This scene from Peter Pan is... jeuno se pa! Incredible. hahaha Unfortunately, however great Buzz looks, this corner of the park was PACKED [take me with you] Lines were real long and I wanted to get back to the city for some daylight touring, so I decided on the art of animation show instead of the 80 minute lines for Crush, or RC. It was ok, but this montage at the end was sweeeeet!! I love you Moving right along, Paris: a city for people of all emotional dispositions No gothic cathedral would be complete without a bird man George Washington??? you guys, it's incredible. Truly. Also, if you've never read the Hunchback of Notre Dame, it's been one of my all time favorite books for a loooong long time now. So read it. Nothing can keep me from you, baby Although I didn't go up it (I was too busily engrossed in a spiritual conversation with a dude from Jamaica), I woulda, if I had more time, and there wasn't a line, and it was free, and wasn't getting dark Haha.. ha You guys, be prepared. The next handful of pictures maybe a little too much for some of the members or TPR. But what can I say, it's how I roll. Evolution from child-ape-man Also you may be wondering where the crepes are. Truth is, when you're double fisting crepes, it's awfully hard to take pictures 5. I had 5 crepes. The nutella-banana ones were unbelievable My personal favorite. This is how I want my life to be all the time hahahaha mid afternoon jog This thing comes ALIVE at dusk!! And one last shot, from the seediest district of them allllll. Thanks for reading, and get excited for Turkey. It's hands down my new favorite country, and there will be 5 parks that are new to TPR. Take care!
  6. Hey guys!! I love reading your comments, thanks so much for all the positive feedback!! Yeah, Sue and Larry, the turnstyle things should work great in theory. Maybe they're recent additions, I have no idea, but just about all the rides I could remember did have countdown things on them - which was fine til there always seemed to be one or two spots left, and nobody not at the front of the line was paying attention to fill those spots. Not to mention that the counters would allow 2-4 people less than the full capacity of the ride, leaving empty seats all over the place. Plus, add to that the problem that a "line", in the sense that you stay behind the people who enter in front of you (makes sense, right?) doesn't quite exist in Italy, and it's all a bit free-for-all-ish. But to their credit, it did alleviate the mess you always get in the station with people vying for spots.
  7. Annnnnnnddddd I'M BACK! I really can't give Gardaland enough credit for the landscaping and flowers and upkeep of the park - lovely, just delightful haha Magic Mountain was just... too magical And this guy was closed at first but finally opened up in the last hour. WHAT A RELIEF Towards the back, I gotta say, there have been less brutal things I've put my body through, certainly, but in the middle it was fine The longest of alllllll the 12 foot tall roller coasters We farted around this corner of the park long enough for Sequoia to open back up, and then headed back up into Raptor-land Hard at wor -ooaaahhh look out!!! And we're back. We got 6 rides in on it, which was just about the right amount before we got bored, and the thing was pretty much a walk on all day Fun fact, I'm an expert at timing things Also, the misters were on fullllll force today - and the water cannons were a really nice touch And I guess that's it. The singing and dancing as we left was just icing on the cake. Goodbye magicland... and hellooooooo magicland This is lake Garda, about 15 km up the coastline, and easily one of my new favorite places. We drove up and down the coast aways before settling down in town I think this was farther up the Alps in the distance are a real nice touch On the shores of Garda [the real Garda]], everything is just wonderful all the time It's funny though, the people here don't seem to recognize the fact they're surrounded by the most incredible beauty - I can't imagine getting used to a place like this "What'd you do today Phil?" "Oh you know just sat around again, did a little nothing, some thinking, I think I dozed off a little bit, but mostly just parked it on a bench again." "Oh how was that?" "It was probably the best day of my life" This is the dock from which you can walk on water You know what this area needs? Some bluffs, that would make everything just perf- oh, nevermind, there they are That woman sees something terrifying - probably a small whiff of cloud So when it came to dinner, in the States an experience like this, with a view like this, at a table like this, with food like this, would easily run you up to $30, especially with the whole bottle of wine we split. But Ben was explaining to me, in Italy, that's just normal restaurant life for them, it's how they eat, all the time, and it's... the best And then night sets and it gets even prettier. Who knew THAT was possible What I've learned most about traveling, is that for most people the life we as Americans live, with college and jobs and settling in suburbs and getting fat off of junk food - is a completely foreign style of living, and in the rest of the world they just don't do that. Like take this guy for instance. What a life And I'll leave you guys with this one - moral of the story, the world is more than theme parks, even if it's just for a nice quiet evening - And don't you dare go to Garda without exploring the surrounding area. Take care guys! Thanks for reading
  8. Alright Raptor. I know you’ve seen a few reports on this baby by now, some with good things to say and some with a few less good things to say… so let me just start off by complaining. Now I’m not one to usually start things off with a list of how horrible things are, but I have some grievances to file, while we’re on the subject. The biggest problem I have with Raptor, is that NO ONE HAS EVER MENTIONED HOW BEAUTIFUL THE SURROUNDING AREA WAS!!!!! Holy CRAP, have you seen it??? Situated right on the lake, the most beeeautiful small Italian towns you’ve ever imagined right on the water, and the mountains rising up behind it all as the sun sets on the fragrant beauty of a romanticized evening dinner, reflecting off the silver cliffs behind you as you eat, a color palette fit to burst spilling out golds and reds and blues on the greenest trees at the water’s edge, the cobblestone roads trailing off like poetic sentences and the beauty of it all drowned in a delightfully affordable bottle of Prosecco and a heaping dish of authentic Italian pasta, your laughter at it all drifting away lazily on the evening breeze with the faint sounds of a local accordion player. YOU GUYS! I mean Raptor was all well and good, but regardless, I could drop everything right now and move to Garda without ever having an ounce of regret. But okay okay, Raptor. Honestly I thought it was fine. Fun even. I don’t know if anybody was expecting it to be a top ten ride (I certainly wasn’t), so I don’t see what there is to be disappointed about. 1) It was a prototype. 2) Since when in the last 8 years have we been expecting Magic-Super-Forces out of B&M anyways?? 3) Gardaland isn’t exactly your white-knuckle thrill capital, anything more just wouldn’t have been a good fit for the park. As it was, the ride was enjoyable. We had a good time. The restraints were awesome, (even though I’m not the biggest fan of the soft chest paddy things like on the flyers [i find they cut into my clavicle and my super huge muscles]) the seats were SO comfy! And what’s more than that, the ride was SMOOOOTH! SO smooth. Inside, outside, front or back, there’s a little lullaby of a bounce, but honestly, I could think of probably a million and a half rougher things I could do to my body (hm hmmm). And what’s more than THAT (!!), I definitely got a strong sense of durability. It seemed (although it’s of course impossible to tell), that the ride will be in good condition for a while, and that B&M made sure to build us a sturdy ride that will last. The views are incredible with the open seating, and especially sitting on the outside, you just get some really cool views and some really cool forces through the inversions, that, while from a long way from ‘super-intense’, are really ‘nifty’. I actually thought the layout was surprisingly creative, given B&Ms recent track-record, and the respectably small footprint. Also, the theming IS AS GOOD as it looks in the pictures. Actually, I thought it was even better. From the reports I’ve seen, I never got a sense of how well the ride interacted with the ground. But really, the park has done a FANTASTIC job with the whole area, and the head-choppers and foot choppers and integration with the landscape and the ride queue and the mist sprayers (take note Six Flags), were all integrated incredibly well. I mean for me, the ride was kind of like Black Mamba, except with less Africans and more radioactive aliens. OBVIOUSLY it isn’t a thrill-seekers dream or a top-ten breaker, but it is a fun, well-integrated ride that is as smooth as you can ask for, and the perfect fit for a place like Gardaland. My expectations were met and even surpassed. Not every ride has to be the best in the world, but every ride should strive to at least accomplish what it’s setting out to do. That’s my take on the matter. And Raptor does just that, in my opinion. And also, in regards to the most recent TR on Raptor, I also was surprised at how short the seat belts were. For such a ‘freeing’ restraint setup, they sure don’t leave you a lot of leeway with the length of the buckle strap. THE REST OF THE PARK – Like Raptor, met and even exceeded my expectations. The theming was excellent, the attention to detail was great, the landscaping was BEAUTIFUL, and the whole place just screamed ‘MAGICLAND’. There were characters, good original music, the park was clean as a baby’s bottom, and the rides were surprisingly well-maintained. We actually rerode the SLC! Twice!! What a pleasant surprise. Anyways we had a great time. I was there with my friend from home, Ben, who is actually in the Air Force stationed up at Aviano about an hour above Venice, and he had the weekend off, which was great, since it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. And that newish water ride, something about Greek Gods or Atlantis, was awesome! It was the perfect amount of wetness- just a light refreshing spray that avoids the pants and the shoes entirely. And reeeeally well themed as well. Just promise please, that when you visit Gardaland, take some time to enjoy the Lake. It really is incredible. WOOOOOOO Baby thanks for reading! -Danny This man is likely unaware of the facts that he is about to be featured as the first picture in a TPR post, and that his shirt is a horrible color choice for anyone with a sunburn, unless he's trying to go for the whole 'naked' look Ladies and Gentlemen, this is literally less a kilometer away from the park Too cool for school Down South, toward... the rest of Italy Yayyyyyy haha First stop - Blue Tornado I read that some people thought this guy was really rough?? It was far and away the smoothest SLC out of the 9 I've been on I mean we actually rerode it - twice even! And the bonus helix was a great little touch Any ride themed to a giant mammoth is alright with me. Actually any ride themed in general is alright with me. Reminds me of Ice Age Really fun, really long, really well themed, all around solid The landscaping here was fantastic, by the way THIS guy means business Actually a huge surprise hit! The perfect amount of wetness, too Good thing that giant shell is there, or this could be awkward OK enough dillydallying!! In answer to everyone's questions, yes, the theming is as good as people say it is. In fact, I was even pleasantly surprised Sitting on the ends gives some GREAT views And they way they themed the whole area was really nice And the super wide trains made for some really impressive pre-ride visuals Although three rolls might be pushin it, the way I usually look at rolls is the more the merrier Through the TREE!!!! The weather was beautiful too From the queue, things look a little bit concentration-camp meets apocalypse The station looked great too! I'm not the biggest fan of the Italian loading system with the whole number count down thing, but I guess it keeps things nice and orderly Joy I got a lotta Raptor shots guys, bear with me life I'm no Hanno, but the ride looks great Twinsies Yup, just as weird as I expected. You guys sorry I'ma have to do this in two posts, but I should get the second half up in the next twelve hours. I'm getting kicked out of the common room. To be continued!!
  9. Hey guys! I’ve got a pretty incredible season unfolding, and have a ton of pictures to share. The short of it is that I’m studying abroad in Copenhagen this semester, and have the opportunity to do a ton of traveling on weekends due to a carefully arranged class schedule and close attention to the allocation of the overly-generous financial aid I’ve been given for studying abroad this semester. I’ve had to scrape by in a few instances, and sometimes forego things like “food” or a “good place to sleep” [who needs it, am I right??], but pretty much I’m using the financial aid money I’ve been given for meal plans and out-of-program boarding and personal expenses and housing to pay for all of this. It certainly helps that everything in Europe is pretty easy to get to from Copenhagen, and I like to think that I know how to travel as cheaply as possible, but all in all it’s just been the biggest blessing, and I can’t even begin to describe how incredible this semester has been so far. Small parks, Big parks, I’m hitting them all. I am indeed a credit whore, but more than that, I actually loooooove going to small parks – I find them fascinating. The more out of the way, the more nobody ever has (or ever should go there), the more I love the place. I think it’s hilarious. There ARE some parks here nobody on TPR has hit before (hello Trans-Caucasus region) and some that you’ve seen a million times. But at any rate, I hope you guys enjoy. Be prepared though, I was able to go pretty much everywhere. The way I travel is mostly by one cardinal rule – the more other people have been there, the less I’m interested. I’m not afraid to take risks, I love extreme scenery, always look for a good ol’ adventure, and I think the best way to travel is with no expectations, a goofy sense of humor, a trusty map, and by talking to as many people as you can manage to meet. My PTR style has generally more writing than most others, and then only the best pictures, unless there really aren’t a lot of pictures from the park in question (I find it refreshing when picture reviews are sharp and to the point, and try to do the same in my own reports). And there will probably [definitely] be a fair number of jumping shots. And I’ll also definitely include some of my favorite pictures from along the way that have nothing to do with roller coasters, because sometimes, although we go through a lot to deny it, there is more to this world than the next credit. And I’ve decided that the most confusing and interesting way to do this will have nothing to do with chronological order in the long run, so be prepared for THAT! Anyways, I’ve learned a ton getting the opportunity to travel so much. But I suppose the two biggest things are: 1) The world is an enormous place. You will never ever ever run out of things to see or people to meet, and the beauty of it all is overwhelming 2) The world is smaller than I’d ever imagined. Really, if you want to go somewhere, anywhere, there’s a way, and finding that way is terrifically exciting. I hope you guys can get something out of this! A brief estimated trajectory of this PTR (stuff in blue is now up on the page that's listed): • Gardaland, etc (because Raptor seems to be a topic of controversy I’d love to chime in on, and nobody told me this place was full of MAGIC!) - now up just down below • 19 hours in Paris (including Disneyland, of course, and a whirlwind of crepes) - page 3 • The parks of Turkey!!!!! And why it's my favorite country - page 3-5 • How little there is to do in Cologne (except of course, ride roller coasters), and why you should go to Berlin, despite it’s lack of theme parks - page 5 • SO much UAE, featuring Dubai (which I’m still not convinced is a real place it’s that unbelievable) and also “it’s-hard-not-to-poop-yourself-Formula-Rossa” - Page 6 • Chakazoolu and Adhari in Bahrain, during the protests (not my best trip pla… actually no, that WAS my best trip planning) - page 6 • The UK [Cheers!] at its finest (including my 300th credit on Nemesis) - page 8 • Greece - Meteora, one of the most underappreciated sites in Europe, Athens, and Allou fun park - page 8 • Things to do in Norway. Tromso, Fjords, Arctic Circle, Northern Lights, then Oslo and Tusenfryd - page 9 • A shortstop tour of Scandinavia, Bergen, Sojnefjord, and Liseberg - page 9 • Then back to Italy. Milan, Europark Idroscalo, Mirabilandia... and the rest of Northern Italy - page 10 • Then to Germany. Or maybe the Netherlands. • Why you should travel throughout Eastern Europe, including Vampires in Transylvania, Vidampark in Budapest (from the outside- it’s closed on weekdays until… the week after I was there), The Baltic region in midwinter, and 1 picture of the Czech Republic’s only park from a regional train in the rain super zoomed in out of focus and through a large forest • Parks in the Republic of Georgia and some mountains (holy Kazbegi!!) • Among other things And there will be more of course, I’ll let you know when I get there. Also, I’m very much anticipating that the actual order of this report won’t in fact resemble what I’ve listed here, but I’ll try my best. And I’ll update the order of the report here in this first post, as the TR is actualized. Awesome, thanks soooooo much for reading, I’d love for you to comment or just say hi, and I hope you guys enjoy! WOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!! -Danny
  10. Hey guys sorry it's taken me so long to respond! Anyways, I've sent you all individual messages / emails, and would love to hear back from you. Take care guys! Also, if anyone else reading this is still interested in meeting up at some point, the more the merrier! -Danny
  11. Hey guys, good hearıng from you! defınıtely lookıng forward to makıng somethıng work. I´ll try and get back to you guys ındıvıdually wıthın the next few days - I´m out travelıng now and these foreıgn keypads are ımpossıble to manage. Lookıng forward to meetıng up! -Danny
  12. Hey guys - I have some pretty big ambitions for hitting up parks this Spring all over Europe, and was wondering if anybody would be interested in joining? I currently have a number of trips planned, and if you're interested in doing a park or two, or a whole weekend's worth of intensive riding, I'd love the company As of now I'll be relying on public transportation for the most part, but if you have a car and are interested in possibly doing 2 parks a day, I would happily help with gas Sat Sun, Apr 2-3, I'll be based in Cologne. Possible parks: Toverland - Movie Park, Phantasialand - Klotten Wed Thurs Apr 6-7, I'll be in Manchester, looking to hit Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Alton Towers. Any body from the Brit Crew interested in meeting up? Sat Sun, Apr 9-10, I'll be flying into Milan, hoping to hit Gardaland and Mirabilandia. Sat Mon, Apr 23 / 25 I'll be in Denmark (I live in Copenhagen currently), so maybe looking to hit BonBonland, Legoland, Bakken, or Tivoli Sat Sun, Apr 30- May 1, I'll be in Amsterdam. Walibi World, Efteling, Bobbejaanland So right, that's a pretty rough sketch. Definitely none of the park specifics are set in place, so if you're interested get in touch and we can definitely work something out. Really, I'd love the company, and if it's your home park, I'd love to be shown around by a homeboy [is that the correct phrase..??] Looking forward to it! Best! -Danny
  13. Thanks for the responses guys! OH, and also of potential interest, the world's worst picture of the only existing amusement park in the Czech Republic. This was taken in early February on a moving train through a forest on a rainy day and is a very cropped segment of a very zoomed in picture. But the park does, in fact, exist.
  14. Hey guys, just thought I'd share - I'm studying abroad this semester in Copenhagen, and the architecture department took a study tour to Stockholm and Helsinki last week. While parks were still closed, we looked at buildings right near both Grona Lund (the Arkitekturmuseet) and Linnanmaki (Alvar Aalto's Kulttuuritalo), and I was able to grab a few pictures. Stockholm was beautiful, but the weather in Helsinki was horrible, so it was hard to get a good reading on the city. Seeing Insane from across the water was such a tease!!! And Linnanmaki is in construction for their new for 2011 X-car coaster, Ukko Enjoy! If you're unfamiliar with Stockholm, the city spreads itself over 14 different islands, allowing for some pretty nice views Insane looks incredible from across the water I want to visit Grona Lund sooooo much! So, I apologize in advance, most of the Grona Lund pictures are gonna be pretty much the same. There was only so much island to take pictures from New GG woodie!! Insane Grona Lund: The prettiest and smallest of allllllll the amusement parks Grona Lu - Surprise!!! All hail Sweden, the motherland I had snuck out of the Arkitekturmuseet while the rest of the group was in there to get these pics - so worth it Ferry passersby instant classic - Grona Lund, I'll be back for you in May!! We passed Linnanmaki on the bus - the building we were seeing was literally on the same block as the park, backing up to it. So I walked around the block through the snow, trying to get close ups through the fence There she is I have about 5 or 6 variations of this picture, most of which have me falling through some unpacked snow Linnanmaki This place looked great - It actually had way more to offer than I thought it had NEW COASTER ALERT!! Ukko parking lot coaster I touched it!!!! MEEEEE - I always wanted to be the person bringing construction updates to TPR with great pictures of me with often inaccessible coaster track Ukko construction I've never ridden an X-car coaster, and to be honest, I'm not to keen on it, but that's neither here nor there KirnUUUUU See you Linnanmaki!! Not sure when, but one day
  15. I always get reminded that this is just a poll when I try to explain the results or listings to a non-enthusiast friend. "Wait, what determines that a ride is the best wooden coaster in the world?" they'll ask. And of course, the answer is that nothing does. It is all a matter of personal opinion, all a matter of preference, of what somebody likes and what their personal experience led them to conclude. Mash up everyone's "midnight-ERT-better-than-sex" story and "it-was-a-million-degrees-and-I-had-just-gotten-out-of-surgery" story and "when-I-rode-it-12-years-ago-there-was-actually-a-hurricane-going-on" story as best and as fair as we know how, and we have a generally accurate consensus of what rides are more liked, and what rides are less liked among coaster enthusiasts in the year 2011. The fact that anyone can take personal offense or make grotesque unfounded accusations at people, over a poll designed to foster compatibility and present consolidated opinion that coaster enthusiasts from all areas and walks of life can be apart of, is beyond me - I just don't get that. I think it's awesome that someone who has ridden every wooden coaster in the world can take a poll right along with someone who has only been to their homepark every summer growing up, and I think it's a shame that there are levels of mistrust and... I don't know, almost disrespectful rivalry between people who share the same passion. Every year I look forward to seeing what everyone else truthfully thinks, and it's just a bummer that people would try and sabotage the poll, or accuse others (in this case, TPR) of sabotaging the results, when it does NO GOOD TO ANYBODY to either do so or to point fingers. For me, I had Voyage as number 1 still, out of around 60 or 70 or so, because in 2007 and 2008 it did things for me I never thought a coaster could do. And since I haven't ridden it since, I'm gonna vote it that way because nothing else has come close to topping it. But even then i could see it getting rougher, and I hear stories nearly every day of it just not being what it used to be. This is why Mitch Hawker has an annual poll, because the quality of rides, and their relative ranking, will change over time. But if the fact that other peoples' opinions, which are in their own right entirely justified and fair, are going to bring others to outburst just because they differ, in a context where everything is completely subjective anyways, then those people need to get a different hobby. I, for one, am thankful that the honesty of those who HAVE had the opportunity to ride coasters in places I haven't IS represented here, and I look forward to the day where I can have a comparable opinion of my own through experience, regardless of if that opinion is the same as theirs or not.
  16. ^Agreed. Riding the Aqua Dive was one of the most shocking experiences of my life. I imagine that's what driving your car off a bridge would feel like Thanks for sharing!! I miss this place. Looks like you guys had a great time!
  17. Spoken like a true gentleman But my thoughts exactly haha. I was fortunate enough to not have ridden it this year, and can thus continue life blissfully unaware. Actually, the majority of the rides in my top 15 were ones I didn't ride this last year. Huh. 1) The Voyage Holiday World IN,y,n,1 2) Boulder Dash Lake Compounce CT,y,y,2 3) El Toro SFGAd NJ,y,y,3 4) My Favorite Steel Anypark Anywhere **,y,n,4 5) Shivering Timbers Michigan's Adventure MI,y,n,5 6) Thunderhead Dollywood TN,y,n,6 7) Hades Mount Olympus WI,y,n,7 8) Prowler Worlds of Fun MO,y,n,8 9) Cornball Express Indiana Beach IN,y,n,9 10) Phoenix Knoebel's PA,y,y,10 11) Avalanche Timber Falls WI,y,n,11 12) Renegade Valleyfair! MN,y,n,12 13) Viper SFGAm IL,y,y,13 14) Outlaw Adventureland IA,y,n,14 15) Cyclops Mount Olympus WI,y,n,15 Bottom: 59) Wilde Beast Canada's Wonderland ON,y,y,59 60) The Grizzly Great America CA,y,n,60 61) Rolling Thunder SFGAd NJ,y,y,61 62) Timber Wolf Worlds of Fun MO,y,n,62 63) Wildcat Lake Compounce CT,y,y,63
  18. I absolutely love ski towns, and Park City is one of the best of them. Thanks for the pictures and Enjoy your trip! I'm sure you'll be hard pressed not to.
  19. ^Sure haha, Big Bad Wolf won't illicit QUITE the same response as Cyclone, I wasn't really saying that. Just as a comparison, I'm not going to go ride Cyclone because it's gonna break my top ten, I'm gonna ride it because it's the most famous coaster in the country, and I'm especially gonna go ride it if word gets around that they're tearing it down. Same with BBW, I may not love riding it, but it's famous enough and historic enough that I'll get to it before it shuts down, just to pay my respects- that's the way it was for me, and probably for a lot of other enthusiasts. Heres to hoping that one day there exists a real nudey bar called the "Big Bad Wolf"
  20. For me, riding BBW was ALL about riding a piece of history. I mean, I'm relatively young and from the midwest, and didn't get a chance to ride it til early 2009. I thought it was alright, nothing really that special from the perspective of ride quality, although that last drop over the river was a surprisingly beautiful. We only rode it once, in tribute. But I definitely wasn't going to forego the chance to pay my respects to one of the most important pieces of roller coaster history, while I was able to. To me, riding BBW is like riding the Cyclone. Nobody reeeeally is in love with the ride, but if there's one coaster almost everyone in America has heard of it's that one, and it's done a ton for the industry. And ride quality aside, as enthusiasts I totally see the appeal in paying respect to roller coaster history, especially as that history disappears. I do not, however, think that BGE is any less appealing from an enthusiast standpoint, except that it loses that history. I once overheard a pair of mid-twenties enthusiasts at the opening of I305 who were so upset that BBW was taken down that "BGE was no longer worth making a trip to." And that, I have a little bit of a problem with, and I think is an unfair under-appreciation for the efforts to push the design industry forward. BBW did a lot for the roller coaster industry, and for that, it's sad to see it go. But it wasn't a spectacular ride by today's standards, no. As far as Korea is concerned, I work as a camp counselor over the summers, and we had an 11 year old girl from Korea who was visiting family for a month in the states. She spoke virtually no English, and both the other kids and the staff had a really hard time communicating with her. So for kicks, I went up to her one day, and managed to start a broken conversation about Everland, which she was so excited about that I knew. And while she recognized the words Eagle's Fortress, her eyes lit up when I mentioned T-Express. And from what I can tell, while she grew up with eagle's fortress and liked it, there was so more excitement from her about T-Express, even though when I asked if she had ridden it or ever would, she shook her head vigorously and was able to remember the english word for "scared". Convincing her that all the other kids in camp didn't know about Everland, and that she couldn't talk to them about it too, was a little harder hahaha.
  21. You guys are going to Mexico You're flying out of LAX, Superman is pictured as foreshadowing of you riding Superman el ultimo escape, in the flag shot, the words 'Smarte Carte' have the 'e' on the ends as if they were in Spanish, "Oh thank goodness it's not just me..[xico]", The flag on the left has the same colors as Mexico's flag, 'Baja' Fresh, the 'M' in McDonalds stands for Mexico, the mountain shot is because the spanish word for "roller coaster" is "montana rusa", and if you google Hello Kitty there home is Sanrio.com, based in Mexico. Have a good trip Robb and Elissa, wherever you're going!
  22. I had a pretty good year all things considered: Waterville USA King's Dominion Six Flags Great Adventure Dorney Lake Compounce Knoebels Six Flags Great America Esselworld Tikuji-ni-wadi Athisayam Little Amerricka Marineland Wild Water and Wheels Seabreeze Darien Lake Martin's Fantasyland Canada's Wonderland Six Flags America Dutch Wonderland
  23. That's too bad, it's never good to see a park go. I'll be in Denmark all spring as well and was looking forward to checking this place out. What a shame
  24. Martin's Fantasy Island was next. We only had about 40 minutes here or so. Their woodie was actually a ton of fun. It was set right up against the woods, and just seemed way out of the way and great for a local "hidden gem" of a ride, if you live around the area. Actually, I just got a vibe from the park that said "this is the perfect place to be spending all of your fall days." I don't know, kind of like a Knoebels, out of the way, back in the woods up north, great woodie hidden in a rather family oriented park. The airtime and forces were great, and though the layout did a little bit of puttzing around at times, it didn't really detract from the overall ride. They also had a wild mouse, which we grabbed, but got a good 5 or 6 Silver Comet rides in before they closed around sundown for the night. Then it's back off to Canada, Canada's Wonderland up next. Thanks for reading! Silver Comet, the night is cooling down, the clouds are covering the sky, the smell of smoke floats in faintly, what a damn near perfect night to ride Gotta love retro I really wasn't expecting much from this thing, but it sure delivered Solid CCI Love the colors on the train Ope, this was odd. This is not the way to wait for the front of the train Oh wait, sorry, excuse me sir, what.. wait, wha-?? This is not ok. Walking around towards the back The back half Wild mouse cha ching. Thanks for reading, Canada's Wonderland next
  25. Right. Anyways, continuing. We arrived at Darien Lake at like 2????? Or something? And had like four hours there so that we could leave in time to make Martin's like a half hour away. OH andasmallnotethat'sreallyimportanttoeveryonenotthinkingI'mtheworld'sworstphotographer, the screen on my camera was broken..? sooooo... if a picture is very much out of focus or slightly cuts off something or looks like it was generally taken very haphazardly... it most definitely was. Which is all well and good because there wasn't all that much to do at Darien Lake anyways. We hit up Superman first, and while Kyle had ridden the one at SFA and I have yet to, I think we both can agree that this thing was a thing of beauty. While Kyle hands down ranks it above the one in SFNE, I wasn't so sure... But regardless, the whole experience felt rather poetic. You're taken up this very narrow, imposing lift from this mere little garden area outside of the station, completely away from the rest of the park. The first drop was beautifully steep and sustained - we even got a kick of airtime from the front of the train. Then you fly low to the ground around this still lake, low enough to scoop up a handful of gravel if you so desired to (only mildly recommended), and then you're ejected from your seat straight into the sky, before diving down and being wrapped tightly around that way-out-there helix, gaining speed as your almost squeezed through the aperture at the end. And then you really are flying, across the lake again, the reflections screaming up at you from either side, the imposingly stout airtime hill approaching quickly. Then once more you're tossed skyward out from the lake, and dive once more to an elegantly sweeping helix, this one slowing slightly as you prepare for the home stretch, the station now in sight. Then it's a gracefully sloped dip into the twisted airtime hill, and two last little hurrahs before careening to a halt, nothing but power, the willow trees swaying as in repercussion to your flight. But of course you all know this. Sometimes I just get carried away. I really enjoyed it, actually, more than I thought I would. What I had taken for standard helixes, wasted flat stretches, and a lack of innovation and utility in design, could really be mistaken for a precision in creating a unique, specified experience, though I'm still not entirely convinced. Either way, this ride is one for the books. The rest of the park wasn't too much to write home about, though it was nice to sit in Voyage's old trains again, and motocoaster was almost fun. The rest was nothing but painful, although the aesthetic of the center lake (Darien, I'm assuming), was a nice touch. 3 more rides on Superman for me, and another 3 on Predator as well (there was no line and Kyle was infatuated with how much the ride didn't necessarily suck, despite his expectations), and we were off by early evening. Next stop, Martin's Fantasy Island, thanks again for reading! We're here! We're here! I missed all the good on-the-drive-in pictures of Superman because... I have no excuse Thar she blows From the queue. This is about as much as you can see of superman from within the park, unfortunately What stunning intentional photographic composition! .. Predator did a good job of hiding the correct direction to Superman's queue for those of us too excited to grab a map One of the many things I've learned from TPR, a big smile means it's a good ride Predator looks really really good from this angle. Too bad this is from its exit ramp so you're jaded from having just ridden it DE of steel They have a beautiful blue boomerang, situated right next to the lake. And this guy's pretty new. A surprisingly forceful launch, followed by a surprisingly uninspired layout. Well hey there! Darien Lake, (I'm guessing here..) Not my favorite way to spend the afternoon At least there was foliage Ba de ya, say do you remember Ok and enough of everything else, let's get back to my newest lover A little more of the layout than last time I took this picture Well hey there TPR.. Can't for the life of me figure out why I'm skipping towards this thing Hey there beautiful Signature shot. Thanks for reading!! Next up is Martin's Fantasy Island
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