(double-post - I blew the single post charcter limit! 60000!)
Day 6 : Wednesday 1st June
Right then, deliberately planned to be a no-travel day so I could spend all day
in the park (last time I was here in 2006 I had left a bit earlier than I wanted
to in order to get somewhere else in the evening).
Anyway, same MO as Hansa; the park opens at 9am but they don't run the rides until
10am - except this time I realise that and wander into the park about 10to10 and
join the Krake queue (Krake being just about the first big thing you hit when
going into the park from the hotel).
Theres a fair few peeps ahead of me in the queue filling up the midway, but once
it starts testing and they open the queue proper its only 10 minutes or so until
About to Krake
Quick second trip around and you can tell the queue is "light"
They have a manned "bag storage" bit on the queue where you deposit your cr@p and
pick it up on the way out - nice, but you'd think Merlin would have got some pay-
lockers in on that deal pretty sharpish?
OK the ride; I liked it.
I've never really been an Oblivion fan-boy - its OK, one trick (its a good trick)
but after that good start... it just stops. I've been on Sheikra as well and that
was better, but felt a bit "lumbering" to me (if that makes sense) - Krake is
kinda halfway between the 2. The cars feel lighter, more agile than either
Oblivion or Sheikra (and they hold more than Oblivion).
So Krake does its "one big trick" too - great view from the front down into the
seas below (but not into the rather abandoned mouth of the Krake off to the side;
hmmmm) and then you drop, splash (only you don't see any of that splash on ride
until you hit the immelman and loop back over it when the water cloud is vanishing
away above you. Nice. Then you hit an airtime hill with plenty of airtime and
you are done. So short and sweet (much longer than Oblivion tho' ) but
really good. I approve.
(more pics later, only had the little camera with me in the morning)
Since my last visit Heide had very kindly built 3 new coasters, 1 down 2 to get.
Nothing to write home about here, but is this whole (tiny) western section "new"
as well, I could not picture what was here before?
There was a huge queue for the last +1 for me Desert Race, so I went off to play
on one of my favourite coasters instead;
Colossos lift hill
Which had a 30 minute advertised wait - turned out to be a bit longer than that as
they only had 1 train running (which was starting to wind me up a bit) but then
added the second train and then the queue moved more swiftly (1 train opes were
the problem with Desert Race too, but they added the second train to that as well
about the same time... so why not start the day with 2 trains?)
Love this ride - sure I've taken this same picture before as well;
Not so sure about the veracity of this though (its not just PBB that is liberal
with the interpretation of these things then!) - 6th steepest maybe?
Couple of goes on Colossos and the Desert Race queue moving much better now means
I can get my !Rita credit - not much to say about that ride, possibly a bit more
sensible a ride than Rita (which is just such an odd thing to have put into Alton
IMHO) but still a bit of a filler-ride to me.
Work my way around the rest of the park, skipped the SLC which inexplicably had
a large queue whilst Krake was about 10 minutes
Drop tower is fun, their bobsleigh coaster is possibly one of the best of that
type, and you gotta think that Big Loop's days are numbered?
The Splash Battle is a bit rubbish too;
Not Splash Battle
(OK I don't actually come across the real Splash Battle until the end of the day!)
So half the day done, I nip back to the hotel and get the proper camera out for
This is the entrance way from the hotel to the park (under a windmill)
Under the windmill
Krake's nicely done station building;
and Krake itself
from various angles;
from a distance (+zoom)
this shot is probably the best though (and the first one I processed!)
Big Loop (corksrew bit thereof)
The big beauty that looms over the park in wide angle
Heide is all around a big lake if you don't realise;
Didn't ride these rapids (they didn;'t have an amusing name like BonBon Land's)
Rapids at Heide
Good timed shot with Krake and Big Loop both doing something (and there are 5
coasters in this shot)
if only the bob had timed it right too, like in this one
Finish up with a few shots of the hotel, which wasn't a great hotel I though, it
was good but not as good as I expected.
The bar, where I may have spent a while in the evening - they did put on a show
and stuff so thats a good effort considering the hotel was quite quiet.
So really nice day I thought. Great park, couple of great rides, nicely chilled
out by the all-you-can-eat (and drink) buffet; ate some German bean sprouts (which
in hindsight may not have been the wisest move).
Day 7 : Thursday 2nd June
So after yesterday's "no travel" day, today was a "just travel" day. Drove
up from Heide Park to Aalborg at the top of Denmark.
Odd place; I got to Aalborg mid afternoon, so thought I'd have a wander around
the town centre (hotel was just on the edge of the centre by the river) so
I wandered up - and it was shut. Seriously, everything was shut. Mid afternoon
on a weekday, shut. We used to have 1/2 day closing in the UK, but that went
many years ago and our shops are open as much as they can be, but no, not in
Aalborg it seems. Shut.
Turns out the day before (the 1st) was some sort of late-night opening in the
city, and today is in fact a national holiday of some religious significance
I was unaware of (40 days after Easter) - (but I've only just worked that out
3 weeks later!)
Anyway Aaloborg city was quite pleasant, few nice old buildings such as this
one from 1624;
Jens Bang's House
In keeping with the "shut" theme with Aalborg, their town centre amusement
park shut at the end of last season, but I have a wander around the outside
of it to seem what I can see; which amounts to not much more than a boomer's
lift hill. Quite sad.
The boomerang's lift is still standing...
but the rest of it is in bits on the floor;
Bits of another coaster ("Looping" I guess);
NO WAY IN here;
Day 8 : Friday 3rd June
OK clearly I'm only in Aalborg so I can come here;
What a nice day - nice park, nice weather, nice rides. Really nice.
Started out with a few trips on their nice launched Gerstlauer Lynet (Lightning)
which I really liked. (Nice touch with a construction video going on in the
queue line, staifying the geeky enthusiast interest while you wait!)
Heres the station;
and heres the ride;
Good ride then, very similar to the eurofighters, but the train is smaller and
more comfortable I think.
The other coasters here are a nice (but unspectacular) wooden one that appeared
to have been built to celebrate the park's 50th anniversary (which must have
worked since a couple of years later they can put in Lynet - well done you!)
Falken way in
(not may great places to photograph it from though)
They also have one of the ubiquitous spinning wild mice (of which more later)
Which appears to be called "Bat" (Danish "Flagermusen"),
and their oldest (1992) coaster is a junior Vekoma minetrain deep in the trees,
which I seem to have failed to take any pics of. Nevermind.
The park itself is really nice (I think I mentioned that before), set amongst
lots of trees and its very pretty.
Pretty popular too, loads of folks out with their picnics;
People at Fårup
but the place did seem to have something of a trampoline obsession! Every spare
bit of space seemed to have a trampoline dumped it in, health&safety nightmare!
On a Fårup train
So after my very nice time at the nice Farup, I say goodbye to Lynet (from the
car park) and head south again.
A little later then (and a bit further south).
Check into my hotel in downtown Århus and take the 25 or so minutes stroll out
of town to the local park, where lives Tivoli Friheden.
Home of one of those SCAD towers
(which I did not ride, I blame a long queue, but I might well not have even if
it was walk on)
They made the punters wear all manner of protection (to save breaking peoples
back I assume?)
Sky Tower Safety Gear
New for this season was a fairly standard big wheel, from where I ca take a few
All the rides are enclosed in these HUGE sound shields, to protact the locals
from the sounds of people enjoying themselves no doubt. Perhaps Alton could
invest in some?
Eye of the Hurricane
The main coaster is Cobra, a Sartori invert which has got to be a first for me.
This is a panoramic shot (3 shots stiched together)
Cobra at Tivoli Friheden
Really slow ops, >3 minutes to cycle a train meant and the busy Friday night
crowd meant that it was something like 40 minutes queue for this - not great
Unspectacular ride, not as painful as I anticipated but not very elegant
Nicely done trains though.
Next door to this is ANOTHER (thats 2 for the day) annoying spinning mouse,
this time its a Zamperla rather than Farup's Reverchon. Not that that makes it
any better of course.
Much better is the old Pinfari looper Orkanens Øje seen in the shots from the
wheel above. At least this had some character about it.
There is also a kiddie credit. I may have been on this, but you can't prove
And a big evil looking spin and puke job (which I passed on!)
The park was really busy, mainly for a concert going on (much like Tivoli in
Copenhagen the week before), but that made for a nice enough atmosphere to
chill out with a few beers and some food.
Busy day then (nice though, although far too many spinning mice)
Day 9 : Saturday 4th June
After yesterdays Sommerland fun, its off to the other one near Aarhus. That is
Djurs Sommerland about 30 minutes drive away.
Get there bang on opening and I'm not ashamed to say I was quite excited about
the first ride of the day and I positvely rushed to get onto this thing straight
And its very good indeed - we'll come back to this later I think!
In the same area as the splendid Piraten is this year's new ride "Skatteøen"
(Treasure Island). This is a Mack water coaster, so like Poseidon at Europa
Park. Djurs advertise the ride as "europas-stoerste-water-coaster" which
translates as "largest" - I guess it depends on how you interpret largest, sure
this one is higher than Poseidon, but only half as long? Hmmm.
Anyway, being new and it being a rather warm Saturday, this has a bit of a queue
to it, so I take a few pics as I wait in line;
They have done a really good job on the themeing all full of pirate boats and
giant skulls and the like
And it gives off a lovely big splash
Skatteøen from the queue
And despite the busy queue, it moves pretty rapidly, really good ops keeping the
line moving and they were consistanly dispatching so that one boat was hitting
the lift hill as the previous one just drops into the splash. Well done them.
The ride itself is good too, not as long (large) as Poseidon which it closely
resembles, this one just drops down after the lift hill in a big circle then
back up before the final drop into the splash zone. Short and sweet then, but
pretty effective. Don't get much wet on the splash which does soak the
Right then, what else does this park hold... turns out it has a rather splendid
mouse-like Gerstlauer bobsled (another type new to me). So off to Thor's Hammer I
go with its rather ropey themeing (not ropey/bad, ropey/cheesy perhaps)?
Thor looks rather hammered to me?
Thor is hammered
so I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but it was really good.
So thats 3 good coasters in the place then. Great stuff!
I wander around the rest of the park for a while, and its all really nice too.
Lots of greenery, nice healthy trampoline obsession too (not quite as many as
at Farup, but still...)
I get to their topple tower "Ornen" and watch that for a while, never seen one
of these before so its a novelty.
Wierd sensation riding it, rather like you are continually falling backwards as
it spins around and rocks back and forth. Quite cool then.
Added wetness - and they do move the ride into the fountains, didn't catch it
on camera but they soaked the next cycle.
Topple Tower Wet
Next to the topple tower was the flume, but didn't ride that (silly queue)
Had some lunch and eventually found myself in the wild-west area where they have
a wave swinger. I like wave swingers and usually have a go, but as I watch this
one it does 2 things I have never seen on a wave swinger... first up it has a
bunch of fountains that they use to soak the riders (and they do get soaked),
then it stops and cycles in reverse. I brave the soaking just for the sake of
the reverse experience and I don't think I've laughed as much on one of these
Wet Wave Swinger
Their rapids ride had been down all day, but I notice it had just opened, so I
have a quick bash on that (and it must have literally only just opened since I
walked straight through the queue yet as I exit the queue line is completly full;
good timing there!)
OK so I've "done" the park (didn't lower myself to te kiddie coaster this time)
so I re-ride Skatteøen which prompty breaks down as my boat finishes the circuit.
So after sitting on the exit ramp for a while, they evac the boats and I can
escape from this treasure island!
Onto serious business now and I just reride Praten again and again for a while.
Interesting this too breaks down a couple of times so sometimes I have to wait
while they fix it (never quite sure what was broken but they had to manually
release people from a train a couple of times), otherwise its just a 5 minute
queue between rides. Nice. Very nice in fact.
Probably longest queue for it I saw, even this is only 10 minutes with no break
Take a final shot up its lift hill after my last ride;
View up Piraten lift
and then I spend a while taking some pics of the nice toys.
Skatteøen about to hit the water
Skatteøen (Splash closeup)
I leave you with a nice image of the rather brilliant pirate ride then.
Day 9 : Sunday 5th June
Ok all coasters done now (but confusingly one more "theme park" to come).
I had decided that I liked Arhus quite a lot so I'd spend my last full day
in the city and have a looksee around.
Thats where I was staying...
And next door was the rather pash town hall place...
There were a couple of things I fancied seeing in the city, so off I went first
to the modern art museum place;
ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum http://www.aros.dk/
Which I rather enjoyed. I do like a bit of modern art, and this place had rather
a lot of the stuff since it was pretty big.
I particularily liked the "Get Lost" exhibition of Fredrik Raddum's stuff
Bag Head Boy
Bag Head Boy
The museum has a couple of 'signature exhibits', firstly this Boy by Ron Mueck
(which wikipedia tells me was originally exhibited at the Millenium Dome)
and up on the roof of the place is a panoramic walkway that gives you views out
over the city all through various filtered coloured glass. Plays havoc with the
cameras white balance though!
Your Rainbow Panorama (Purple/Red)
Tried a bit of HDR in there, ughhhhh
Your Rainbow Panorama (Yellow/Green)
But panoramas worked;
Your Rainbow Panorama
Inside Your Rainbow Panorama Panorama
Its called Your Rainbow Panaorama and its by Olafur Eliasson.
So I really liked ARoS - good work Arhus.
Right then, this other "theme park" to which I referred earlier is called
Den Gamle By (The Old Town) and is a bit of one of the local park's set aside to
house all these (genuine) olde-worlde Deanish builings. The place itself is 100
odd years old (and some of the buildings a few hundred more) - they regularily
move buildings from all over Denmark to here to retain that history. Cool!
Anyway was a pleasant place to stroll around for a few hours looking at the
various buildings and failing to understans anything that the costumed characters
that populated the place were going on about.
Den Gamle By (1 of 9)
Den Gamle By (2 of 9)
Den Gamle By (3 of 9)
Den Gamle By (4 of 9)
Den Gamle By (5 of 9)
Den Gamle By (6 of 9)
Den Gamle By (7 of 9)
Den Gamle By (8 of 9)
Den Gamle By (9 of 9)
Day 10 : Monday 6th June
Nothing to see here. Drive back from Arhus to Copenhagen airport via the rather
spectacular Storebælt bridge (http://www.storebaelt.dk/english) with its rather
spectacularly steep toll charge 220 DKK = £26 ; ouch!
(Clearly since I was driving I don't have any pictures of this and when I stopped
on the far side there was not anywhere I could immediately see to get a good view
of the thing)
So thats it. Denmark (and a bit of Germany) done.
Back to the daily grind for a while.