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My Ongoing Spain PTR


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DAY 0: Arriving, Lost Luggage, Parque de Attraciones Madrid, and Old Madrid

 

So I had been planning to go on this trip since before it was announced. I'd always wanted to go to Spain (ran out of time on my European adventure), and wanted to do a TPR trip since I saw how awesome it was last year. I booked the trip as soon as it was announced and sat in anticipation for the next 9 months.

 

I knew the people would be amazing, as I knew a good number of those going already (from online, only a handful in person), but I didn't really know what to expect from the parks. Most of the parks on the trip didn't look all that exciting from looking at pictures online, but I knew that I'd have a great time no matter what, and boy were my expectations surpassed. The parks were amazing, the people were even better, and in all honesty, I've never had so much fun on a vacation (yet alone a coaster trip).

 

So on to the trip report, well Day 0 at least (before the official trip began: arrival day).

 

 

My trip started with my alarm clock going off at 4:45am on Thursday morning. Ugh, I hate early flights. I grabbed some Burger King on the way to the gate for my 7:30am flight, and then called my Mom to let her know I was on my way. Another kid from the trip, Ben aka BeatleBen, found me shortly before we boarded. We ended up sitting right across the aisle from each other. The first leg of the trip was to Miami, and from there I would be meeting up with Jon, aka moose8556, for the Miami to Madrid section (we had arranged to sit next to each other on the flight already)

 

Ben and I arrived in Miami at 10 til 4, which gave us just over an hour to get to our next flight. When we pulled up, we had no gate. The gate we were supposed to occupy had a plane with mechanical issues at it. The captain announced that the plane should be backing out in 5 minutes, and they were working on getting another gate in the meantime. 10 minutes go by, still nothing. The captain then tells us that there aren't any gates open, so we'll have to wait. 30 minutes go by, still waiting. By now I'm starting to stress out because the flight to Spain was supposed to be boarding already. We finally got to the gate 45 minutes after landing, meaning I had less than 15 minutes to get to my next flight by the time I got off the plane. There were two other women near us on the same flight, so we all banded together and RAN! First off, we got in at Terminal C, and had to get to Terminal G. Ok, no problem, we'd just run. Then I discovered that we had to leave the secure area to get there. Security lines and just over 10 minutes to go. Well the signs in the airport said Terminal G was about 15 minutes, away, we made it in 5.

 

CRAP! Security line. I went up to the agent, in amazing race style, and explained that our flight was supposed to be leaving in 5 minutes. She pushed us to the front of the line, and 5 minutes later (including a bag check, since I had a bottle of water from LAX in my carry-on) we were all through and running through Miami International, Ben without shoes, and me holding my pants up because I didn't have time to put on my belt. We got to the gate about 3 minutes after departure time, and the way the gate was situated we couldn't tell if the plane was still there. I went up to the gate entrance, and the Iberia employee just pointed me to the counter. F*@#$, we were too late. So I went up to the counter, and they did some typing, and more typing, and then handed me a boarding pass. Turns out that they can't use the AA boarding pass, thus why I had to go to the counter. So we managed to get on the plane (10 minutes after departure time), and I see a smiling Jon sitting in the seat next to mine just waiting. Turns out they didn't board until 10 minutes before departure time, and we weren't all that far behind everyone else. He had been to the gate since before we arrived, so he wasn't sweating or shaking like I was. Nothing to do now but settle in for the 8.5 hour flight to Madrid.

 

It was the first I had met Jon in person, only having talked on AIM and the coaster boards. He was fairly close to how I expected, except far less serious. I like when people turn out to be as awesome in person as they are online. We chatted through most of the flight, about coasters, about people we were excited to see/meet on the trip, about the sig others, and general shooting the shit. The food was pretty good (dinner and breakfast), and I didn't really pay much attention to the in-flight entertainment (I did read a bit of Harry Potter though). I didn't sleep, which was no surprise since I never can on airplanes.

 

We arrived in Madrid 30 minutes late at 8am. The airport is an amazing structure. We were in Terminal 4S, and it wasn't until we headed out on the hotel shuttle that we discovered how huge the place really was.

 

Terminal 4S, upper level

 

An exhausted Jon

 

We made a quick pass through customs, took the train to terminal 4, and made the long walk to baggage claim.

 

I figured that my bag wouldn't be there, since we were so close to making the flight. But Jon was there in plenty of time, so we waited around the baggage carousel. And waited, and waited. It takes an hour to 1.5 hours to get bags at Madrid. Slowly they started turning up. We waited for 1.5 hours, and still no bag for Jon. So we all headed to the luggage counter. They had Ben and I's id number on their list of bags that were still in Miami. They told me that it would be on the next morning's flight, and they'd deliver it to our hotel. Luckily we were at that hotel for two nights. They couldn't find Jon's number on their list, but still told him it was in Miami and he'd have it the next night. He wasn't so sure about that.

 

So we found the hotel shuttle, and took off for Novotel, Campo de Naciones. It was a very short drive from the airport. Lou was standing outside, waiting on our arrival, and had a bag of Viennese truffles waiting for me. SHE IS THE AWESOME. I LOVE LOU! (she was my roommate for the trip, and was another that was even more awesome in person) I didn't have anything for her, but I guess it was a good repayment for carrying her stuff in my backpack at the parks all week She had arrived in Spain early, and had already been around the city and the area around the hotel.

 

We dropped off the carry-ons, and headed out to find some lunch, a phone card, and some deodorant/toothpaste since ours was with our lost luggage (though to be fair, they knew where mine was). I had my first experience with speaking Spanish while asking around the gigantic store (like seriously, bigger than walmart) on where to find a phone card for international calls. We finally found the counter, but the lady there was explaining things much too quickly. Luckily Deka, wandered up and spoke fluent Spanish. With a phone card in hand to call home, and a sandwich from a nearby cafe, we were now ready for the trip to begin. Well, after a visit to the hotel pool.

 

 

OMG, the pool was freezing, but we had like an hour to pass before we could check into our rooms, so we took a dip anyways.

 

At 3pm, all of those that had arrived (many more were supposed to be there already but had flight issues worse than mine) met to head out to Parque de Attraciones Madrid. We were going there again in 2 days, but Robb thought we'd need the extra time there today to get in all the rides. He was right and I was glad I went.

 

Riding the metro to the park.

 

Change at Nuevos Ministerios

 

Lou and I waiting for Robb to get return Metro tickets

 

Walking to the park

 

And more

 

THERE IT IS

 

 

Once inside, on to the first "credit" of the trip. ABISMO!

 

I was expecting bad things from this ride, hearing how painful G-Force in the UK is, but it was a great ride. I don't like hanging upside down at the start of the ride, but the coaster was intense, and had a great airtime hill. A good surprise. It's a great addition to the park, and a lot of fun. Just brace yourself as you come to a stop on the vertical section, or the lap bar will kill your hip bones.

 

This is Robb's picture, but it's so awesome we all need to see it again

 

The exit conveniently led to Tarantula, a spinning mouse coaster, that had plenty of spinning, and a couple great surprise elements (like a diving turn into a tunnel). Your level of spinning will vary, but we found it did great with an unbalanced weight load from one side to the other.

 

LOL, Jon looks awful in this pic, so I think you should all see it

 

Right next door, they had a unique suspended shooting dark ride. You had to shoot spiders and crystals. It was neat, even if the scoring didn't work so well, I think about 1/5 of the guns didn't register. It also made Lou shriek when one of the spiders jumped out, so bonus points for that.

 

 

One more adult sized coaster left. Tornado. An Intamin inverted coaster. But wait, what's this in line. And so came the phrase......"I LOVE SPAIN". I have plenty of stalker shots like this from the trip, but I'm not sure I should post them here

 

The coaster was good, not amazing, but good. It's fun, it has decent elements, just no "WOW" moments. It was more fun to see the over-supported loop.

 

I sat Condor out since they make me feel ill.

 

 

The other highlight of this park was its interesting flat rides. Such as the zeppelin monorail

 

And their Small World knock off (Jungle Cruise knock off, coming on day 2)

 

 

Count the stereotypes

 

America I guess is symbolized by cheeseburgers and coke

 

And cheerleaders

 

LOL, at least we're not the Netherlands, who are represented by retarded looking farmers

 

Weeee......fun

 

It was interesting, the boat wasn't free floating, but instead attached to a cable in the water that pulled the boat along. Most of the boat-style dark rides in Spain used this ride mechanism.

 

More zeppelins, with the closed Tree of Life type thing in the back

 

The rest of the group tries to get the kiddie coaster credits

 

DENIED

 

Here they are though, a Holidog clone

 

And a Zamperla suspended kiddie coaster

 

The park was really beautiful throughout, even the kids area

 

After another ride on Tarantula, Jon and I decided to head out to Madrid since it was the only full free evening we'd have there.

 

Walking out of the park to the metro station.

 

After getting off at Metro stop Opera

 

We walked from there, past the Palacio Real, Catedral de la Almudena, Plaza de la Villa, and on to Plaza Mayor.

 

Palacio Real

 

 

 

Catedral de la Almudena

 

 

Plaza de la Villa

 

 

Random street in Madrid

 

And finally, Plaza Mayor

 

 

 

Jon and I found a table at one of the restaurants in the Plaza, enjoyed a pitcher of Sangria, and some Spanish cuisine (calamari and boiled ham for me, calamari and croquettes for Jon).

 

After dinner, we wandered around the city (semi-buzzed) for about 40 minutes trying to find a metro stop (we must have passed like 2 without noticing them). We took the 40 min ride back to the hotel, had one drink with those at the bar and then I turned in for the night.

First day of the trip down (one hella long 35 hour day). And an early morning coming up. This is when I discovered the trip was not going to involve much sleep. Oh well, more time to have fun.

 

That was rather long, but it was the longest day of the trip. The rest will probably be much shorter. I'm hoping I can do 1 day of the trip each day, so that I don't put this off forever.

 

Next: Day 1, Bullet Train, 105 degree heat, and the rise of the Pink Panthers

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Brilliant PTR. I was there less than 2 weeks ago and went to must of those sight seeing places. And I was in Madrid's terminal 4 where there was some protest going on in the check in area.

 

What date did you go to Parque Atracciones? I was disapointed with the park but I loved Parque Warner. I went to Port Aventura aswell.

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And I was in Madrid's terminal 4 where there was some protest going on in the check in area.

 

I was waiting for my luggage for an hour and a half to come out of the conveyerbelt thing, the protest was probably me!

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So where's your stalker photo of....

 

.... Josemi???

 

 

Thought I'd ask....

 

Great TR by the by. I had to choose between taking this tour and Japan. Sorry I didn't do it anyway, heh heh. Looks like a great time by you and everybody along for the ride, lol.

 

Thanks for sharing - and more, more!

 

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Thats really strange that it took so long for you guys to get your luggage. When I got to Madrid Barajas, it only took maybe 20-30 minutes for us to get ALL our bags. Maybe it's because our flight was coming from Paris. Who knows?

 

Your pictures from Plaza Mayor and the Palacio Real really really make me miss Spain. I want to go back so badly. Did you have any jamon iberico (Iberian ham)? At the risk of sounding a bit stupid...it is to die for.

 

Enjoying the pictures so far, keep 'em coming.

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One more adult sized coaster left. Tornado. An Intamin inverted coaster. But wait, what's this in line. And so came the phrase......"I LOVE SPAIN". I have plenty of stalker shots like this from the trip, but I'm not sure I should post them here

 

YES- you should!

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Did you have any jamon iberico (Iberian ham)? At the risk of sounding a bit stupid...it is to die for.

 

Yes, like every morning for breakfast, and on at least 3 sandwiches. I was kind of getting over it by the time I left. Though now I'm kind of craving it.

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Kyle this is like crack, give me more!

 

Thanks for the lovely compliments (and for carrying my shit in your bag all week ), you were even more a fantastic person than I was expecting too, and Jon. I missed the lack of affection once you two disappeared off home, glad to see you both got back safely! [/ass-kissing] Good thing were so many other fab people to keep me occupied! I miss everyone so much and can't wait to see you all again.

 

Mmmm, sangria... Mmmm, croquettes... Mmmm, Spanish parks.

 

Thanks for posting Kyle, great pics!

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Day 1: Bullet Train, 105 degree heat, and the rise of the Pink Panthers

 

Well, I went to bed about 12:30 or 1am the night before, and today, we were off to meat the bus at 6am. Woot for less than 5 hours of sleep. Oh well, we had a train ride, I'd surely be able to get some sleep then. Oh wait, I can't sleep sitting up. OH WELL!

 

We all met up in the lobby, after a quick breakfast of pastries. Luckily, everyone made it in to Madrid before this morning. Many on the trip had to take alternate flights because of cancellations and such, some even detouring more than twice in the process, but somehow everyone was there (even if without luggage). Luckily I had packed 2 full changes of clothes in my carry-on, and with the TPR shirt I received, I had enough to last me until Sunday. When Jon came down, he delivered the good news that he had received his luggage last night, meaning his bags weren't in Miami like the Iberia folks had said (since the Iberia flight had yet to arrive today). They must have been going round and round on the wrong baggage carousel.

 

Robb delivering the itinerary for the day, and instructions for the train station.

 

There was a tour bus waiting to deliver us to the train station, much easier than the Metro insanity it would have been to get there otherwise (48 people, switch lines twice). And luckily, no one seemed concerned on where they sat on the bus.

 

Once at the train station, we hung around for about 30 minutes until we could board the train. In this time I discovered I love Filipinos......no no, not the nationality, the chocolate covered donuts.

 

And away we go

 

Not sure why they're ducking, maybe there was an attack bird (they're quite common)

 

We caught hippo (property of James, aka CanobieFan) taking in the Spanish countryside

 

Turns out he was lonely for attention, and got quite randy with me and Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's ok Hippo, he never has to know

 

It must be way too early, as Lou now thinks that the ring tone is coming from a pack of cigs

 

Weirdest ad ever, "Sure, I'll open my imagination, but why do I have to play pattycake with a panda?"

 

There was another coach in Sevilla waiting to pick us up from the train station and deliver us to the first official park of the trip.....Isla Magica.

 

Wow, right off the bat this parks makes an impression, as JimmyBo gets molested by this guy

 

The park itself was very pretty yet again. Lots of landscaping and vegetation, historic building the park was built around, and a good collection of rides, both old and new.

 

Historic double decker carousel

 

A building along the pathway

 

We didn't have any coaster ERT lined up with the park, but they decided to give us ERT at their 4-D theater (two different shows), and on their pirate-themed shooting dark ride.

 

Life is so much cooler in 4-D

 

The glasses were ridiculously large. They looked awesome on Ed.

 

So the first 4-d film followed a cat exploring a haunted house. It was very good, and very long. Decent effects, and there's nothing better than dolls and toys gone demented. It was actually very entertaining, and had no speaking, so we didn't lose anything in translation. The 2nd film however was freakin bizarre. It was some "conservation" 4-D movie, that barely had any 3-d, the effects came off as "trying to hard", and the panda at the end uttering "help" was just pointless. Everyone just kind of stared at each other with a "WTF?" when it was over.

 

Ok, on to the pirates shooting dark ride, well as soon as Jon gets done demonstrating his cage dancing skills

 

The entrance

 

I forgot to snap any pictures inside (and on-ride wouldn't have come out anyways because it was so dark). Basically the ride sat 4 people in an outward facing circle. The car slowly spun as you made your way through the ride, shooting at pirates, sea creatures, and barrels. Of course you never knew when the target you shot at was going to spray you with water, adding an additional layer of fun to the ride. It was pretty good, not the best shooting dark ride of the trip, but not bad either.

 

The park seemed to be built around an existing castle/fort.

 

What's that off in the distance? Oh, yah, there's a coaster too.

 

Ok, so not much to report on this one. Jaguar is a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster with a bonus helix, meaning it's a standard SLC, but you get a helix right before entering the brake run. It wasn't too rough, it wasn't too smooth, and luckily had really comfortable shoulder restraints (air filled rather than foam). Strangely, the helix was the smoothest part.

 

It was getting hot out, so we headed over to Iguala, the splashdown boat, to cool off

 

Oh, and as with any section of a park with water rides in Spain, every guy seemed to be shirtless. I LOVE SPAIN!

 

I wanted to ride the llama ride, but it was for children only

 

Back to that castle/fort in the center of the park

 

So the other thing that happened today was the creation of the pink panthers. It wasn't planned, it just kind of happened. All the gay men just seemed to end up hanging out together at the park today (oh, and Lou). We had so much fun, that the group kind of just stuck for most of the rest of the trip (and the pink panther moniker started about 2 days later).

 

 

TAKE IT LIKE A MAN

 

Did I mention that it was hot, like 105 F hot. We were seeking out water rides any chance we could get. The best part about water rides, is that when Lou's hair gets wet, she turns into Curly Lou.

 

Wait, why are you wearing your shirt near a water ride.....bad Spaniard

 

Random bit of theming

 

OMG, they have a Disk-O

 

This was my first ride on one of these. OMG, so much fun. I think every park needs one of these. They're not too intense for the kids, and yet they're a lot of fun still for the adults. Awesome ride

 

They also had the strangest drop tower ever. It ran different programs during the course of the day, and there was a sign indicating which time each program ran. Some gave you the full drop, some only did half drops, and one was only an observation tower program.

 

For some reason I didn't take many pictures of the park today, and took many more of the adventures before and after. I guess you'll have to wait for Robb's official TPR update to get more of the park.

 

Other things of interest:

- Flume ride with 3 drops

- Weird Indiana Jones type ride with "10 adventures" (we only counted 7)

- Kiddie coaster with a triple down......sort of

- Lunch with way too much fried food (including fish that looked like pineapple rings)

- People playing in the fountains all over the park

 

Time to get on the bullet train back to Madrid. Kristen (aka Kidtums) seemed very happy to be traveling with the group.

 

Ed had passed out already, and we hadn't even started drinking yet

 

I love trains, such a comfortable mode of transportation

 

We hung out in the bar car for a while on the way back, but otherwise it was a rather uneventful trip back. We arrived back to the hotel a little after 11.

 

My luggage was supposed to be at the hotel by this time. They assured me it was going to be on the flight that arrived at 7:30am, and then they would deliver it to the hotel. I was really hoping it was, since we were leaving the hotel the next morning, and would be all over the place before we got back to Madrid. I went up to my room..........NO DICE. I was so bummed. Just as I was heading out to go check at the front desk, Ben (BeatleBen) popped into the hallway to let me know that my luggage was in his room with his. HOORAH! Clothes, toiletries, etc.. I felt bad for others on the trip that didn't get their luggage until the last day (when we were back in Madrid) or not at all (James).

 

I called Jeff, hung out at the bar for a little bit, and then hit the hay.

 

 

Next - Day 2: Parque de Attraciones Madrid and Parque de Attraciones Zaragoza

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^LOL, I hope you still feel that way if some "bad pictures" end up in one of these updates. I haven't been caring what I or anyone else really looked like in the pictures, I just want to share them all.

 

You must be mistaken. Louise does not take "bad pictures".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great PTR Kyle! Honestly, great pics! I LOVE the one of the drop tower between the queue shader-thing! Cant wait for more!

 

-Jahan

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