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Photo TR: Chuck Looks Back at TPR's Europe Trip 2008


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Table of Contents

 

Introduction (scroll down)

Chapter 1: Jardin d'Acclimatation

Chapter 2: Parc Asterix

Chapter 3: Walibi Belgium & Adventure Parc

Chapter 4: Bobbejaanland

Chapter 5: Toverland

Chapter 6: Efteling & Drievliet

Chapter 7: Walibi World

Chapter 8: Heide Park

Chapter 9: Movie Park Germany & Schlossbeck

Chapter 10: Phantasialand

Chapter 11: Tripsdrill

Chapter 12: Holiday Park

Chapter 13: Europa Park

Chapter 13.5: Walygator Parc

Chapter 14: Paris Disney

Chapter 15: Final Thoughts

 

Introduction: The Team Larry High-Speed Tour of Paris

 

Well, I’m back home, Angus McNasty is sleeping in my lap, and I have to go back to work tomorrow. All this can mean only one thing—time to start my photo TR of TPR’s Europe Trip 2008. Yes, it’s time to set everything down and relive the whole incredible experience all over again—the parks, the people, the antics (which often develop into full-fledged “hijinks” and “folderol”), the food, the good times, the smells (well, maybe not all the smells).

 

My thanks to Robb and Elissa for putting together another excellent tour. The work that goes into these trips is staggering, yet they always come through beautifully, with plenty of ERT and other perks—such as free beer (more on this later). If you want to make the most of your theme-park experience, you can’t go wrong with a TPR trip. Again, thank you, Robb and Elissa.

 

First, though, a little “culture.” Yes, I know you all came here looking for pictures of roller coasters, dark rides, and TPR members engaged in silly, sometimes PG-13-rated antics. But it would be a shame to go to France and not spend a day checking out what Paris has to offer. So, Paris Pass in hand (which gave me access to a number of attractions and museums without waiting in line), I joined Team Larry (Larry “larrygator” Meisel and Rich “coaster05” and Melanie “funkybadger” Bitner) for a high-speed tour of famous Parisian landmarks and a cruise on the River Seine.

 

So, here’s a look at Paris, a city in which it is nearly impossible to take a bad photo—that is, unless you trip, drop your camera, and take a picture of your own shoes. Or lose a piece of Notre Dame in a sun glitch. Or fall in the Seine, drift downstream, and end up taking a picture of some other town. Oh, and by the way, there may be a few antics depicted in these Paris photos. I wouldn’t want to mislead anybody.

 

Anyway, welcome to Paris, as I saw it through jet-lagged eyes on Saturday, June 21, 2008.

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"OK, where the hell are we, again?" More to come from Paris.

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"Are those imbeciles still here?"

"Oui."

"Remember--don't make eye contact!"

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Seconds before the statue came to life and smacked me around.

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Stretch, Larry, stretch!

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Yeah, they know TPR's in town, alright.

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This maritime museum was part of our Paris Passes, so in we went.

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"Protect us, o scary, nearly naked guy!"

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Here's the very intricate roof of the Arc.

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The eternal flame burns in honor of France's fallen heroes (not for making smores--sorry).

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Hmm--this is some moderately popular local landmark, as I recall.

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Looking toward Montmartre (I think).

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Here's the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

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I bet this soldier is thinking that it's a shame that he's sharing space with a gift shop.

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It's a long way up the Arc's sprial staircase. By the way, if this picture is spinning around, you may be in a Hitchcock movie--so beware of Kim Novack!

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Hey, look--my shirt goes with the Arc de Triomphe! (Actually, this is the same shirt I wore when I flew to London and Tokyo on two previous TPR trips.)

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More from the City of Lights--during the day (so, no lights).

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Looking up the Seine. One last set of Paris pics to come.

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There are two major differences between Paris's Eiffel Tower and the one at Kings Dominion: 1) Paris's is much taller, and 2) KD's never has a long line.

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OK, who's ready for a cruise on the Seine?

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. . . and sometimes I just sits.

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You know, sometimes I sits and thinks . . .

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Damn it, what is the name of that thing? And why does it keep hounding us?

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The roof over Napoleon's tomb and uniform.

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Napoleon's uniform.

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Napoleon's tomb.

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My, that's one big ball. A man could go far with two of those, if he could tote them in a big sack, or something.

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"So, we French folk outwit you a second time, eh?"

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"I fart in your general direction!"

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"OK, there's a bunch of French stuff in here I can't pronounce, so let's just go in."

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This is the Hotel des Invalides--a 17th-century war veterans' residence that houses a war museum and the tomb of Napoleon.

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Hi, Erik.

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Sheesh, we can't turn around without bumping into this thing. And why does it remind me of Kings Dominion?

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A cruise on the Seine,

Then we go to Notre Dame.

Gargoyles are cool.

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Quasi ring bells! That's it for the Team Larry High-Speed Tour of Paris. Jardin d'Acclimatation will be next.

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"Why don't all of you shuddup and let a gargoyle eat in peace? Oh, wait--I'm made of stone, so I don't have to eat anyway."

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"You're not missing much--the dancers suck."

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"Sigh! I wish I could watch the dancing, but my stone butt is on the wrong side of the building."

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There was some dance competition in the plaza below.

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"At least I can crap on them--I'm not made of stone!"

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"You know, if I weren't made of stone, I would so hock a big loogie on one of those people down there."

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I don't care what the homeowner's association thinks, I'm getting one of these for my house.

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By the way, there's an excellent ice-cream joint behind Notre Dame--as you can tell by this enormous line. (The caramel ice cream is awesome.)

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Notre Dame, which is nowhere near South Bend, Indiana.

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I'm not sure if this guy was busted or if the police were just giving him a tow.

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"Do you hear something? I think I hear . . .

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"Everyday, I contemplate the meaning of life--and my balls."

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I loved Notre Dame. It was probably my favorite attraction in Paris. You just don't see stuff like that here in the colonies.

 

By the way, there's an excellent ice-cream joint behind Notre Dame--as you can tell by this enormous line.

 

You can actually skip the Berthillon line by sitting down at one of the tables to get served in the little cafe there. But you'll pay dearly to do so. And the stuff is excellent. I was really bummed when I saw that Disney Paris featured crappy Ben & Jerry's instead of Berthillon.

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Great stuff so far Chuck and it's nice to see some members from the Yellow Hat Club present. As always, I love the captions for your pictures. Keep it up and I can't wait to see what you have to say about the parks because one's thing's for sure, you definitely tell it how it is in your trip reports.

 

Jimmy "Wished he could have joined you but maybe next year" Bo

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Chapter 1: A Peek at What's to Come--Jardin d'Acclimatation

 

My jet-lagged brain started catching up to Parisian time the next day (Sunday, June 22), thanks to a welcome first chance to sleep in a bit. Jardin d'Acclimatation, a nice family park in the heart of Paris, gave us a "sneak preview" of what was to come--and a nice, low-key start to the whole TPR Europe Tour experience.

 

Jardin offered, in miniature, much of what to come at later parks: an interesting mix of coasters (three kiddies, in this case), pretty grounds, playground implements of doom and destruction that you'd never see in the states, and even a mini-taste of "ropes course action." (All it lacked was a quirky dark ride.) I enjoyed the place, and it gave everyone a chance to get in a few "warm-up" credits and check out a few Paris landmarks.

 

The most interesting coaster there was "Alice's Butterflies," a kiddie spinning mouse, which had a surprising pop of air on one drop and plenty of spinning (at least if you had a car to yourself). There was a powered coaster with a "surprise" drop into a tunnel that delivered quite a sucker punch, too. I missed the little dragon coaster, thanks to a lost ticket. (Oops.)

 

So, let's stroll through Jardin d'Acclamatation, shall we?

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Jeff, would you and the RCT pinball machine like to be alone? More to come from Jardin d'Acclimatation.

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Little do these people know the sucker punch that awaits them.

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Kristie has slipped into a zen state, Piers is bemused, Melanie is amused, Rich is asleep, Jeff is dead, and Larry isn't sure what to make of any of this.

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This little powered coaster packs a surprising punch, but where's Dick Dastardly and Muttley? Can't have Wacky Races without them.

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The two cavemen are saying, "Wacky Races--represent! Hanna-Barbera in the house!"

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Look--it's Rowan Atkinson's evil twin!

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Perhaps butterflies in France have big bushy eyebrows and large, multicolored pastel butts.

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These cars look more like angry stew pots than butterflies.

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I'm really not seeing the whole "butterfly" thing here, and Alice is nowhere in sight.

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OK, break out your kill jars, mounting pins, and paraffin boards. It's time for Alice's Butterflies.

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Nope--no touchy copyright issues here, right?

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Jardin is quite inclusive and diverse in its offerings. Here we see Disney's Genie getting acquainted with Terrytoons' Mighty Mouse.

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And here we are. You have to pay to get in, then pay as you ride.

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Aw-w-w-w-w . . . Kidtums is helping that nice old man up the steps.

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First, two touching moments while waiting for the bus. "Chris, your armpit smells just like warm cinnamon buns!"

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While Jeff goes "tilt" with the pinball machine, let's check out more of what this charming little park has to offer.

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One last look at the Arc d'Triomphe. Next up--the park that shows us what tools the ancient Romans really were.

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Hmm--twin Bart Simpsons on different soccer, I mean football, teams?

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We decided to amble down the street in search of food, and first found this. Definitely not food.

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"OK, action! Do something interesting, Jeff!"

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"Hmm--this structure appears to be some sort of aviary."

"And it looks like a big bird house too, Skipper!"

"Shut up, Gilligan!"

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Please God--tell me he thinks this is a large croquette he's licking and not, er, something else.

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Nor this.

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Hmm--I'll wager you won't be seeing this in any U.S. playgrounds.

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"Hi kiddies! Come and play under the scary spider tree! If you're lucky, I'll paralyze you with my venom, spin a cocoon around you, and not eat you for weeks!"

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"Yum! Dragon like children--flame broiled!"

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Being as it killed Jeff, that's probably just as well.

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Here's the coaster I missed.

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See the monkeys climb? Climb, monkeys, climb!

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. . . monkeys!

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. . . donkeys, and . . .

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. . . turkeys, . . .

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. . . goats, . . .

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There were plenty of animals, too, such as chickens (I guess the one on the right is "free range" and expensive), . . .

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Pretty, but I wouldn't drink from this creek.

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There are little gardens tucked all over this park. Looks like hobbits should live here.

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Chuck, this is a great trip report! I'm looking forward to more, and I was with you when you took all these photos!!! The captions are great too!

 

It's funny to see the pics and think, "Oh yeah, I remember where that was," or "Hey, I took that picture!" I have to wonder why there aren't pictures of those delicious Parisian pastries? Oh wait, because we ate them so quickly!

 

More antics! More nonsense! More Team Larry! Keep up the great work Chuck!

 

Loodle loodle loo!

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I remember a playground in my city used to have a similar tunnel system.

 

But it was removed along with any other kind of equipment that could possibly hurt a kid. Part of some province wide "playground saftey" blitz.

 

All they did though was flatten 3/4 of the playgrounds replacing them with nothing.

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Team Larry shirts would have no sleeves, of course, and should have something on them about the right to bare arms.

 

Terrible pun, but someone had to do it!

 

Oh, Chuck! Great report! It's like being part of the group! More! More! More!

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This park definately seems like one to visit when in the area. About how far from the central Paris area would you say it was?

 

I'm not sure about how far it was to "central Paris," but there was a subway station nearby. And if you were up for a bit of a street hike, you could walk to the Arc de Triomphe.

 

I'm glad everybody's enjoying the TR so far. I'll post Parc Asterix (a park I liked a lot) this weekend.

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