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PTR: [Study] Abroad - The world and its coasters


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Hey guys - it’s good to be back.

 

Sorry, to those of you interested, that I never finished this thread. Things got away from me, and I never had a solid internet connection. But now I’m back at school, and as I should be studying, I find I have all this extra time to procrastinate with.

 

So I figured I’d kick this thread back into gear and try and see it out to its completion. For those of you wondering where I had got to, sorry to keep you waiting – and for those of you thankful that I had finally quieted down, I’d like to indulge your patience a little while longer, and ask you to forgive me. There are a great deal of pictures I have left to share.

 

If I’m not mistaken, I left off in Dubai. I’m going to break this up into a couple parts, starting with Abu Dhabi. I’ll get to the rest of Dubai in a little bit.

 

----------Abu Dhabi---------

 

As it turns out, there are quite a number of late-late-LATE flights and early-early-WAYTOOEARLY arrivals in Dubai International airport. I was on one coming from Istanbul with a late layover in Doha, due to land at about 3:30 in the morning. So I, along with a great horde of others, scoured the airport for that last remaining bench, and dozed off into an wonderfully excited sleep in a part of the world I had been dreaming about ever since I saw that ridiculous hotel on the discovery channel 12 years ago.

 

I pulled myself up around 7 and wandered out to catch a cab, depositing myself at the bus station without too much hassle. The plan was to go straight to Abu Dhabi today and come back that same night to meet the guy I’d be couchsurfing with. If you’re unfamiliar with couchsurfing, I’ll get to it next, but it was the best. I’d recommend it to everyone

 

The bus to Abu Dhabi was a little confusing, but if you ask enough people, you’ll eventually get shouted in the right direction. We made our way out of the city early enough that the roads were almost completely deserted, and landed in Abu Dhabi an hour and a half later. The thing that surprised me most about the trip was how little there was on the way. And by little, I mean there wasn’t anything. And by anything, there’s literally not a bit of that desert that has been touched in between those two emirates, and the whole thing just seemed very surreal.

 

Abu Dhabi was big. And as I understood it, it was still getting bigger. It was the type of place that wasn’t meant for real people. The buildings were all big and flashy, and the blocks were at least half a kilometer each. Even that early in the morning, it was blazing hot and walking outside was almost unbearable. The roads were pretty empty and everything was clean. It was hard to believe that people actually lived there.

 

I got to Sparky’s within 40 minutes – as you all probably know by now, the UAE’s reeeal big on their mall credits. And as far as operations go, they’re definitely hit or miss. This first one was a hit – but it was a close one. I was apparently the first and only person in the park, and they needed 8 to launch the coaster without it valleying. So, since nobody had anything to do, every employee in the park hopped in with me. Before everyone was in the car, let only safely seated with the lap bars down, the train was off and the employees were hopping in, jumping around, standing up and dancing, switching cars – everything you’re not supposed to do, they did it. And they sang while they did.

 

Despite the precaution for valleying, we got stuck anyway. The solution? A few people get out of their cars and climb to the back and out on to the track to push while the manager tries to lever the train forward from the ground with a big stick. Did it work? Yup! Twice. The best part about these small parks are the quick relationships you inevitably make with the people working there, who are unbelievably surprised to see a westerner with any intention of riding these things, and excited for the change of pace. But even without words or communicable sentences, these guys were just fun to be around, and it was an encouraging start to the day.

 

From there it was a quick walk to the beach, a short bask in the beautiful blue water, and then I hopped on one of the local busses to the next mall. This credit was unfortunately closed and would remain closed, but from there you can hop a bus to Ferrari World, so I didn’t feel like I had missed out on too much.

 

This place is freaking huge. Jaw-droppingly huge. And while sure, it maybe isn’t really a great park and there isn’t a whole lot to do, it’s one of the most impressive places I’ve ever seen. And Formula Rossa??? Goodness gracious, prepare to poop yourself.

 

For those of you skeptics, I have to say I was one of you. I mean I’ve been on TTD, I’ve been on Kingda Ka, surely 149 mph isn’t thaaat much faster right? Wrong. I wet myself it was that good. Words can’t describe. Front or not (I never rode the front, but I did ride row 2 and am tall enough that it might as well have been row 1), that much wind hitting you in the face without goggles is one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced. Your face will do things you didn’t know was possible, I promise you. And from there the pop of air over the top just rips your butt through your throat, and you cant breathe even more than you couldn’t breathe a second before! And the next few turns are pure joy as you’re just FLLYYYYYYING over the ground. I kid you not, there is no other roller coaster experience like it. Is it my number one? Noooooope I don’t think so, but did it disappoint? Absolutely not. Blasting out into the desert like that and being steamrolled by a wave of heat and more wind than you’ve ever imagined, flying over the sands at a billion miles an hour and popping up to kiss the sky at the end of each turn – there are few joys like this joy.

 

The dueling coaster was fine I guess – it was kind of like the lazy river of roller coasters. Like, “It went around a little bit over there, then did it’s thing over there, then like I don’t really remember… I was just more interested in laying out in the sun and trying to recover from the hernia I got from FRossa.” That kind of a thing.

 

I made my way back to the bus station by dinner time-ish and was back in Dubai to see the sun set. But I’ll pick that up in the next post. Keep an eye out for that mosque. Oh and that palace. But other than that, until they finish the entertainment thing island shindig, Abu Dhabi’s more of a ‘work’ city.

 

Formula One changed the way I thought about roller coasters. It was that. Good.

More to come soon, thanks for reading !! I’d love to hear back from you guys

 

-Danny

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After a long night on an airport bench, I was treated to this breath-taking morning view of the Burj out the bus window. This thing is twice as big as I ever imagined it would be.

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Abu Dhabi bus station

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On the way to the beach, by way of the mall - if you can swing money for a cab, your pits will thank you, and you won't have to change your shirt 5 times.

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First stop, Sparky's - now for all of you Abu Dhabi credit gurus, there are two Sparkys mall parks. This is the one closest to the beach. I didn't bother going to the other one because it was way out of the way and I couldn't remember the name of the mall anyways. One was enough though

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It took a lot of coercing in sign language to get this credit, but I eventually hung around long enough that they got the required 8 riders by getting every staff in the park to ride with me.

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Note: the train is started. I wonder what these guys would think if they ever saw the security in some of these US parks. Yeesh!

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Dancing all the way

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Why does it need 8 people you might ask?? Because it can't make it on it's own. This shows the park's manager trying to lever the train forward with a huge pole...

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...And then the people getting out to push

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But the girls up front couldn't take it anymore and started dancing and singing in Arabic

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Just a short jaunt over to the beach from here!

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Abu Dhabi beaches - they're just great haha

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check out that water. What a gulf!

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Of all the gulfs I've ever been in....

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Park 2 didn't fare too well.

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Apparently the credit had been closed for like a month

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So it was a short half hour trip over to Ferrari World. I tell you, the entire UAE is milking this park for all its worth - and the first views of this coaster took my breath away

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Formula Rossa, the World's Fasters CoaaAAOOOOOHHHHHHMYGOODESS!!!!!!

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I was a mess right now - I couldn't even form coherent sentences I was so excited.

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Welcome to the only view there is of this ride from the park.

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That hill is the El Torgasm of the middle east.

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The whole time you're just in shock that anything could possible move that fast

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And like, you could just watch it for hours, and say to yourself "ope, there they go", and just stand there and remember when youuu went that fast, and fawn at the beauty of it all

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Even by the end, you'd think those turns would get old, but I don't remember ever not laughing!!

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Into the hops!!!

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By this point you're so infatuated with the ride the airtime here doesn't even matter. Honestly I don't even remember. I think you get stapled in by the speed, and are just eager to turn and blabber excitedly at the person next to you, even though neither of you can understand each other

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What a wonderful place to be

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Portrait of a man

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Like I said in the writing, this coaster was nice just to get outside again, but as far as a coaster goes, it isn't too memorable

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On the way out, you can't help but romanticize the fact that you just may never be here again. Opportunity of a lifetime, but what a beautiful day

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The mosque on the way back. It's a big 'un

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And back in dubai over the skyline at sundown. My goodness what a place. Feel free to comment, I hope you enjoyed!! Thanks a ton for reading!

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Great Photo TR. I would love to make it to Dubai and Ferrari World someday, and your TR makes Dubai, as well as all the parks and cities you've visited really interesting. Keep the Photo TRs coming.

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Sorry these things get so long. There's just a lot of good stuff to say

 

So, Dubai gets a lot of criticism for being things like “not-the-true-Middle-East-at-all-not-even-a-little”, “a-gross-display-of-wealth-that-is-only-superficial”, and a place where “everyone’s-an-immigrant-getting-underpaid-and-they-can’t-wait-to-move-out-anyways”. And it was, it totally was. BUT if you can get behind the gross abuses of wealth and the lack of nationalistic identity in the face of materialistic supremacy, and the lack of attention to any humanitarian concern at allllllll… it’s just a really neat place to be. NOWHERE else in the world grew a city like this, and nowhere are the effects of an exploding, hollow, decayed, superficial capitalistic market more overtly displayed. What it lacks in functionality, it more than makes up for in obscenity of lavishness. And I guess it kind of failed as a project. So it’s interesting, more than anything, so soooo fascinating, and that’s why you should go there.

 

The buildings are unbelievable. The public transportation hubs look like space stations. The infrastructure completely dwarfs the human scale, rendering things like “walking” obsolete. There weren’t any real people. And to have all this on display as the manifestations of the most disastrous capitalistic investment ever, was just delightful. Dubai is not how cities should be made. Yet to see how far we’ve come, and how far people thought they could take it, was absolutely fascinating.

 

I got off the bus somewhere in the middle of the city while the sun was setting, with still a few hours left before I was set to meet up with the guy I was couch surfing with, who had spent the week in Doha for business. So, with nothing more than a couple fuzzy google maps I had printed out, I set out in search of some credits on foot, taking my best stab at the location of my whereabouts and just heading in the direction of the Old City.

 

Now, anyone traveling in Dubai looking to go coaster hunting should never do what I did. Never. This city was not made for walking, nor was it made for roller coasters, nor was it made for poor college students, nor was it made for backpackers, nor was it made to be walked around in at night, nor was it made for clear cut directions and a pristine orientation. It was made for the wealthiest of them all, which didn’t apply in any way to what I was setting out to do. I wandered through sand fields, I cut along back roads, I crossed major highways on foot and walked along shoulders. I hopped over fences, snuck through barbed wire fences, and cut through yards. I asked shop owners and restaurant owners and anyone out walking and I walked for miles and miles. I read and reread inaccurate maps and had to reorient myself way too many times due to inconsistencies. But I managed somehow, which leads me to the incredibly exciting reward of three parks that night.

 

My first stop was Stargate, a huge, beautiful public park area full of families enjoying the early evening together, with an indoor game center towards the back set in-ground as a bunch of planets. There was a funky coaster bursting out from one of them that looked like it hadn’t run in a while, and with my prospects low, I went inside to find out that, indeed, it hadn’t been running in a while. I did manage to find a torn up picture on the wall of a B&M invert, so.... hopefulthinkingfutureplans??? Actually the place was super sketchy and I got out of there as fast as I could. I had heard from previous reports that the coaster here was on its last legs, and I guess it had finally run its last lap. Of course, all this was in March, so I don’t know what Stargate’s been up to since then.

 

The next park took an awful long time to hunt down. I found myself in the backyards of the embassy strips, and in a rush to hurry away from the Pakistan place, found myself in a number of back-alley slum-ish backyards, climbing over fences, and sneaking around desert dumpsters and running away from dogs. The only reason I found Al-Nasr Liesureland at all was that I finally spotted the ferris wheel poking out above the houses. It didn’t help that NOBODY had ever heard of this place, and could offer me directions, even within a couple blocks of it. DubaiDave, if I remember his story correctly, had lived here for years before stumbling across the ferris wheel like I did, completely unaware that this place existed. And was it worth it?? OH MY GOODNESS hahahahahaha. When I met up with Dave a couple days later, all I had to say was Al-Nasr Liesureland and we both burst out laughing.

 

After making my way through the seedy entrance, and around the deserted, dilapidated carnival rides all themed to tropical fruits, there was a small, homemade looking Blizzard coaster in the back corner that looked like the most poorly assembled project of any kind I’ve ever seen, even in the dark! After minutes of scouring the place looking for an operator, I was told I needed to get tickets first. Where were the tickets being sold you might ask? Right behind the giant pineapple. Was there anybody there? Don’t be ridiculous, of course not. It was the same ride op who told me to go buy tickets who ended up coming 10 minutes later to sell me them, and then meandered with me on back to the world’s-worst-looking coaster to give me a couple laps. Now, normally I’d be quite grateful for the extra lap, but when this thing started going around again, my body started reacting very violently, a la werewolf trying to escape its inevitable fate. There is a something very, VERY wrong with the transition out of that first drop, making it the second most painful coaster experience of my life, just behind a ride in the middle of Turkey (see pages 3 and 4).

 

But wait, there’s more. Running out of Al-Nasr Liesureland as fast as I could, I still had one more park to hit before the night shut down around 10, and wandered the 18+ mile journey over to Wonderland. Now, this park is notorious for not having rides open, as a few of you may know, so I wasn’t really alllllllll that hopeful when I strolled in around 9:40. But, as luck would have it, since it was so late and they were trying to hurry me out, I got a personal escort to the two coasters, a janky old wild mouse, and a roller skater on the other side of the park. The ride op I was with would walk over to the deserted rides that looked like they had been abandoned years ago – seriously, I think we had to walk across grass to get to the wild mouse - and start them up for me. Tired, bruised, and hungry, I retired for the night to a huge Egyptian themed bar thing out in one of the malls for the local couch-surfing meet up, and met my guy, Erik, who I stayed with for a couple of days.

 

For those of you who don’t know, couch surfing is a great great network where you can offer your couch up to backpackers and backpackers can stay on it for a few nights, to save on costs and to see the city through the eyes of a local. You’re expected to contribute both ways if you can, and it’s really just a great way to meet other adventurous, interesting people, and have some help while you travel. I had a great time with it, and really appreciated everything Erik did for me. He was a great host, and it was so nice to be showed around by someone who knew what they were doing.

 

The highlight of the next two days was hitting up the fish market the next day to grab some stuff for a barbecue out on the beach with a bunch of friends who came from all over the place. We had people from the Philippines, from Iran, from Lebanon, from Egypt, from everywhere. It was incredible. And we spent the beautiful afternoon out on the beach under the shadow of the burj, on one of the greatest days of the whole trip semester. We went and got dessert later on in a little place right next to that big ol’ hotel, which was unbelievable, got denied from a place because we didn’t have a nice enough car and weren’t nationals, and spent the evening hanging out in the malls under the Burj Khaliffa, watching the fountains and catching the Sega credit. We ate a late dinner at a Karachi place out in the residential area, and turned in after a couple drinks.

 

The next day, DubaiDave was kind enough to pick me up and show me around the Sharjah parks, the easy highlight of which was the spinning coaster at Space City. That thing was wild. Dave’s car ended up spinning more than I’ve ever seen another coaster spin, and it was just great.

 

I also want to touch on the Burj, which I feel I’ve sorely underrepresented here. IT. WAS. SO. TALL. I just couldn’t get over it, it was so tall. I mean, we’ve all seen tall buildings before, but THIS!!! It was unbelievable. I mean, I’m studying civil engineering and architecture, this is the stuff that gets me going, and it was just…. It wasn’t real. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. It was that tall.

Overall though, I had such a great time there, with everybody, and couldn’t be more thankful for the hospitality people showed me. The city was unforgettable. Thanks to everyone who made it that way! Enjoy the pictures guys

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Dubai, a land where buildings are too big for pictures

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My first stop was Stargate, a very very strange place with a beautiful outdoor public park, and a ride that we're all a little thankful is no longer running

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Al-Nasr was the weirdest place I have ever been

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It was also one of the hardest to find.

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It's hard to tell, but the transition out of the first drop was one of the most painful experiences of my entire life

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And in yet another wonderful progression of a goose-chase of an evening, we've arrived in Wonderland.

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I was told it was unheard of that I managed both credits on one trip. I believe it.

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It's been a long night, but what a great find

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This is the roller skater credit on the other side of the park

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Man, the theming on everything is all or nothing out here

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Next day at the fish market

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That thing is so freaking tall!!!!

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this was one of the greatest days of my life. Fish barbecue out on the beach under the burj. Unreal

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Our beach

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Too nice for words. A small sandstorm started picking up later in the afternoon, but it was still incredible. That in itself, watching the Burj al Arab slowly disappearing on the horizon, hidden by the sand, was mind-blowing

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A closer look at the Burj al Arab

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Ooooohhhh baby, this thing is unbelievable. I think I checked prices online, and they were around 2000 bucks a night.

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Four of us in front of the burj -

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Mostly, I just couldn't believe it was a real building

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These pictures get a little goofy

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Group jump shot

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Things that shouldn't exist in the desert

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This was just a mall. But I don't think I've ever seen anything closer to a sultan overlooking his kingdom

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The Burj Khallifa at night

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Real world Eisengard

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This place was just mind-blowing

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and a fountain

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The Sega coaster- I sat across from two kids, the youngest of whom was just SCREEEAMING bloody murder the whole way. Poor guy

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Late night south-Asian dinner

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I went back to get a few pictures of this guy in the daylight, and it was just mind-boggling

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These are the Dubai space stations

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This was the most excited I've been since ... traveling 149 mph through the desert in Abu Dhabi the other day

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Just the base alone was impossible big

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The surrounding neighborhoods, with sky scrapers and half-finished projects

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Almost the same size

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Traveling with Dave around Sharjah

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A couple powered coasters - one of them wasn't up and running, buuuuut, the goooood news, was...

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I got a free Adventureland hat out of it!

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The ride op picked up the hat left in one of the back seats on the ride, and asked if it was ours. We said a hurried "nooo..." but then he asked again, and after a quick look at each other, we shrugged and said "oh yeah, yeah, that's ours that's right!" And there we go. Been wearing it all the time ever since.

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This was space city, at the top of the second mall we went into. THIS ride, was unlike anything I've ever been on.

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I'm not sure exactly what it was or what it did, but it did THIS to Dave

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Our last park - unfortunately we couldn't get them to open the coaster for us, but it was still a great time.

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Last picture before I caught a flight out of there to start heading back to Copenhagen, via a strategically scheduled double layover in Bahrain and London ....during the protests. Stay tuned guys, thanks for reading!!

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Thanks for the comments guys!! I really appreciate it. Now in the first post I believe I had some UK parks scheduled up next, but I think I’m going to switch that up. Let’s go to Bahrain and knock out the last of my Gulf adventures.

 

Why Bahrain you might ask? Jungle Storm, straight up. One of the wildest coasters out there, having gotten a little bit of the spotlight in the last couple years with Dave and some of those super-human credit hunters Richard and George and the all them, I had my sights locked and loaded on this coaster. And let me tell you, the world had a lot to say to keep me away.

 

This trip was originally supposed to be to Egypt. But a few days before I booked the trip, the protests erupted, rendering that trip maayyyyybenotthebestideaatthetime. I remember thinking, “Welp, I guess that’s that, we’ll just have to save Egypt for another time, at least all these other gulf countries are still open and safe.” ….. and then wouldn’t you know, EVERYONE jumped on the protest bandwagon.

 

And here I’d just like to say, it very much looks like IIIIiiiii jumped on the protest bandwagon, and I guess I kind of did. But, I’m in no way trivializing these protests or the rights of the people behind them. And I’ll be the first to say that lamenting over coaster plans while this area of the world is erupting in civil reform is callous, selfish, and ultimately an insensitive display of western consumerism and egoism. I’m ALSO not going to sit here defending my actions in the self-righteous name of “a boost to the tourism industry of the struggling countries”. I had booked my trip before the protests in Bahrain started, and I did so choosing to fly through Bahrain, honestly because the double extended layovers in Bahrain and in London was the cheapest trip home I could find, after a looooot of searching. This also allowed me the opportunity to both stop by Chakazoulu, if it was open, and visit a friend who was studying abroad at Oxford. I had originally had my eyes on a connection through Baku that was a bit cheaper, that would have eliminated a trip to Bahrain and allowed me a full day in Azerbaijan, but there had been a change in the US entry policy a couple months back making it impossible for me to enter the country.

 

So I ended up in Bahrain a few weeks into the protests, fully aware and expecting that I might not get my way this time around. But I’m not one to sit around and hide from the dangers of the big, scary world. So I went through customs paying the ten dollar fee for the “exit the airport” visa, hailed a cab, and made my way to the Al-Dana mall, around backroads and road blocks and check points and armored tanks, and a bunch of empty streets, an amazing insight into history making itself, where issues and ideals manifest themselves in every facet of physical living. And while the mall was just about empty, the park was in fact open, and I had Jungle Storm all to myself. I paid for three rides but the ride op and I quickly hit it off and he gave me around 6. The ride itself is insane. It’s small, and funky, and does things no other coaster does or should, but man that thing is a blast. I think I remember Richard Bannister saying that if this ride were more mainstream it would be a top ten ride, and I think he’s kind of right. It is, in fact, in my top ten steels, but I think a large deal of that is its uniqueness. If it were mainstream, it wouldn’t be the same. It’s a testament once again to the fact that your response to a coaster is the summation of the entire experience, not just an objective angle on a single isolated lap. The ride explodes with airtime and power, and is just a blast. I’ve never ridden anything like it, and I would love to see more of these pop up in other places.

 

It was hard tearing myself away, but there were other things to do and to see, such as the military base camp right outside the mall, a huge razed area enclosed by barbed wire, where a bunch of tanks and armed officers were hanging out. This was also where I nearly got arrested. In hindsight, it was a dumb idea to be holding my camera out in the open at that point, after a long encounter from some guys in an unmarked vehical with guns, radioing in my passport number for a background check and scanning through my pictures. Whoopsiedoopsies. There was definitely a small part of me sure that I was gonna be making a call to my parents from inside a Bahraini prison, but luckily I got out of there with no harm done.

 

Now walking around a protesting Bahrain probably wasn’t the best line of attack. But being short on cash, I just didn’t have any other choi…. Oh wait, yes I did. Hello hitch hiking. I was picked up by a local right past another security checkpoint, and was driven to Adhari park through his home neighborhood, entertaining a lovely discussion on the horrible effects the protests were having on the economy in some horribly broken English, and waving at his house. This was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, and while I certainly wouldn’t recommend it as the first option, it just goes to show how wonderful and hospitable the vast number of people in this world are.

 

Adhari park was another interesting story, as the park wasn’t open, simply because there was just no one to be there or to work there. The guy who owned the place met me at the gate and apologized for the inconvenience, to which I just assured him how blown away I was at his concern and hospitality, and that he shouldn’t worry about it in the least. In response, he had one of the security officers walk me around the park and gave me a personal tour of the place, which was completely unexpected. It was a decent looking place, with a decent number of things to do, impressively clean and well-kept, and quite a nice surprise overall.

 

From there I was picked up by an expat from Indonesia I had met through the couch-surfing network, who showed me around the city for the evening and made me dinner. I got back to the airport late that night before the curfew, and caught an overnight flight to London.

 

The country was in a critical state, and it was just unbelievable to see how they were managing through it all. It’s amazing to see real world problems, and real world conflicts working themselves out, and real people caught in the middle just trying to get by. I met way more wonderful people than I ever imagined I would, and am just so thankful for the experience. Thanks for reading, and if you ever get a chance, don’t pass up Jungle Storm, there just aren’t enough gems like that left in the world.

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Welcome to currently protesting Bahrain. This place was crazy. If you look closely you can see a few tanks just above the railing there, and also take note that nobody else is on the road. I little unsettling, but absolutely fascinating

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Al-Dana mall, home to one of the great hidden treasures of the coaster world. Love the portrait decor up top

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Chakazoolu. Open for business. I was the first person to the park that day, and it was like 3 in the afternoon

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The lighting is all dark and mysterious and great

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The whole place was like a jungle gym - fitting name

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Wait. WAIT, is that a normal picture????

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The whole place is just a mess of track

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Smooth, powerful, unpredictable, this thing rode just like I like them

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the entrance temple

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Even by the end of my rides, the layout was hard to follow

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"He touched the butt"

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THROUGHHHH THE TRACK!!!

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the whole project was just beautiful, really

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from across the room

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Some very intricate trackwork

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What great park visit would be complete without a shot like this?

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The main military camp in the center of the city

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In between the big buildings

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After a wonderful hitch hiking jog across the city, welcome to Adhari Park

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The whole park was closed because of the protests, but the owner was kind enough to give me a private walk around

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It looked like a bit of a goofy ride, but nothing like Jungle Storm

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around the rest of the park

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Sunset

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The park's central lake

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disko

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Arabian Gulf sunsets were beautiful you guys

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Just some parks-that-aren't-opened-in-Bahrain dances

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across the lake

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really, it was a surprisingly great lookin park

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Outside the park, across the way

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flowers

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waiting for my host

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From the roof of her apartment

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again

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down at the biggest mosques in the country

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late night visitor

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one of the government buildings

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One last shot from one of the smallest, but most hospitable countries I've been to. It was a rushed ride to the airport before curfew, and then a late night flight to London. It was an unbelievable opportunity, and from the people I've kept up with from Bahrain, the country is doing a lot better. Thanks for reading guys!

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I also caught a POV of the ride, which as far as I know is the only one up on the internet. There's a lot of noises in it haha, just be forewarned, but it's a great example of just how powerful the ride is.

ENJOY!

 

 

(If an admin sees this and isn't okay with a youtube link, I have an 8 MB m4v file, I just wasn't sure how to upload it properly)

Edited by robbalvey
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Thanks for the comments guys, it's really great hearing from all of you

 

I just wanted to give a few thoughts on what I remember of the ride.

The REASONS the ride was so great, I've already kind of touched on. Power, ejector airtime, were a big part of it. Uniqueness and theming was another big part of it. But let's go through it a little more slowly.

 

The lift hill, as you can kind of tell, is at about a 60 degree incline, taking a sharp right turn right out of the station with the smallest turning radius I've ever seen. It takes you riiiight up into the rafters and out of sight of the rest of the ride. I remember getting the best rides in the front, getting pushed over those tight hills and around those curves, but I have noooo idea how it rides with anyone else in the train, let alone a full ride. It dips right down into a tunnel after a double dip, blaaasting you over a a small hump with and into a tight turn with ferocious power. The ride is basically a figure 8 with a right hand helix at the end, but the simplicity of the ride is something that DEFINITELY eludes you, and the way it's set up there's a bunch of head choppers and cross overs. I think my favorite part of the ride was that heavily banked hump right into the helix after the turn around. The airtime on that thing was unlike anything. Even the last pop, no more than 2 feet high right before the station, was enough to get you out of your seat.

 

But I think a big part of why the ride is so successful and memorable is because it tracks incredibly well. The spine is solid and sturdy and the wheels are on nice and tight. There was no rattling and no shoddy transition work, and the thing was as smooth as anything. On a ride with transitions that tight and so much extra power, it's pretty uncommon to experience a ride that also exudes so much control. And I think THAT, that not only was it aggressive and powerful and unique and explosive, but well-put together, solid, and relatively comfortable... I think that's why it ranks so highly with me, and probably with others who have ridden it as well

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Dude, seriously mad props for having the stones to make this trip when you did. As Danny Glover would say, "I'm getting too old for that sh*t."

 

On the other hand, your report and POV footage are filling my mouth with want-bile. That does look like one super-fun little coaster.

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Two things I wanted to quickly mention with these reports.

 

1. This is one of the best TR's I've ever seen on TPR. You really were able to capture an important moment in history through words and photos.As one previous poster said, we all lived vicariously through you on these reports. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us. Dodging civil unrest to get us personal tour of a themepark while also being sensitive to the local culture and current situation is just impressive.

 

2. Your POV easily wins the awards for strangest personal sound effects of 2012.

 

 

 

Chris "TRs like this are the reason I'm a TPR member" Connolly

Edited by Chroniq
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I wonder what it was like riding in the back seat going down those hairpin drops?

 

Pretty damn scary. The concept of ejector-seat airtime is completely redefined by Jungle Storm.

 

You know a ride is insane when coaster enthusiasts are hanging on for dear life...

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