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Erik & Smisty & TPR do Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland

Part 28: Big Finnish

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Skara Sommarland is mostly a waterpark with a handful of amusement rides. So perhaps it's unfair to judge the entire park based on only the dry sections. I'm still going to, though.


17: How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything



Skara Sommarland is owned by Parks & Resorts Scandinavia (which itself is entirely owned by the Tidstrand family). Also owned by this group is Kolmården Zoo, Furuvik, and Gröna Lund--all of which we will be visiting on this trip.



Fun fact: Skara actually means to cut, slit, carve, or reap.

But only if you put that little o-thing above the first A, and your name is Barry.

Bad joke, or ominous foreshadowing?

Why not both?!



On the right is Snake (or something), the ride that was temporarily at Gröna Lund when we were there in 2019, now seemingly in its permanent home.

The ride on the left is the reason to visit Skara Sommarland, Tranan (or, "The Crane.")



I was quite excited to try this ride. It just looks so weird, and maybe fun?

And it is weird. Fun? Well, not especially. I mean, it's okay. It's hard to describe, really. To the point where I'm not able to even declare it good or bad.

Let's start with the seating. The sides of the cars are quite low, the seatbacks are quite low, and you're secured by a seatbelt. Now, I'm 100% certain that seatbelt is enough to keep you in, but it sure doesn't feel like it. There's also quite a lot of metal near your knees and legs, giving you both a mental reason and a physical reason to hold on and brace yourself for dear life. Which is work, and distracting, in a way that detracts from the ride--at least, for me.



And yet, I'm extremely glad I got to ride it. Because I'm sure if someone had told me that I actually wouldn't like it all that much, I would be skeptical. You don't know me! I'm contrarian! And it looks super-cool!

It also only does its big trick (of spinning all the way around the track) one time.

I'd be interested in riding a bigger version of this. Something with larger, more graceful elements. Because a lot of the turns are quite crunchy. But, then again, who would pay for a larger one when the prototype is so...unconvincing?



Not my photo. Plucked from the group chat. Sorry person I'm failing to credit. Andy, maybe? Or Elissa?

Anyway, it's a ride. Which sounds like an insult, but isn't really, except in that I was hoping that it would be really cool, and it's just kind of...strange.



This seems like a trap.

Unlike the "Taco Loco" in the background, which seems totally legit.



Speaking of lunch.



Warning: The above image may not be suitable for all audiences.

Oh. I probably should've put that before the photo.


Anyway. The park was quite eager to show off their new bumpercar ride, BadringsBumpers.

Whereas I am surprisingly unashamed to show off Robb's "crotch cam."



Most of the smaller, older rides are in this area--which maybe used to be its own thing? Like, a separate gate or something? No idea. Regardless, it's a rides midway. I should've just said that.

I call it: Doesn't Work Land!



The entrance to the park's powered coaster. It was working here, but I don't have any photos of the train, because when I went back to ride it, it was down. And it stayed down. I think until we left? Definitely for quite awhile, as I checked back a couple of times.



A Rockin' Tug. It did not run, that I saw.



Closed troika-type ride, with permanently sealed off swinging ship in the background (that had a sign saying that it had failed its inspection for the year, or some such?)



Unattended game.



I'm sure it's fine.



This did open later, but the course was quite short, mostly unthemed, and people were coming soaked, so I passed.

Pretty sure the vehicles were the best thing about it.



I do love a good bridge.

No idea if this is one, as it's permanently blocked off. But my statement still stands.



What do you think of this park, Smisty?



Go on, Bert, don't be scared. Put it in your mouth.



The park had a train, and it was working. However, we were accosted by this street urchin begging for money.

No, just kidding. He wanted drugs, actually.

Apparently, Barry had gotten a splinter in his foot at the waterpark.

A splinter.



Part of the waterpark, as seen from the train.

Yep. Yep, I'm good.



A lone bit of incongruous theming, behind a fence? Outside of the park, maybe? No idea. Did you see how close Daniel got to the train, though? What's the concern with the dinosaur figure?!




What is this, some kind of bumpercar-lover's park?



Is this a ride, or...?



The spin mouse had been down all morning, so all the coaster nerds rushed over once it started testing.

It ran a few cycles, and then a car got stuck on the block brake. The maintenance guys came out, released the brake, and then sped off. No testing, no empty cars. The very next car got stuck in the same place. Smisty says nope.

(For clarity, I am not accusing anyone of unsafe practices. But just assuming everything will be fine after a quick reset does strike me as a bad look.)


It's worth noting that for all the rides that were broken down or not operating, the most important one (Tranan) seemed like it ran pretty consistently all day. So that was good.



Ooh, a crooked house or something!

Wait a minute..."Miniradiobilarna"?

Yeah, it's just more bumpercars.



The Main Street Janitorial Parade



A poncho with a map of the park on it? That's pretty cool. Except they were only for kids. And the image was blurry.

But at least they're honestly named.



It's probably not a great park if you're that excited to get back on the bus.


Erik's Score: 1


Sorry, Skara Sommarland. It's not you, it's me. I'm sure others in our group probably liked you a lot more.

Well, maybe not Barry.



Arriving at the Backstage Hotel in Stockholm. This is where Misty and I stayed for a few extra nights after the official end of the 2019 trip--except then it was called the Pop House Hotel. We really loved the city, and were quite happy with our choice of accommodation, so it was nice to be back.

They may have changed their name, and rearranged the lobby area a bit, but it's still houses the ABBA Museum, and it's still right next door to Gröna Lund.



Our room for the next few nights. We might've checked out the ABBA Museum (even though we went last time) or done something else for the evening, but Gröna Lund had a better idea....



Surprise night ERT on Monster!

We got to tour this underground station in 2019 while it was under construction. Turned out great!



Not my photo, to be sure. Robb's.



I will of course share more detailed thoughts about Monster when the proper Gröna Lund update comes around. But this was a great night!

Next up: A park that no one in our group had ever been to!


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THANK you for not including a pic of the "Splinter"!

(and no, I won't be including it either when I get to this park)

hell. . I might just point to your report here, as you summed up EXACTLY my thoughts on Tranan - and I thought it was just me.      I couldn't enjoy the weirdness of it, because I felt so unsafe with the low sides and just a seat belt).

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7 hours ago, bert425 said:

hell. . I might just point to your report here, as you summed up EXACTLY my thoughts on Tranan - and I thought it was just me.      I couldn't enjoy the weirdness of it, because I felt so unsafe with the low sides and just a seat belt).

Oh, no, you're not getting off that easy!

I expect a full report!


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3 minutes ago, Electerik said:

Oh, no, you're not getting off that easy!

I expect a full report!


I sorted pics for Tusenfryd today. . took over an hour, and have over 200 pics, even culling them down! 

but I'll try to get it up in the next few days

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  • 2 weeks later...

As previously mentioned, but just forget about that so it doesn't seem like I'm repeating myself, no one in our group had ever been to Furuvik. Not even Robb or Elissa, who've both been to Antarctica, Mars, and Narnia.

But now we all have.



18: Science Gun



Where Skara Sommerland is mostly a waterpark with a rides area, Furuvik is mostly a zoo with a ride section. Which sounds way better to me and it is.



The park is most famous for killing chimpanzees.

And, before that, for having a chimpanzee that wanted to harm humans.

It's actually a pretty sad story. The first one I mentioned, that is. The second one is hilarious.



The Chain Flyer, which I'm pretty sure is my new favorite name for a ride of this type.



Ferris wheel could be a bit bigger, though.



Lightning is the park's newest and biggest coaster. And it's fun and smooth and family and new Vekoma. But the park lacks a true thrill coaster. Which is probably the main reason none of our group had ever been here before.



It kind of felt like it should be weaving in and out of a big man-made mountain or something.



Smisty decided to go on their Mondial Top Scan with a bunch of other TPR folks, who all hopped right off at the end of the ride and abandoned her.



I would've helped but I was otherwise engaged.



Ladies and gentlemen, Spökjakten--Sweden's only shooting dark ride.



Science guy animatronic in the queue.



This was actually quite good.

But I daresay I like dark rides better than roller coasters. At least in the sense that some roller coasters are good and some are bad, but even a bad dark ride is still good.



The park's other family Vekoma, Fireball.



Fireball is a family boomerang. Spökjakten is by Sally. And God is H Julet.



Circus-themed fast food restaurant. It was...okay-ish.



I don't know what's going on here. Bees with butt-faces?



Smisty living her best life.



A lot of the park looks like this. And while they don't have a lot of your fancy-pants A-list animals (lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, bears, etc.), they do have...um...chimps.

I mean, not as many as they use to, obviously. But still.



They do have a reptile house, though. So that's good.



Danger noodle!



Across the bay, you can allegedly see Finland. I'm not exactly sure what the cross is about. But let's just assume that the Swedes are defending against Finnish vampires.



Low bridge.



A couple of people in our group mentioned this cracked-out boat ride, but we couldn't even find it on the map! I was starting to think we were being pranked.



A wild Goldballs appears, to make this even more of a bad idea!



Joking aside, this kind of thing is the reason I travel to Europe (or anywhere) to visit theme parks. It certainly isn't to ride SLC's.



Camel backs.



Jason basking in the shame of having just participated in whatever was happening here.

Furuvik Final Score: 4

Apparently there was a whole weird cold war era military base section that I missed entirely.



The bus needed to stop on the way back to Stockholm. Apparently, this was once some sort of Swedish-Chinese cultural center slash tourist attraction.

Now it's a gas station.



And a final stop at Hammarbybacken for quick ride on their single-rail alpine coaster.

Do people who count coasters count these?




And then I died.

The end.


Edited by Electerik
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that single rail coaster was amazing. . especially because it started drizzling, and the damn thing was flying!

truly felt like we were tempting death :)

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Joking aside, this kind of thing is the reason I travel to Europe (or anywhere) to visit theme parks. It certainly isn't to ride SLC's.

Yep--exactly! That weird boat ride could be an effective "haunt," too. It was pretty creepy.

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Kolmården Wildlife Park is the second park on the trip that Misty and I had previously visited in 2019.  It's quite large, very hilly, and mostly a zoo. But it does have a two big "worth the price of admission" attractions, at least one of which I really like.


19: Another Way to Stimulate Lions



The park was considerably less busy than on our previous visit, but nonetheless opened up the back parking lot and gate for our group, so we could start and end near the good stuff.



Safari is a 26-and-a-half minute sky ride over large naturalistic animal enclosures that crisscrosses itself several times. For me, this is the highlight of the park, and I rode it 4 or 5 times on this visit.



This animal is called a "giraff" in Swedish, which is not as interesting as I thought it would be.



How straight men sit together on a bench seat.






Watusi Boskap



Älg and bebis älg.




As the park was not at all busy, Wildfire only ran one train all day, making it quite tricky to get a decent photo of the ride with a train in it from Safari. I do wish the gondola in the lower left was less behind a tree, but at least you can also see what a pretty area Kolmården is. 



A backstage tour of where the gondolas sleep at night and recharge the batteries on their audio systems. (Onboard narration being available in Swedish, Finnish, and English.)



Now on foot, we explore the other animal areas of the park.



Where all the cool kids hang out.



"Man, screw you guys."



Saddest show ever.

(But good on them for still doing it, I reckon.)



Smisty learning that we cannot, in fact, leave the park to visit the aquarium on the other side of the main parking lot, because Kolmården Wildlife Park does not allow reentry, and you can't even buy tickets or enter within 2 hours of closing time. 

This was 3 hours before park close, but that would've only given us an hour to cross the parking lot on foot, visit the aquarium, and hoof it back--with failure to reenter Kolmården in time meaning we would have to walk around the park on winding mountain roads (without sidewalks) to get back to the rear parking lot and the bus.

Hey guys, whatever your beef with the aquarium is, leave us out of it.



The escalator of shame.



The park covers 1.5 square kilometers, which is approximately 370 McDonald's parking lots in American.



Discovered an area I hadn't seen on the previous trip. Not really sure what it was. Maybe like a summer camp? But this building was open--and having never seen a horror movie, I ventured in.



At which point my skin started burning and I had to flee.



I'll be safe here in Tiger World!



Best photo ever?



Two slices of cheese on a basic theme park burger?! Are we in Wisconsin?

Well, a lot of Swedes are. Hmmm.



Wildfire's cool but weirdly-orientated sign.



Where the Wildfire trains sleep at night.



Snapped this pic while no one was looking. Now I have the plans and can build my own!



I gave it a courtesy ride during ERT. That's 2 rides total now.

I guess I like it slightly more this time?

Oh, is this a good time to mention that I'm an RMC hater?



Hater is probably too strong. To me, they're basically just fast, forceless, family coasters that are hard to breath during due to the restraints.



Lots of folks seemed super into it, though. And I'll admit that it's pretty.



One more shot of Wildfire for you.

For you. Not for me.


Erik's Score: 5


Next up: The park Wildfire would be in if there was room for it there.


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I don't think I even SAW that Escalator (or the Church). . were they at the very front of the zoo?   

I must not have made it all the way up there - which is odd, as I thought I had walked at least most if not all of it.


I rode Wildfire I think 4 times during ERT and once earlier in the day. . and it made me have to pee every single time.   Not sure what the deal was, but clearly the restraints laid different on me than other RMCs, or the forces just put strain just perfectly on my bladder.    After the 4th time sprinting to the toilets down the hill, I just enjoyed watching others ride.

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The 2019 trip ended in Stockholm, allowing us to spend a couple of extra days in the city afterward, and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Not a ton of extra time to explore this time around, but at least we got to go back to my all-time second favorite park, Gröna Lund.


20: Blue Train



The main entrance (I guess). This one takes you into the smaller, more kid-oriented section of the park.



The other main entrance. Just over a bit. But we don't want to go in here! No, no, no.



I don't think I rode Tuff-Tuff Tåget on the previous trip. Which I shouldn't have mentioned to Goldballs, because he then insisted that we ride it.

So now I have that credit.




I thought Tivoli Gardens was the first time I'd seen a carousel with a ladder up to an animal, but now I'm questioning everything.

Note the sign in the back left for "Pettson Findus Varld."



I missed this last time. (I think it opens late and closes early.) Sebastian here was quite happy to see me visiting his little corner of the park. I don't think they let him out much.



It's a walk-through farmhouse from a series of Swedish children's books about Pettson the farmer and his cat, Findus. I imagine that a lot of the fun comes from finding things you recognize from the books, all of which was lost on me. But it was weird, so I still liked it (in sort of a minor way).



This section of the park is very nice, but everything you actually care about is on the other side.

So, yes, I've been wasting your time.



The covered bridge over an access road that connects to the main area of the park.



Why, hello! Who's your new friend?

Was that creepy? I was going for creepy.



Vilda Musen is an excellent "Wild Mouse." And the quotes are entirely called for, because it's only really a wild mouse in much the same way that bats are really birds.

I can say whatever I want in these updates. No one really reads them or wants to argue anymore.



I did not participate in the water cup challenge. Though I did participate in getting wet from other people participating in the water cup challenge.

As I recall, Ryan did excellently well. At least until one second after I distracted him with this photo when he hit the station brakes and lost most of what was in his cup.



Vilda Musen is probably my favorite coaster at Gröna Lund and also exits into a candy store, which is a weird coincidence.



House of Nightmares is a Sally walk-through haunted house, which doesn't even seem like it would be a thing, but it is and it's fun. I think it's also an upcharge...?

Honestly, and perhaps unwisely, money is the first thing I stop paying attention to on these trips, so who knows.



God, I have to walk through this thing? With my feet?! How about you put in a little cart to carry me around? That would really save you some money on painted arrows.



Inspired by the murder house, I requested something sharp.

It's one of the more subtle cultural things, but they don't cut your pizza for you in Scandinavia. You have to do it yourself, like a peasant.

Actually, come to think of it, they don't cut your pizza for you in the US either. They just make little lines on it as though they've cut it, and then don't give you anything sharp.



This coaster is called, "Kvasten," which means "Broom." I assume as in, "Witch's Broom," but I kind of like the idea that it could just as easily have been called "Bucket" or something.



Blå Tåget is amazing and basically the only thing Goldballs and I talk about no matter where we are or what we're doing. The name translates literally to "Blue Train," but is culturally more like "Crazy Train," because the blue line went to the insane asylum or something?



We rode Blue Train multiple times, of course. But on one of our rides, right at the beginning, it broke down. Possibly because of us, and possibly because we're fat. But whatever. The maintenance guy came out, messed around with our lapbar, and then the ride started up again. Except the lights stayed on the whole ride. Which might've been bad if this had been our first or only ride. But was amazing as it was.

So enjoy a couple of 'lights on' photos of Blå Tåget.



Um, on second thought.



One of the great things about Gröna Lund is how rides are built over and through one another.

Twister, their weird little wooden coaster, was down for an extended refurb. But that's okay, we rode it last time.



Unlike Smisty, I can take or leave spinning. But this is a Schwarzkopf, so I'm in. And also, it's adorable. Just look at it!



Gröna Lund is also a seaside park, because why give other parks a chance?



I'm not sure why this particular pathway is super Art Deco--but I like it, obviously.

I also like Jetline quite a bit, which had been the park's signature coaster until Monster opened.



This is my jam.



This is not my jam. But Smisty and Goldballs seem to be "enjoying" it.



No, wait, this is my jam.



Gröna Lund has the best fun house I've ever been in.

But maybe there's a better one somewhere. Quick, somebody tell me where it is so I can plan a trip there.



Not so much a slide as a conveyor belt. And also weird stairs.



A view of one of Monster's beefy supports from the fun house.



Elissa, you know you can ask for your own boat, right?

I mean, they gave Misty one. So they clearly have a "weird husband" exception, if nothing else.



This husband is so weird they don't even require his wife to be in the same country.

I was really trying to tie that in to the previous caption--and, you know, make a whole thing out of this Tunnel of Love attraction--but I can admit when it's just not working.

Not that I'm going to change it, mind you.



Insane, Monster. Monster, Insane.

Sorry, ahem, "Insane!"



Wait, how did we get in this coaster's maintenance bay? That's Insane!



Apologies to everyone on this train who clearly didn't realize that I was taking a photo.

Yes, it's Monster, emerging from its underground station. The very same underground station we toured the construction of back in 2019! And this thing is great. The station, I mean. But also the ride itself. It's all great. This park is great.

10. Gröna Lund is a 10.

Wait, I'm not done yet.

Sorry. I got excited.



Ooh, the back alley challenge!



Get your minds out of the gutter!



More often than not, I tend not to be super into B&M inverts. In fact, there are really only, like, two that I think are actually properly good.

Well, I guess three now. And this is one of them.

(Not that anyone asked, but the other two are Afterburn and OzIris.)



Can I live here? In the park, I mean. I'll be very quiet. You probably won't even notice me.

If you'd like to see more photos of Blue Train with the lights on, just reply with any lyric from "I Am Not Your Broom" by They Might Be Giants.


Next up: We say goodby to Sweden and hello to Finland!


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I mean. . you got the Blue Train toilet pic, so that's a win (I think??). . but how did you get none of the other . . um. . . . "apparent" anatomy that's all over that ride ?

great pics!

I missed the farmhouse walkthru, because yes, it DID close early!   but Strangely?   I ended up bumping into Sebastian!!! 

that was interesting enough.


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^ I had actually encountered him earlier as well!

Unrelated to that, a bit of bookkeeping: To my chagrin, in going through photos for the next update, I've discovered the thing that I named update #14 after. Meaning that I named that update inappropriately by using that particular name far too soon.

Therefore, I have gone back and renamed update 14, and will be using its previous name for the next update.

I feel it's important to prepare everyone for this, since I am sure you are all paying so much attention, that to not inform you now would be quite  jarring when the next update comes.

You're welcome.


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Achievement unlocked!







Obviously, Blue Train is mostly just a collection of unrelated horror gags. But it makes me wonder: What if there was a ride with the aesthetics of Blue Train, but that had a more consistent theme, and a more cohesive narrative?

Hmm, I wonder.

(Psst, come back in like 5 updates if you wonder similarly!)


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Mostly a travel day. But that's not to say it wasn't interesting.


21: Delicious Nut Cheese



Remember: You can't spell Stockholm without ABBA.



Yeah, that's cute. But where's our plane?



If visiting other countries and seeing how they do things is a little bit weird (which is the point, of course), then Finland is another step up from where we've been so far.

Not that this photo really shows that. In fact, this looks a bit like Germany.

It's not, though.

What are you accusing me of...?



Arrived at our onsite hotel at Power Park.

The story I heard is that there's a family that got rich running a power utility, but one of the kids grew up with no real business acumen, so they just give him money to play around with his theme park.

Of course, I've also heard that this is the northernmost amusement park in the world, that the Finns are the happiest people on Earth, and that that there are people--even in the US--that actually like ABBA.

So who knows what's true?



We're staying in Baba Yaga's chicken-legged hut.



But Texas was also apparently an option.



This large modern-looking building next to the hotel seemed to be part convention center, part movie theater.



We probably should've spent more time investigating, but Mr. Bobcorn scared me off.



[Photo by Andy]

The TPR Grand Prix was originally supposed to be the day after Power Park, but we made such good time here they decided to do it the day before Power Park instead.

I say, "they" because Smisty, Goldballs, and I weren't too interested.



Instead, we walked over to Road House. It's about 1 kilometer away from the hotel. Or, in other words, I have no idea.

It rather looks like a grocery store from the outside, but it's more like a tiny mall.



Okay, sure.



Well, everyone needs to have their dreams.

This is actually a really clever caption, as it's a quote from The Spy Who Loved Me. See, when Bond....




I'm not going to say who I think this is supposed to be, because I fear it will just make *me* look racist.



As Scandinavia is to the world in its love of licorice, so Finland is to Scandinavia.

Which is to say the Finns are *really* into it.



Happily, the mall that looks like a grocery store from the outside does in fact have a grocery store inside.

And I'm pretty sure the whole place is owned by Power Park.



I may have mentioned this before, but at the start of the trip I was willing to try some licorice things. But by this point, I was in no mood for double layer licorice.






I tried to look this up on google maps to see if this structure had a name or something. No luck there, but I did find the gas station, which has 5 reviews, the top one of which reads, in its entirety: "Good liquid."



Now that's a skyline.



Back at the hotel, the lobby of which is themed to...um...boaty stuff?



TPR dinner and Grand Prix awards presentation.

I don't remember who won. I just know I'm a loser.

Wow. Dark.

And also, why?



Dinner was quite good, but very long. Turns out this is a Finnish thing. We encountered it in the Netherlands as well in 2019, but it's even more pronounced here. Fancy dinners aren't fast.



If it's '69, you were expecting me!

See, in Moonraker....



Every part of the hotel had a door or a gate with a code on it. It's like the world's most whimsical prison.



Turns out we could've watched the Grand Prix from our room.

Yeah, Finland. This is where the trip report is going to get good!


Just kidding. It will never get good.

And also, I do kind of like ABBA.

Moonraker sucks, though.


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Getting caught up on your report and it brings back so many great memories.

Also I think I tried requesting my own boat on the tunnel of love GronaLund attraction and was told that's equal to divorce back in the US so I wasn't allowed. 

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At the beginning of these trips, Smisty and I generally keep to ourselves, snarling and hissing at anyone who tries to talk to us. But, by the end, we usually loosen up and have learned the names of two or sometimes even three of our fellow travelers.

I tell you this because I feel like the following trip report contains a slightly higher percentage of photos with other trip participants in it than I normally post--and also because I like writing a few sentences before the title.


22: The Happiest People in the World



The "main" entrance to PowerPark.

Look, don't worry about what the sign says. Nothing here makes sense.



This park has two Gerstlauer infinity coasters, with the same color scheme, and the same trains, right next to each other. It's such a weird move that I actually love it. But I'm an enthusiast. I can't believe it's really a good idea when it comes to the general public, though:

"Did you go on the green one?"

"No, I don't like going upside down."

"Dude, it didn't go upside down."

"Shut your human face, garbage man. It most certainly did do the loop-de-loops!"

"Wait...you went to PowerPark, right?"

"Nah, bro, Powerland."

"Apologies, sauce nugget. The fool is I."

"No concerns, home entertainment system. Let us go have a milkshake and a game of chess."



This is Junker. Everyone loved it.

Well....almost everyone.

Of course, I also had no idea what had just happened, because they wouldn't let me wear my glasses. So there's that.



When my dog wants to leave the dog park, he goes and sits by the gate.

Anyway, here's Misty having a sit by the Mexican restaurant sign.



It was a buffet, where you try to make tacos out of whatever weird things the Finns think seem Mexican.

It was okay, but mostly because I'm awesome.



I tried to order the fanciest ice cream concoction on the menu, but ended up with the most basic one.

Bit of a language barrier problem, I fear. Or maybe the girl just didn't like me. Hard to say. But what I can say is that "happiest" is not the same thing as "friendliest."



This is the Kwai Bridge. Well, not *the* Kwai Bridge, I suppose. Just Powerland's version of it. Also pictured is Kwai River, which travels on the bridge. At least, for some of it.

Look, it'll make more sense in the next photo.



It really doesn't.

But I'll try to explain: The super flume leaves the station, travels along the bridge for a bit, then dives under the bridge, makes a sharp right, and then drops again. It's kind of like a double down with a curve in the middle. It's pretty fun, but what it has to do with a bridge across a river in Indonesia and/or the associated 1957 academy award winning film is beyond me.

Wait... Junker, Pitts Special, River Kwai...is this park secretly themed to World War 2?



How wet is the flume ride? Well, that depends. Are you one of 6 Americans who decided to ride together?



You may have noticed a wooden coaster in the background of a couple of the previous photos. That would be Thunderbird.

While smooth, there was no airtime to be found. Of course, it was just me and Goldballs in the front of one of the first trains of the day, so it probably wasn't running at its fastest.

It's worth mentioning that between the brake run and the station is a 180-degree turn and the transfer track. It takes approximately the same length of time to traverse these two sections as it does to do the entire rest of the ride. Which is to say that it's laughably slow.

But, hey, it made me laugh.



Bert and Smisty were on the train behind us. They got stuck on the brakes. Which is doubly hilarious when you realize that once their train got moving again, it still had to do the turn and transfer track. What must they have thought during that?

While I didn't get any good photos, quite a few rides in the park have signs that basically say, "Hey, when this ride breaks down, just sit tight. Help is on the way." Which I found quite amusing.



Oh, a fun house!

Themed to construction workers...?

Alright, sure.



This spinning tunnel really should've been made to look like a cement mixer in some way.

Come on, guys.



Wait, what is Bert taking a photo of?

(For the record, I did not mean that last caption literally.)

Anyway, it's not Gröna Lund, but it is a fun house. So...yay!



Here's something Gröna Lund doesn't have: a large forested troll village that was used to film a movie!

Sure, you've never heard of that movie. But nevertheless.



Smisty posing with Rölli the Troll (who is not, in fact, a troll...don't ask) and Mormon Zelda, who may or may not be a fair forest maiden, or rather an effeminate man.



I did not see any signage indicating that you *couldn't* lay on the bed.

I mean, I didn't. But just know that, in America, we call that an invitation.



"By my dirty toes!"

That's Rölli's catchphrase.

Yes, seriously.



Oh, an actual Technical Park ride!

How exciting!

You guys have fun!


They said it was good.

They're idiots.



It's like Legoland except everything is made out of weird.



Hawk & Doug having just enjoyed Neo's Twister.

I'm not sure who Neo is, but the ride has a split lift and spun me whilst air-timing me into that metal seat divider bar in a way that was painfully funny.

So, new mouse manufacturer credit for me here in Fabbri.



The paradox of making a thing totally insane by trying to make it make sense.



I nearly didn't ride Pitts Special because I didn't really like Junker, don't much care for Gerstlauer Eurofighters/Infinity Coasters anyway, can't stand vertical lifts, figured that I wouldn't be able to wear my glasses on this one either, and others in the group said this was rougher. But I really liked the look of the layout and was intrigued by the lack of inversions, so I gave it a shot. And, yes, I liked it much more than Junker. There was one fairly nasty jolt about halfway through, but beyond that I wouldn't call it rough, it had some nice airtime, and yeah...I just really liked the layout (other than the lift).



"Enjoyable ride that gives you tickles you tummy with its' whirling and up-and-down motion. Fun and suitable for all!" [sic]






Joyride. Also known as, the coaster this park chose to put VR goggles on for a couple of years until everyone came to their collective senses.



A view from the Ferris wheel. Note the Road House in the upper left of the photo. Also note the Frisbee thing that slices through a house. Also note the mini golf course and the small yellow and green ride that's kind of like a spinning ball bit but is sadly only for children. Just note everything.



Seems dirty.



Inside the restaurant that the outside of was in the background of the previous photo.

Sometimes I can't tell if English is nonsense or I just don't know how to use it.



By the time we got to this area of the park, this was closed for the day. Which is a shame. I mean, I wouldn't have ridden it, as I rather enjoy having two eyes--but I would've liked to have watched other people fall off of it.



Ah yes, the Devil's Mine Hotel.

So...is it a hotel in a mine? Or a mine in a hotel? And the devil owns both of them?



This dark ride is interesting in that every successful shot scores (only) one point, you have a limited number of shots (which is fairly high, but you can still run out if you just go crazy), and at one point (for no discernible reason and seemingly connected to nothing) you come around a corner and are greeted by an audio recording of Jim Carrey saying, "Alrighty then!"



Regular animals *and* dinosaurs, but for some reason you're not allowed to take photos on this ride?


The day was winding down and the park was getting ready to close. Which meant ERT on Junker for most of the group. But we wanted to play their mini golf course.


Each hole had two suggested "solutions," one easy and one difficult.

This proved to be rather misleading though, as almost every hole was quite difficult regardless of approach.



Quite a pleasing course visually, though.



And not without little challenges.


Mini golf conquered (or at least survived), it was back to the Road House for dinner.


Wait, what?



As "Junker" looked unavailable, we ate at Boulevard Bistro, which was pretty good. certainly better than the food that had been available in the park.



And this "brezel" ( a cross between a breeze and an Edsel?) belongs on the trip's Mount Dessertmore.


Such a weird park. But, hey, it's me.

Score: 9


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GREAT update. . and so happy to see pics from the mini golf.

somehow you missed the guy on the toilet outside the shooting dark ride?  (dont' worry, I got a pic or two of it. . LOL).

and yeah, they wouldn't let me take pics on the cars either. . very strange.  



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14 hours ago, bert425 said:

and yeah, they wouldn't let me take pics on the cars either. . very strange. 

We actually didn't ride it...because you told us they wouldn't let you take photos!


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  • 2 weeks later...

There were three total "travel days" on this trip, one of which was to get to Power Park, and one of which was to get away from Power Park. This is that last one.


23: Mixed Blueberry Feelings



Traditional Finnish breakfast things and also beans to keep the English tourists happy.



Goodbye, Power Park, my weird new friend!



Stopped off at some random rest stop with fancy pay toilets, groceries, and souvenirs.



And also they make cheese curds.

Or I guess cheese.

Both really.



This photo is ridiculous.



Anyway, here we are in Tampere, Finland--the largest inland city in the Nordic countries, and allegedly the sauna capital of the world.

Plus, they have a Taco Bell. So that's exciting.



Taco Bell's are a bit different in this part of the world.



We arrived in Tampere just in time for Midsummer, which many Fins celebrate with human sacrifice and not being in cities. So that was interesting timing in that it meant that a lot of the museums and such were closed.






Not sure why this mermaid was crying. Probably because of something Bert did.



Does this make drowning oneself easier or harder? Discuss.



Oh, look where we all just accidentally ended up...!

The park was still open for a couple of hours, but we were just here to take photo from across the water. In retrospect, I wish I'd gone in, considering what would happen the next day. But here, that just seemed like a waste of time, money, and effort.



Bike lanes are complicated here.



A sitty park across the bay.

See what I did there?



The same park, just at a smaller scale.



Tampere was very pleasant to stroll around, and it seems like there are a lot of museums you could check out if you're there at not the wrong time.

Incidentally, the name of this statue is "Memorial of the Shipwreck of Steamboat Kuru," in case that's not obvious.


Okay, just two more parks to go!

(And then like two or three more updates after that.)


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  • 2 weeks later...

Särkänniemi is a city-owned amusement park with a great location and an interesting and varied collection of attractions. Its coaster lineup is perhaps a bit lacking, though, and there aren't a whole bunch of them. Which is okay by me, but maybe left a lot of my fellow trip participants ready to move on well before I was. Which is a shame, as there are sections of this park I felt like I really had to rush through, and some areas I never even saw.


24: Born To Boom



Näsinneula Observation Tower & Tornado greet us as we enter the park. Also, some really pretty benches, all at weird angles to make sitting more challenging and fun!



Tornado's station is impressively dark and spooky and carved out of rock. And one of its two heartline rolls similarly sweeps under mountain. Which is cool, because when I think "Tornado," I think "underground caves."



A good ride, but a bit rattly. On the other hand, I exclusively rode on the much less full train, and those on the more heavily-weighted train did not seem to agree with my 'rattly' accusation. So take that for what it's worth.



Tornado intertwines with the park's log flume, Tukkijoki--which means "log nonsense" (maybe).

Also, that "floating" faucet would maybe be more convincing if they, like, tried.



Is it better to boom before pizza, or after?

No, serious question. The park wants to know.



It's hip and cool and for the trendy kids.

Except that it is actually kind of cool looking.

Oh, wait, if I think it's cool, then it definitely isn't, because I'm old and decidedly unhip. So I don't know what it is.

It's the Park Shop.

Beware of smartphone zombies.



These symbols actually spell out a word! See it?



All aboard the hype train!



See, because, the ride is called Hype.

And it has a train.



Stop in the name of burger.

Also, take off.



Piggy Town is Pouta Pig's hometown. "Pouta" means dry weather in Finnish. And that's good weather for a candy cane. Thus, this photo.



If you look closely you can not see me.

Because I didn't ride it.

But you can see Smusty and Goldirt.



I did ride--and very much enjoyed--this seaside car ride, though.



"The ride is calm, although the steep cliffs can be a bit exciting."



Järvikaruselli is a beautiful old Schwarzkopf ride that's very gentle but still really fun. To stumble across it felt like finding a rare coin worth way more than the amount printed on it.



MotoGee is a Zamperla straddle coaster (no, seriously...is that what we're calling them??) It was...fine, I guess? I barely remember it.

Anyway, here's a photo of some random Fins acting like goons because they're about to ride it.



Love when park guests treat photo ops like benches. Yeah, you're number 1, dude. Hope nobody else is here to have fun.



That's pretty great for a bumper cars facade.



Going up the observation tower for big time looking at stuff.



Yes, here we are at the top of the Näsinneula (or, "Eye Stabber") Observation Tower. Except we're not quite at the top, because there's a ceiling above us. And above that, another floor!



Looking down on the rapids ride and petting zoo kids farm area.



A group of us had lunch at the Observation Tower's rotating restaurant. Here you can see Misty doing that thing where you're so focused on making every other part of the photo work that you forget to pose yourself.

Culturally, full-service dining in Finland is meant to be relaxed and unrushed--even more so than in the Netherlands. So the decision to eat here (admittedly, championed largely by me) certainly contributed to my having less time to explore the rest of the park. So at least some blame on myself for that whole situation.



I do not remember what this was, exactly. But I don't remember anything not being good.



Except for the first drop, you can see most of Tornado's layout here--among other things.

The non-amusement park we visited in the last update can be seen off to the right across the water.



Särkänniemi also has an aquarium, located at the base of the Tower.



Slither Fish



Koskiseikkailu, which means "butt splasher."

No, I'm never going to get tired of these dumb translation jokes.



See? Proof that what I said was true.



The Doghill Fairytale Farm area of the park. I'm not sure if I saw all of it or not, but what I saw I liked.



Raatiuone means "Town Hall."

No, wait, it does actually.

However, I believe it was a bakery or something. Certainly, there was no lively local political debate, much to my disappointment.



Okay, loaded fries. And some kind of kebab. And um.... Okay, wow. And a vegan thing. Got it.



This is like a haunted indoor play structure, or something?

(A rather unkind description of me, but sure, I guess so.)



Oh, Mr. Fancypants Child has to be led to the haunted play structure on a horse. Lad-di-da!

I don't know what's wrong with me.

But thanks for wondering!




See, it's cute. It's a fun area.



This area needs a dark ride. And by "this area" I mean "this park." But I feel that way about every area and every park. Sometimes I'm on a dark ride and I think, "Hmm, you know what this dark ride needs? A dark ride."



Park Score:

Um, I'm not sure? There are some rides I was interested in but never made it on. I dunno. 6 or 7?

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and go with 7.


Next up: The final park of the trip!



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no way was that a wrong decision to do lunch. . it was a FANTASTIC meal.    

yeah, it cut into the time, but it was a fantastic meal.

based on my picture I took of the menu (and i have a similar pic of that dish, so we must have had the same "Finnish Price Fixe" meal). . that was Hazlenut Ice Cream with a Celery topping over hazlenut crumble.

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