Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby A.J. » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:50 pm

The Great Zo wrote:Whereas Energylandia jumped the rails, if there even were any to begin with.

Exactly. There is nothing wrong with the calculated approach and I think that Legendia's doing great in that regard. It was too bad about the flat rides though, I hope that they can at least get that Flic Flac running again because those things are insane. Plus, they probably spent a lot of money doing the landscaping around it...
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby cfc » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:32 am

Electerik wrote:I'll defend Hyperion, for sure. And yes, Formula was good. I didn't ride Dragon, because I couldn't be arsed.



I tried to ride the family coaster in the new "Dragon Land," but thought the restraint was going to strip the flesh off my legs, so I exited stage left. Didn't have a problem with the Vekoma suspended Dragon or Roller Skater, though.
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby tanthonyam » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:47 am

Swedeland?

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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:43 pm

Yeah, it's where the Hols and Pos go on vacation.
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby cfc » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:10 am

tanthonyam wrote:Swedeland?


Holland = Land of Hols
Poland = Land of Pols
Swedeland = Land of Swedes
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby Electerik » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:26 pm

Part 4: Buses and Glassbombers

The plan was to gather at 4:30am, fly from Poland to Sweden via Amsterdam, and then spend a few hours at Liseberg before our full day there. Alas, the European heatwave caught up with us, shutting down Amsterdam's airport and sending lots of travelers scrambling. This was mildly stressful for us, but only mildly because Elissa and Robb had to do all the work. In the end, we flew out in several smaller groups, at various times, and while Misty and I missed the "half day" at Liseberg, we found that one full day was enough for us anyway.

In fact, I found myself not really digging Liseberg--at least, not during the first half of the day. I thought their coaster collection ho-hum, they don't have a dark ride (actually, their old one closed last year, and they are building a new one for next year, but my assertion still stands), their opening times for rides varied wildly (as late as noon, in some cases), and a few other minor annoyances added up to us thinking that maybe this park wasn't so great. However, after going back to the hotel for a nap and coming back in the late afternoon, we were able to experience all of the other things the park had to offer and began to enjoy it much more.

Kolmården is a sprawling, wooded and hilly zoo with large animal enclosures and a small collection of rides--the two most impressive of which are Wildfire (a "wooden" RMC) and an elaborate skyride with a view of animals.

Our final park of the trip was Gröna Lund--a city park that reminded me quite a bit of Indiana Beach (this is a good thing). If Efteling was objectively my favorite park of the trip, Gröna Lund was more "my" kind of park.
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Krakow airport woes. (Or, trying to shut this one down too by overloading its electrical systems.)

For the record, none of these belonged to Smisty or I.
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Flying into Munich for a quick layover. Which caused some debate: Does this count as having visited Germany? (In my opinion, no--even if you did have a pretzel at the airport.)
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At last, Gothenburg!

Up until this trip, I had never experienced an airport "bus terminal." I most certainly cannot say that now. One nice thing about the US, I now know, is that our airports tend to be much roomier.
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Liseberg is most definitely an amusement park. No themed sections here.
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Valkyria is the park's new B&M dive coaster. I liked the restraints, but hated the seats, which were rather check mark shaped.
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Valkyria was fine. Enjoyable, enough. I rode it twice. The mist-filled tunnel was really nice (especially considering how hot out it was) and the slow roll was different for B&M. Still, SheiKra remains my clear favorite in this category.
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Liseberg had some interesting games, like this one where you use a robotic arm to stack logs onto a rolling cart. (Or, as I like to call it, the Swedish Citizenry Test.)
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Liseberg sits on a really interesting and awesome-for-an-amusement-park plot of land, with the left half of the park being flat, and the right being the side of a large hill. The park's early rides clearly used this to their advantage, but the newer ones, not so much. To make up for that, escalators!
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Helix's queue is weird as hell. Long, angular, crossing over itself randomly. Somehow both hard to shortcut through but easy to get lost in. A real tour de force of bizarreness.
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Helix was kind of terrible for me, by which I mean the restraints sucked. Misty liked it, though.

This weird spinning kid's Ferris Wheel (center right) was great, though. (Toverland had one, too, but it was closed the day we visited.)
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Having given up on finding a proper restaurant that was open, we decided to give Max a try. mAx is a Swedish burger chain, so this is a bit like having a Subway or Panda Express in a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park. Still, maX was new to us, and we enjoyed it enough to go to another one in Stockholm a few days later.
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Kaninresan (or Rabbit River) was our second water cups attraction of the trip, and also ever. It was almost dark ride-esque, in that it had show scenes of wide-eyed green bunnies singing silently behind glass. Or perhaps they were bemoaning our ability as humans to eventually die. It's hard to say.
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Aw, crap, it's a Liseberg bunny and it's locked eyes with us. One of the group must now perish, for it is the way of things.
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This seems like a great idea.
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Balder. Okay. I'd heard a lot of good things. Some in our group really liked it. But, to me, it was just okay. Don't get me wrong, there was airtime, good airtime, several instances of it. But...every moment of airtime was almost exactly the same. And every turn was uninteresting in exactly the same way. Except for the first drop, every hill is 30 feet down, 25 feet up, and then followed by a boring turn. Repeat until you're at ground level.

Okay, let's put this is terms I can understand. Let's say I promised you the most amazing ice cream sundae ever. But then I just served you 10 scoops of chocolate chip ice cream. I mean, chocolate chip is great, right? Therefore, this is the best sundae you've ever had. You're welcome.
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This is Pontus. I understand that his job at Liseberg is just dealing with coaster enthusiast groups. Which sounds like the kind of job you get assigned in hell to me, but he was awesome. He let us into an off limits area of the ride and let us scribble our names on the coaster. So now I feel like a real jerk for not liking the ride more.
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We headed back to our hotel to take a nap. I'm not saying that our room was small, but....
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Much like the United States, Sweden also has buildings.
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Next to Liseberg was the Universeum. And since it was stupid hot outside and we weren't absolutely in love with Liseberg, we took some time out of our day to check it out.

I bet Chuck and Larry and AJ don't have this in their trip reports!
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Funicular #1 of the trip! (Foreshadowing!)
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The Universeum has several different "environments." This is the ocean-y bit. I probably didn't need to tell you that, but I did, because I get paid by the word.

I'm now being told that I don't get paid for these. Okay, let's try this again:

Water.
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My getting out of the heat plan seemed solid until we got to the glass-enclosed tropical rainforest part.

In other news, these stroller ramp death trap stairs are all over Sweden, but this one looks especially terrifying.
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Question: Can Smisty pull her hand away before the king cobra bites and kills her?

Answer: No. But don't worry, it's just a simulation!
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Space

I just now saw that little plastic bag there and I want to pick it up but that's not a sane thought because this was weeks ago and in Sweden.

Maybe I could call them about it....
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Back to the park in time for a TPR group dinner. And I literally can't name anything on my plate!

Well, okay, strawberries. And an orange slice. Lingonberries.

Bread.

I literally cannot name everything on my plate.
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This is a legitimate ice cream innovation. Imagine a hard-scooped ice cream sundae, except replace the whipped cream with soft serve. Why is the US sleeping on this?!
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Smisty enjoying the wave swinger while I photo things. Such as Smisty enjoying the wave swinger.
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Liseberg's Flume Ride utilizes the terrain nicely, and has a slightly unusual layout. It starts with this long lift, meanders part way down the hill side, goes up a second long lift, and then drops three times in a row back down to station level. No animatronics or theming, really, but it does interact with Lisabanana is a fun way.
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Exciting splash-down wall!
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Lisabanana and Blomsterkarusellen. Also, a woman looking at a horses butt.

I'm really happy with how this photo turned out.
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Smisty's favorite ride at Liseberg, and probably her favorite Tilt-a-Whirl. It was so good that she came and got me and made me ride it with her.
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A mirror maze I didn't discover until almost park closing.
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Lisebergbanan and almost the entire rest of the park from the Ferris Wheel. The first time I rode Lisebergbanan, I was disappointed. I'd really been looking forward to what Anton Schwarzkopf once declared to be his own favorite design, but it was unexpectedly janky. I'd ridden in the front seat, pretty early in the day, so I decided to give Lisebergbanan another shot at night, in the back seat, and enjoyed it much more!

Lisebergbanan.
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We are not blocking the view. We are the view.

So, yeah, in the end, I did enjoy Liseberg. A dark ride would help, of course, but that's coming.
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American coaster enthusiasts descend on the zoo. Well, not American Coaster Enthusiasts. Just coaster enthusiasts from America. Not all of whom were American, actually.

It's a zoo.
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I know this place like the back of Misty's head.
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The animal enclosures at Kolmården tend to be large and elaborate, which is great. But that also means that they tend to be spread apart from each other and can make actually spotting the animals within the enclosures somewhat difficult.
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The park's Bamse World kid's area.

Bamse is like Swedish Popeye, but a bear and he eats "thunder honey" instead of spinach and he's all about equality, not fighting over women like they're incapable of making their own choices.

Bamse is nothing like Popeye.
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Rector described this family coaster as having "a pretty good first drop" which really just makes me not want to hang out with coaster enthusiasts anymore.

(Okay, actually, he was kind of right. Dammit.)
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Man, they could at least clean up the dead ones.
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Mexican food at a Swedish zoo? Hell yeah!

I've never had such authentic Mexican pickled red onions before!
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This is like maybe a quarter of the tiger enclosure.
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At last, a zoo that takes misbehaved children seriously.
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Pretty nice dolphin exhibit and possible show arena. (I say possible because there was another stadium next door where the actual dolphin show was. It certainly looks like they could have them here, though. Maybe when the weather is bad?)
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Not getting a train in my photos of Wildfire is going to be a theme. But I got a Delphinexpressen one!
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Safari is the park's 30-minute Skyride, complete with automated narration (available in four languages, including English) and a view of animals, Wildfire, and Bråviken Bay.
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Okay, so how does Safari stack up against the Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa? Well, it's longer, certainly. And it crosses over and under itself. Plus, the trees and the bay are nice. But I'm not sure you actually see more or more interesting animals on it. So, better, but not by a lot?
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Wildfire. I rode it. Once. You know how I feel about these things by now, don't you? It was less good than Untamed, which I also only rode once. So I guess I like the "steel" ones better than the "wooden" ones.
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The, um, "turnaround" of Wildfire and Bråviken Bay.
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You know what? This is better than Busch Gardens Tampa's Skyride. But I love them both.
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Ooh, ooh, a train! Ending the Kolmården part of this report right here.
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Gröna Lund makes me want to live in Stockholm.
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We start the morning with a presentation from Gröna Lund's park historian, Andreas.

What do you think he's explaining here?

a.) The park's new attraction for next year.
b.) The lengths people once had to go to see nudity before the invention of the internet.
c.) What to do when women drop their clothes upon learning that you are a coaster enthusiast.
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We then were led into a giant pit wherein the park's under-construction B&M inverted coaster's station will be.

So I guess it wasn't "a.)"
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We then got to ride some stuff before the park opened to the general public. Always nice to get some photos before everything fills up with people.
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AJ is dedicated to his craft.
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Jetline's cool funky curved lifthill.
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I believe I rode Jetline more than any other single ride on the trip. So, yes, I liked it.

Wow, a coaster Erik actually likes!

(Actually, there are two in this photo!)
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A games area, right after park opening.
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The park's traditional, yet rebuilt and modern, dark ride, Blue Train. AKA, the dark ride I rode the greatest number of times on this trip.
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Blue Train is everything I want to be.
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Note the tilting track. Also, the seats have a Bug's Life type thing going on. None of it makes any sense, and it's awesome.
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Look, I'm sure its theming, but I'm a foreigner here and I'm just not going to risk it, okay?

While we're on the subject, Gröna Lund has two really ostentatious restrooms elsewhere, but I didn't take a photo of them inside because that would be weird and I'm not a weirdo who takes photos of the insides of restrooms.
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Ha-ha, just kidding. Here you go.
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I'm pretty sure this is the same layout as a bunch of other junior Vekoma "suspended" coasters, but I'm also pretty sure that this had to be the first one and custom (at the time) just because of the way it fits in with the rest of the park.

House of Nightmares is a Sally walk-through haunted house which I didn't even know was a thing. Liseberg also had a walk-through haunted house that I didn't show because I AM MASTER OF ALL YOU SEE AND KNOW and also neither of these things allow photos inside because they have no confidence in their product (I imagine). Anyway, both were upcharges. Liseberg's was better, but this one actually had a semi-coherent storyline, so that was interesting.
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Run, Smisty, before the tree gets you!
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Pizza was pretty good. Also, I was able to get ice. Stockholm was much more understanding about this than anywhere else we visited in Europe. So, if you love ice, give Stockholm a go!

It occurs to me that would make a pretty terrible tourism slogan for the city.
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Ben & Jerry's. I know, boring, right? But no! Because there are flavors that you can't get in the States! Such as, "Totally Baked Alaska," which consists of vanilla ice cream with a marshmallow ribbon and bear-shaped white chocolate pieces, and is my new favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor.
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Oh right, rides. This is Vilda Musen, a Gerstlauer Bobsled masquerading as a wild mouse!
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First of all, I love that the park decorates its coaster queues with information about other roller coasters. And, secondly, this queue is not designed for Americans.
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A second coaster I like! And in the same park! Like most of Gröna Lund's rides, it goes over and around other rides and buildings and just wouldn't make sense anywhere else.
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Gröna Lund has two sections, the large section (with mostly adult rides) and the small section (with mostly kids rides). We didn't spend a lot of time in the small section, but we did ride this.
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Small section towers. I am art. (or maybe Smisty is. I don't really know.)
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Wait, so the star flyer is supposed to be themed to hot air balloons?
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Normally, I find star flyers both boring and kind of terrifying. But this one was neither because I was so busy looking at all the cool stuff below me.
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The only "water ride" at Gröna Lund, the tunnel of love.
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I tried to order a pretzel from these guys, but they just ignored me.
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Tunnel of self-love.
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The old school funhouse was really cool, but it was all in. No bypassing things you didn't want to do, like the one at Toverland.
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A very inefficient way of getting from one place to another.
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The funhouse ends with a cool double-down carpet slide.

Am I supposed to be making jokes? I'm sorry. I'll try harder.
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This restaurant is built on top of other buildings, because everything here is.
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In honor of our last TPR dinner, I took this photo of my food and not of anyone actually at this dinner.
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Gröna Lund sees your swing-ride-over-the-water, Indiana Beach, and raises you a castle in the distance.
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Twister was weird and a bit rough, but the restraints weren't terrible. (They looked like they'd be super awful for me, but they weren't.)
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Goodbye Gröna Lund, and goodbye TPR, but not goodbye Stockholm, and technically not even goodbye Gröna Lund, despite what I just said.

Anyway, stay tuned for the final part of our vacation, and then maybe one update after that, if I feel like doing something weird.
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby The Great Zo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:04 am

Electerik wrote:Lisabanana


That's gonna stick. I'm never going to be able to call that coaster by its regular name again.

Bringing back some memories of the Twister ERT. It was running a bit rough, but we were having a blast anyway. Fun times.

Another great update!
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:08 am

Sweden looks so awesome! So many "you'd never see this in the US" things there. The Universeum looks amazing, glad you took the time out for it.
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby A.J. » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:35 am

Electerik wrote:This was mildly stressful for us, but only mildly because Elissa and Robb had to do all the work.

And wonderful work they did.

Next to Liseberg was the Universeum. And since it was stupid hot outside and we weren't absolutely in love with Liseberg, we took some time out of our day to check it out.

I bet Chuck and Larry and AJ don't have this in their trip reports!

No I do not, but in my defense, I only ended up having the afternoon and evening at the park due to the plane snafu, and most of my time was spent checking out everything else. It's on the list for next time!

AJ is dedicated to his craft.

Or... Was I smart enough to skip the scary face-down drop ride? You decide!

Always a pleasure, Erik. :lmao:

The Great Zo wrote:
Electerik wrote:Lisabanana

That's gonna stick. I'm never going to be able to call that coaster by its regular name again.

I refuse to call Shamburgerandcheese by its real name either.
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Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

Postby jynx242 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:16 am

What a wonderful and funny report! Thanks so much!
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