1st August 2004

Getting out of bed this morning proved to be a severe challenge. On one hand was the prospect of a return flight to civilisation, albeit with a brief stop en route in London Heathrow. On the other was a thumping head cold which had been developing towards the end of yesterday, leaving me not entirely enthusiastic about visiting an amusement park. Two paracetamols with my breakfast made me feel somewhat human again, though this was only ever going to be a short term fix, and indeed it only lasted until noon.

Our time in Tripsdrill began with an hour long exclusive session on G'sengte Sau (#336), the first roller coaster built by Gerstlauer. The ride would stand well on its own, but when one considers it as the debut attraction for a new company it deserves several superlatives. All those who wanted to were given an opportunity to operate the ride, something I'm glad I've done once, though it would likely get boring very quickly. When the session ended the entire group was brought on a private tour of the ladies toilets in order to admire the decor. Suffice it to say that the imagery therein would not be out of place in most tabloid newspapers.


The other coaster at the park is Rasender Tausendfüßler (#337), a standard Zierer ride which nevertheless feels like a custom layout thanks to carefully sculpted terrain. Like many other Zierer coasters, the train is sufficiently long that front seat riders are already all the way down the first drop before the train picks up any speed.

A group of us did three consecutive circuits on the Waschzuber-Rafting, as there was nobody waiting to take over our boat and it seemed rude not to stay on. In due course we moved from there to the Jungbrunnen flume ride, which featured two turntables and a large backwards drop. Following the theme introduced earlier in the day, the flume travels through some scenes which would never pass the censors in some countries! What makes it stand out from the crowd is the theming; all the boats look like bathtubs, with a rusting radiator and shower hanging over the back of the boat. The wettest part of the ride by far proved to be the queue line, as the splash from the major drop sprays over the entire waiting area.

My last ride of the morning, and as it turned out my last of the trip, was on the small Drop Tower ride. While a much more sensible design than the crazy model yesterday this ride had its own unique feature, namely lap bars; I'm not aware of any other drop ride that doesn't feature an over-the-shoulder restraint; would anyone care to correct me? The ride was also able to tilt forward, and it did so in a very dramatic fashion that invariably earned a few screams from first time riders.


Postscript on the European Coaster Club

1st August 2004

There is no doubt that the ten day trip to Germany put on by the European Coaster Club has been the best trip I've done with any coaster club to date. Mark Riley has done a superb job in organising an event that was as close to flawless as possible. Having said that, I'm now utterly exhausted, and in many ways I'm relieved the trip is over. Part of the problem is being sick, but even if I wasn't I'm really not sure I could face a whole lot more right away. Fortunately my plane lands back in Dublin in about half an hour, and I'll be able to go to sleep.

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