Parque de Atracciones Monte Igueldo is a very small park located at the top of a mountain overlooking the city of San Sebastian. It is home to only a handful of rides, most of them aimed at children. One notable exception, however, is the Montaña Suiza, a classic scenic railway roller coaster dating from 1928. It is as far as I'm aware unique in the world, in that its metal rails are set into concrete track.
Though the park was officially supposed to open at eleven today, the reality was somewhat different. The first attraction we saw open was the Casa del Terror walkthrough, which started taking paying customers shortly before noon. This walkthrough was not one of the better ones to be honest, but it did at least while away a few minutes. By the time we exited most of the other attractions had begun to operate, with one notable exception. The train for the Montaña Suiza remained chained up and silent. In the end George managed to track down someone with conversational English, who told us that it might open at 4:00pm.
Though the view from the top of Monte Igueldo is beautiful and picturesque it isn't enough to hold ones interest for more than a few minutes. The lack of attractions there makes it quite difficult to justify more than an hour in the place unless you are reriding its coaster. Neither of us were particularly enthused about waiting three hours plus on a possibility, so we elected to abandon the park for a future trip. It should be noted that the park is just thirty kilometers from the south of France, making it easier to reach from there than any of the usual tourist destinations in Spain.
Parque de Atracciones de Zaragoza
12th April 2008
Satnav brought us to Parque de Atracciones de Zaragoza via a series of one way streets with ridiculously low speed limits. It seems impossible that the chosen route could have been the best one. Be that as it may, we entered the park to discover only three operational rides, and none of those were coasters. Flashbacks of this morning jumped into mind briefly before we discovered the truth; the vast majority of attractions at this park close for a ninety minute lunch break in the middle of each day. We should perhaps have expected something like this in the country that introduced the idea of an afternoon siesta!
Those only interested in roller coasters are likely to be disappointed by the parks. Mina (#1147) and Moncayo (#1148) are generic off the shelf attractions, though the park has at least made them look as good as possible. The one unique design is a massively oversized butterfly by the name of Ramses (#1149), that from the ground looks like it could be eighty feet tall. Much to my surprise the actual experience of the ride felt no different to the much smaller versions barring a rather unpleasant juddering each time the car passed through the station.
The park is home to a fun house called Mississippi which would definitely violate safety regulations anywhere else. While none of the effects were unusual, they were all taken in almost complete darkness. This made the experience quite a challenge, and not in a good way; walking through a rotating barrel in the dark is not easy, especially when you land afterwards on a piece of floor that shifts sideways even as you step on it. I also managed to bang my head on a low door that I was simply not able to see even after I'd collided with it. A little bit of light would have made things much more fun.
Rapids rides do not change much from one park to another, barring the occasional notable exception. The only way to differentiate between them is the standard of the landscaping or theming. The gardeners working around Rio Navajo know their business, and consequentially their ride is one of the most picturesque I've ever seen. A slightly odd loading policy put us in a boat with two Spanish children who got absolutely drenched by a large wave right at the end of the course. My only regret is that I didn't catch it on camera; I certainly had a birds eye view!