Travel Note

18th July 2020

Days three and four of my adventure were devoted entirely to sightseeing. I began Thursday with a walk around the Copenhagen Botanical Garden, followed by a canal tour and a self-guided walk through Christiansborg Palace. On Friday I drove to Helsingør for Kronborg Castle and the Maritime Museum, then headed west to Roskilde for the Viking Ship Museum. The route took me directly past Bakken and it would have been rude not to stop, though I decided against staying once it became obvious that even the shorter lines were an hour long. On the plus side, I managed to get some new photos for my collection including a sign-of-the-times close-up of Rutschebanen reproduced below for posterity.

Rutschebanen

My main target for today was Knuthenborg Safaripark, but I decided to prefix it with a stop at the Forest Tower, one of Denmark’s newest tourist attractions. The official web site for Camp Adventure suggests two hours are necessary to appreciate it properly, though that appears to assume a walking speed radically slower than my own; I did it in 45 minutes, including a very pleasant quarter hour at the top admiring the view. I’d recommend it to anyone with the time; there’s a good summary with more information available at Lonely Planet.

 

Knuthenborg Safaripark

18th July 2020

Knuthenborg Safaripark is an enormous drive-through park occupying roughly four hundred hectares near the northern coast of Lolland, the fourth largest island in Denmark. The facility dates back to 1867, albeit in a somewhat different form to today. In 2008, Count Adam Christoffer Knuth took over the running of the estate and park from his father, and under his initiative the original facilities have been augmented with animatronic dinosaurs and amusement rides.

Enthusiasts will be relieved to learn that all mechanical attractions have been consolidated into Limpopo Land in the south-eastern corner of the park. The signature ride is Congo Splash, an ABC Rides flume that is the longest (400m) and tallest (16m) in Denmark. Signage at the entrance claims that it is the steepest in Europe, though this regrettably constitutes an alternative fact; the 51 degree angle was supposed to take the record, but it was beaten a month before it opened by Chiapas at Phantasialand. The ride has little to recommend it other than its sheer size; there is no theming to speak of and the surrounding greenery is homogenous in the extreme. Readers should be aware that while the initial splashdown is not particularly wet, a secondary one in the braking zone is considerably more so; a poncho may be a good idea in poor weather.

Congo Falls

The park also has a small family coaster. Kampala Express (#2864) can be thought of as Gerstlauer’s answer to the Zierer Force Zero, albeit with a somewhat bigger footprint and a unique train design with three cars, each of which holds three passengers inline. Car two was blocked off today to enable social distancing, so I ended up in the rear. The ride was fine, if nothing special; I was given three full laps of the track, followed by a partial journey up the lift for braking purposes.

I spent much longer than I expected to driving around the safari. The vast majority of the route was worthwhile even for those with minimal appreciation of the natural world, and I took an enormous number of photographs. The only real disappointment was the tiger exhibit; after a lengthy tailback I was able to drive slowly around an enclosure with a solitary visible tiger that was apparently much more interested in sleeping than performing for his visitors.

 

Travel Note

18th July 2020

I'd had intended to drop into BonBon-Land on my drive north in order to renew my acquaintaince with the magnificent Han-Katten. Unfortunately a major accident on the E47 added a two-hour delay to the route, and while I'd still have made it to the park I decided that it wasn't worth paying full price admission less than an hour before closing. Instead I spent about twenty minutes at Halsskov Odde before heading across the Storebæltsforbindelsen to my overnight hotel.