Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Laze

Ok so this time, not so much a weekend laze as more of a summer holiday laze ;)

The temperature here in Belgium has been HOT (for our standards) reaching over 30° C and since we don't have air conditioning, the heat stays inside the house, making me lose hours of sleep.

From thursday to saturday, we went to Europapark in Germany, the biggest theme park in the country. It was even hotter over there, reaching 37° C... ack!

Much SpaƟ was had riding some of the best rollercoasters in Europe:
Silver Star

This thing climbs to over 70m high and then gets you weightless a couple of times. There are no inversions, but the speed (130 kph) and the negative Gs really makes this beast a joy to ride.

Blue Fire

A Megacoaster that catapults you out of the station to reach 100kph within 2.5 seconds. Add to this the 4 inversions and multiple banking turns and you have the gist of the Blue Fire: thrill!

Wodan Timburcoaster

I love wooden rollercoasters, mostly because it's all about speed, drops and turns. The entire engineering side of it really intrigues me, since all of those massive strains in the end, rest on a piece of wood that you can buy in any DIY shop... well... thousands and thousands of those pieces of wood.

The newest member of the Europapark coaster family (2012) takes you on a ride to the Norse heaven of Asgard... but first, you need to pass through the Norse hell as well... taking you 35m into the sky, this 1050m long ride reaches speeds up to 100kph.

Atlantica Supersplash

Since the weather was so hot, the water attractions attracted a lot of attention.
This one in particular was really cool. The boat reaches 30m of height, then takes you backwards through a dip to the top of the waterslide. Then, it drops you the entire height of the attraction, over a bump and into a big body of water. Hilarity ensues.

Europa park is in my opinion, the best theme park I've visited in Europe. They have big coasters but also some smaller attractions to fill your day. Everything is themed nicely, unlike most of the "theme" parks in Belgium. The entire park was clean and it's really obvious that the German grundlichkeit is at its best here. Everything is maintained really well and all staff members were really friendly.

I want to express my admiration for the Mack family. They originally built this park as a showcase for their "Mack Rides" international amusement ride making business. Nearly all attractions are built by Mack Rides. Wodan was built by Mack, but designed by an American company. To this day, the park and "Mack Rides" is still a family-run business. Kudo's for that!

Are you in Europe and looking for a great theme park for a day or even multiple days? Europa park is your destination!  (US readers, please consider that everything in Europe is a smaller scale than in America... I've been to Busch Gardens in Tampa, among other theme parks, and that is just... bigger...)

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