Saturday, 23 June 2007

Day 16 - Liseberg & Gothenburg

Having said goodbye to Tusenfryd and Norway we got to the next hotel quite late so went straight to bed. This is the following morning when it was time to visit Liseberg.

This is the hotel, the totally amazing Gothia Towers. Its a 4-star hotel that resides across the road from the park. Like in Helsinki, the city was hosting a major football tournament. We were gathered in the lobby when a football team manager came into the lobby shouting "see those guys in the funny tshirts? they're coaster enthusiasts", which got a good laugh from his group and our's (this is why I don't wear park merchandise).

Liseberg opened in the 1920s and is now the most popular theme park in all of Scandinavia attracting in excess of 3 million visitors a year. It's also home to one of the most highly rated wooden coasters in the world; Balder.

Gathering for the wristbands.

In the park gardens they have hand prints of famous celebrities that have visited the park. These are the members of 70's Swedish pop act Abba.

I found it quite amusing that Stevie Wonder ran out of room for his signature!

The new attraction for this year was Uppswinget, one of those powered swings. However due to technical issues Uppswinget was Downswinget. Before the park opened we were allowed to ride Lisebergbahn.

Liseberg is a one-of-a-kind Schwarzkopf ride that makes great use of the hillside on which its built. It's was also rumoured to be Anton Schwarkopf's favourite coasters of all those he designed. It's got quite a long track and is able to run with five full length trains.

It also made a good landmark coaster for Rob!

I've no idea who this tubby mother is but he looks a bit scary with his "come here children I've got some sweets for you" pose.

We had the park to ourselves, soon it would get busier, especially with the football tournament taking place. The park is very generous and had allowed all the competitors free entry to the park. They do the same to our club, and it was a day trip to this park that made me realise traveling abroad wasn't a big deal and gave me the impetus to do my own traveling. It's cheaper for me to come here for the day than to go to Blackpool. Ridiculous huh!

Hotel Gasten is an excellent haunted walkthrough. We went through it twice and the first go was much more entertaining than the second, because we'd managed to get in with a group of young girls who screamed the whole way through it. There was some good improvising from the actors, particularly one guy who shouted out "I smell coaster people, I'll rip out their eyes so they won't see coasters anymore!"

Kanonen was the only other launch coaster on the trip and whilst it featured a unique layout was much more compact than Speed Monster and did quite a lot to you in a short amount of time. For that reason I wasn't a big fan of it, but I was going to be later in the day.

The remaining steel coaster, a kiddy thing that I had ridden before and didn't need to this time.

I didn't recall seeing the rocking tug last time we were here, it must have been new.

Having had a good time in the morning I was itching to leave the park and visit Gothenburg as I'd never seen it before, so myself and Jeppe did that.

Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, Stockholm being the first. It takes its name from the Goths, a group of people from Southern Sweden who like listening to My Chemical Romance and wearing dark clothing. There weren't many of them here however!

This is the football tournament taking place in the city. I did stick around to try to get a shot of a goal but none were being scored, then as soon as I turned my back, there was one. Ah well! It was also here that Jeppe had a close encounter of the portaloo kind. He'd needed to go but there was a guy already in there who didn't know how to lock the door. Oops!

A large fountain in the centre of town.

A river that runs through the town, bordering one of the large parks within the city.

The main shopping street, I was trying to find a copy of Manhunt 2, a game for the PS2 that is banned in the UK and US but supposedly OK in Scandinavia. I couldn't find it and it turns out its because the company has suspended its release pending an appeal in the US.

Looks like this girls team had been eliminated from the football tournament.

That's the main station into the city, oh, and out of.

A large building on the docks which from afar looks like a massive cruise ship.

This is a restaurant/conference centre. Different I guess.

That's the new Opera House. I also liked the artificial turf that looked completely out of place but which people were enjoying as an oasis of green in a heavily concreted area.

That's the cruise ship building.

This is King Gustavus Adolphus, founder of the city of Gothenburg and king of Sweden between 1611 and 1632. He also founded part of Tallinn, which in his time belonged to Sweden. Small world!

This is the cathedral building. Quite plain compared to others I'd seen on this trip.

I'm guessing that this is owned by the Rolling Stones, who rather coincidentally were due to play here in a week or two. I have a theory that the only reason people go to see their concerts is on the off chance that one of them will die on stage.

A rather nice church spoiled by some awful lense flare.

One of the university buildings. Gothenburg has the largest University in all of Scandinavia.

Strange art in a small park in central Gothenburg. Not the pushchair idiot!

If it wasn't so hot I'd have played a round of this. I do like my mini golf but I don't want to burn doing it.

Some nice architecture.

Cool car

In the distance is the Gothenburg museum of Art marking the end of Kungsportsavenyn, the street that houses most of the chain restaurants in the city, and where we stopped off for lunch.

The city has a mixture of old and new trams, the older ones for the tourists and the newer ones for the hardcore commuters. This is a very old one that runs between the docks and Liseberg.

Although the modern ones still looked old. Gothia Towers does look imposing!

These are weird 2 wheel skateboards that were being sold just outside Liseberg. They're called snakeboards and differ from conventional boards in that you don't need to kick off the ground but by moving the articulated plates at each end of the board you can provide the motion that way. All too confusing for me, I'll leave it to the kids.

Time to head back into the park.

Old creepy guy appears to have got lucky with someone his own age!

This is Evert Taube's World, a museum complex currently under construction for next year. He might be the creepy old guy I've gone on about but he's more famous for being local poet, artist, author etc.

The top of the main stage, nice cherubs! We decided to come here to watch the variety show, as had quite a lot of other people, but very few club members (we only spotted Florian).

After the second album bombed the lead singer of The Darkness took up a new career as a clown compere with some basic magic skills.

This woman could do lots of amazing things with a rope and has stronger thighs than Onatop from the Goldeneye movie.

and these two could do rather ridiculous stunts with unicycles, trampolines and a staircase. Florian told us later that they're very famous in Germany.

Its a shame that this ride wasn't running, I don't believe the park owner was too impressed either.

Lisebergbahn is not the easiest coaster to photograph.

A shot of Balder taken from the park's big wheel, which would never stop in the correct position. This ride has been great in the past but it wasn't its usual self on this trip. I'd joked that "it wasn't Balder, it was colder" and it seemed to be right. It wasn't as quick as in the past, I guess because it had been a dry day. We later found out that it had been given new wheels. So if there are parks who's ride needs faster wheels try to buy the ones removed from this ride!

The Kanonen ERS was fun too. Whilst the ride was a little rough the ride ops were brilliant. I think there were a small number of us riding (most choosing to ride Balder) when the PA kicked in with "would you mind if we tested a rollback?". They knew exactly what the response was going to be, the few of us riding cheered, and that's exactly what we got! Jim was very fortunate to get an unplanned one earlier in the night, and I think he was the only one in the train that time!

This is the dance hall in full swing (pun intended) in the evening. The park isn't just a theme park but a proper city park catering for all age groups. The dance stage is used by old people in the morning and the younger peeps at night (including The Aphex Twin by the looks of it). Not surprisingly Keith spent some time here, and we left him to it. We don't really have this in the UK at all.

As part of the Balder ERS we were invited into the centre of the ride for a wood signing opportunity. We did this last time we were here and its a nice gesture by the park. Basically you nail the wood then sign it.

I couldn't find my last signature, because it was written with a crap biro and had faded away, so I made sure it didn't disappear this time. After this pic was taken I also drew a smurf, so if you're ever lucky enough to be invited into Balder's structure have a look for it!

Liseberg's hospitality was great but Balder was lacking this trip. My highlight was the rollback on Kanonen.

No comments: