It was time to leave Sweden and travel south to Denmark for the final leg of the trip. We had another ferry crossing, but a much shorter one this time, around 3 hours in all.
Like RyanAir the ferry offers cheap travel but looks for alternative ways to get money out of you. In this case every bit of empty space contained a slot machine of some kind. I only used it to get rid of my Swedish change that I no longer needed.
This is us having arrived at Frederikshavn, which is Danish for "Fred has no hair", and from there it was about another hour to Faarup Sommerland. There was a small delay as one of the group failed to spot 140 people leave the walkway for the coaches and continued walking straight on.
Shots from the coach on the way to the park
This is the park where we were met by a couple of TV crews. The park had used our visit to drum up some publicity for the park, and as it turns out one of the stations was a national crew filming for one of the more popular evening news shows. The club benefits by getting the publicity too. What it meant for me however was that as Jeppe is local and Keith an American, they were both invited to be interviewed and I was unlikely to see much of them today, as it turns out I managed to miss most people today and pottered around doing my own thing.
The park had been experiencing record crowds, helped in part by some amazing weather.
The park is set in a forest, which offers plenty of shade and makes usually mundane rides a little more interesting. This is the mouse coaster, which was pretty good but had a great ride operations team. One of the girls was armed with a water pistol and if you didn't get in your car quick enough, you got shot. An inventive way to keep the throughput going at low cost! Take note Alton Towers.
The park has a Knoebel's feel too it, must be all the trees!
The park has three boating lakes, this is the slow one..
This is the second, the guy on the left had come on land to retrieve something and in jumping out of the boat kicked it away from him. He had to be rescued, although he could have just jumped over a fence and gotten back into the park. I can only assume he didn't want to do that in case he'd panicked the boat ops into thinking he'd fallen in.
A Sommerland park typically contains lots of outdoor attractions. Massive inflatable mats like these are commonplace. I remember having sumo battles with friends the first time I saw one of these, but being on my own I'd have been arrested had I tried it with the people around me.
Picnic sites and trampolines are other common Sommerland attractions. I was soon to discover that this park had a lot of the former.
This may be the reason why people drive safely on the mainland, I never saw any of these in Russia.
The park's log flume, a decent way to cool off in this heat.
Loads and loads of trampolines!! This is just a small sample.
Another common outdoor attraction. Whilst I didn't try climbing this one I have tried at Toverland in Holland. On that occasion I was almost at the top when a kid kicked me in the head and sent me tumbling to the bottom. One thing to bear in mind at parks aimed for kids, adults land harder when they fall.
This I hadn't seen before, some sort of inflatable mat with things to bounce into your friends. If we'd taken this over people would have gotten hurt.
3 age groups taking part on the swings; youngest child at the end, eldest child in the middle and dad on the largest. It took him a few attempts to reach that bar though.
This is another reason why I like foreign parks. It's totally alright to hurt yourself when you're a kid, and accidents can happen. That mentality still exists in some countries but not in the UK where someone is ultimately responsible for the slightest incident. The reason why I'm mentioning that here is that the dad is spinning his kids around on this ride and the little kid on the right couldn't have been older than 3 and was absolutely loving being spun around on a ride that he wouldn't be allowed anywhere near back home. It was his laughter that got my attention.
Behind this there was an assault course that did claim some injuries within the group (knocked ribs etc), but the guys weren't complaining as they were having fun!
This was my favourite attraction in the park, a fully fledged .22 rifle range. This would never be allowed back home. You just walk up, the guy gives you a small cupful of shot and a target and then you find an empty stall, decide how far back to put the target and then fire away. No supervision at all, you just get on with it. You just know that if this was in the UK, kids would be shooting at each other, but here where people are more trusted even kids were allowed to play here.
So, how'd I do. This is with the target at full distance (about 25 metres away). If I had 10 shots I'd eventually hit you in the heart. I was quite pleased with my shooting. The one not in the black was the first shot just to calibrate the sight. If Marky Mark drops out of the sequel to Shooter I'd step up!
The mine train coaster was hard to photograph as it was surrounded by trees. I can't even remember what it was like.
This crazy rotating drop tower was pretty popular and whilst I didn't ride it, those that did said it was really good and should be considered for other parks as a decent addition.
This was a little powered coaster. Again really tricky to photograph, I had to stretch the camera over a wooden fence to get this shot.
This was my other favourite attraction at this park, the single seater power boats in the third boating lake. The club first came out here in 2003 and I wasn't able to attend that trip, but I was very jealous when I saw pictures of these boats, so I was quite looking forward to riding them. They're a lot of fun! Just be sure to come into the station straight, one of the club members crashed into the jetty!
Across from the boating lake is the Falken coaster. When this was visited in 2003 the people raved about this ride. It's short but supposedly very good.
I hated it. The restraints consisted of these metal bars perfectly wrapped around your legs and as soon as the car attempted to turn the bars would smash into your knees. Having arthritis in my knees and not wanting to jeopardise them anymore than they already are I'd decided once was enough and I wasn't going to ride it again.
Falken, this year's Thundercoaster; Great when it first opened but not anymore!
Other people had agreed about riding in the front but said it was better at the back, but I wasn't going to reride, the damage had been done, psychologically if not physically.
I did however liked the construction history of the ride in the queue line.
I was also quite surprised to see a massive photo of Tim in the station house. He runs a German fanclub and I'm guessing they rated Falken and decided to present Soren, the park owner, with an award. I didn't know the guy on the left but we'd bump into him the next day.
After an amazing dinner laid on by the park (one of the best meals on the trip) a small group of us had made plans to leave Faarup early and head to another park. The only thing keeping me back was missing out on the ERS but as it was on Falken I wasn't too bothered. (it turns out they had a great ERS even with the ride as rough as it was)
Formerly known as Tivoliland but threatened with bankruptcy, the park was rescued and renamed as Karolinelund, in honour of someone called Karoline I would imagine. It's a tiny city park with three coasters. The club had been here before but it was quite run down and the organisers vowed never to come back here (like Parken Zoo will be I guess). A boomerang coaster had been down on that occasion, which had upset some of the counters. We were only coming here to spite them! (not really...)
Kalormen is Danish for Caterpillar and this one is different from the usual. Firstly it has a turntable station for two trains, which I'd only ever seen before at Colney Island.
Secondly it had some very strange tunnels covering most of the ride. It was like someone had gone crazy with one of those fibre glass gun around the ride and they'd incorporated it into the ride.
As well as the caterpillar there was this pile of metal designed to remove all enjoyment you might be having and replace it with pain. I'm still trying to block the memory of this.
and there's the boomerang, which to be honest wasn't too bad.
I'd heard bad things about this park from the last trip, but to be honest I thought it was alright. Admittedly we were there late at night and there was hardly anyone about. It's not a park designed for high throughputs, which I guess would have caused the frustration last time. I'd been to worse parks than this.
A history of the park adorns one of the walls by the entrance, I like touches like this.
The entrance to the park with it's carousel horses.
A statue of the guy famous for managing to avoid being having a Wikipedia entry written about him longer than anyone else. I'm assuming he has something to do with the park's history.