Saturday, 23 June 2007

Day 19 - Bakken & Tivoli

Bakken, North of Copenhagen is officially the oldest theme park with history going back as far as 1583, which would have been the oldest thing on this trip had Keith not come along, actually Turku Castle still beats both of those!

The park was preparing for the official Santa convention so had Christmas theming already in place. Good effort on the park to go to such length for an event that only lasts 3 days (the convention, not Christmas)

That's Mariehonen, which means ladybird, and behind it is a rollercoaster that shares the same name. Do you see what I did there?

We were welcomed by the park, as we were at Liseberg, in the centre of its wooden coaster. Unlike that park though there's a real house inside with a family that live in it. To get into the middle of the ride you have to know the secret password, which is "Malmen Parken". Don't say you don't learn anything on my lengthy reports!

The wooden coaster I'd just referred to is the Rutschebahan, which means "Rough Train". It was silky smooth when it first opened in 1932 but has gotten worse over the years. Actually, I'm being too harsh, considering its age its doing very well. It has aged better than Falken for example. I'm just not a fan of it. It is of course one of the three scenic railways on the trip.

In its defence we did ask the chief brakeman for a silly run (one where he doesn't brake as much as usual) and he obliged, that was pretty decent.

For me the best ride in the park, other than the double-shot is Mine Train Ulven. Its an inconspicuous looking ride, which like Dr Who's Tardis doesn't offer much from the outside but is much better once you're in it. It's basically built into a big hole so you don't expect the drop to be as big as it is.

Themed bin. I'm not sure why you'd have signs to vending machines (the "sodavand" on the door)

The polyp at this ride was great, run on a decent program and had that traveling fair moment where the operator asks if you want to go faster and the locals who can understand him shout "yes" and the tourists ask each other what he's asking. Best ridden alone and with the arms off the handrail, you're thrown around loads then!

Nice themed lighthouse.

and Catalan area too.

I was going to think of a Dr Seuss rhyme here but it would have been too rude.

Racing was the second Fitzer coaster on the trip, and pretty good. There hadn't been any new rides introduced to Bakken since my last trip here so the pressure was off in terms of getting around everything.

More Christmas theming.

The 5D cinema was showing a cute "flies in space" film that I'd seen a few days earlier at Faarup, so I didn't bother seeing it again here. It was also showing two other films that I'd seen elsewhere before.

Wicker elephant.......just because.

The jungle ride was closed, apparently there had been a problem simulating the rain forest environment within the Danish mainland and they were in the process of containing it all within a large geodesic dome.

This picture is just priceless. Poor Jeff looks like he's about to die and Chris has "why am I even doing this" written all over his face.

The afterburner was on a great program, nice and long and sick inducing. We were taking great delight in watching a kid opposite slide in his seat and go pale as the ride got going, then his cheeks went out and we thought he was going to be sick and we were ready to cheer (probably before we rotated into it). However he swallowed it all back down, and his complexion came back and he ended up laughing as the ride came to a stop.

The park got pretty busy but it was never a problem.

Having done all the rides a group of us decided to rest away from the crowds back under the wooden coaster. No one was going to sleep, just rest...

Chris and Jeff were testing whether it was possible to cross your arms and legs without looking!

Martin was just assessing how much heavier his head had become compared to the start of the trip.

Keith just chose the moment to ponder on how best to tackle the airport security on the way home.

Having had their snooze we decided the best thing to do was just spend the rest of the day in a pub, and we found one close to the park behind the Mine train ride.

It gave us a chance to get some pics of the ride that from the park you can't.

After Bakken, we headed back into Copenhagen for another evening at Tivoli. I think given that we'd not spent enough time at some parks I think we'd spent too much time here. A group of us did ask to head back to Copenhagen early but we were asked to stay, if only to set a good example to others who were contemplating doing similar.

Back in Copenhagen, we unloaded said goodbye to our coach drivers (who have subsequently become club members) and made our way to the park. It was at this point I'd realised I'd left my jacket on the coach with the passport in the pocket, but fortunately it had been rescued by Chris. Rather than buy him a drink to say thanks, I let him continue to beat me around the head as he had been doing all trip.

This is the cirkus across the road from Tivoli. Just like at Gronalund, the entertainment buildings historically were close to each other.

Tivoli's main gate.

There's the ballet performance I mentioned earlier.

The main stage was hosting a big band concert and there were lots of people using the area in front to dance. Once again Keith went in to show his stuff dragging Kat in (not kicking and screaming I should add) to accompany him.

They were also trying a new show synchronising the band with the end of night fireworks.

With the shows over the public were once again kicked out, but we were allowed to stay behind for an absolutely amazing ERS in the dark on Daemonen, the Dodgems, the Rutschebahn, and the Star Flyer. I believe we were the first group to be given such a treat.

Daemonen was disappointing. I'm usually a big fan of coasters made by B&M and this had a unique layout and compact design but I rode it in the front and came off with a headache. I came back to it later to try other rows and the same happened. I have no idea what happened but it just didn't work for me. The dodgems were fun but I only went on them once. The Rutschebahn was really good. It's the best of all the scenic railways that I've been on. I was also fortunate to get on the final train, and I think I may have been on the front. I wonder if it was the latest train ever!

But it was the Starflyer that I'm going to remember most from the ERS. As I mentioned earlier on the Powerpark page, I spend my whole time looking for places to land when I'm on these things. At Copenhagen there wasn't anywhere and coupled with it being taller than most at around 240ft I felt exposed and genuinely scared. It was the scariest experience of the entire trip and that includes the haunted walkthroughs and rooming with Keith!

Tivoli is a truly magical park and I enjoy this park every time I come here. I really wish we had something like this in London, but I doubt it would work.

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