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Summer was almost over. J and Sue decided to drag their respective spouses to an amusement park – Europa Park. I am not a fan of Six Flags or Disney’s because of the long lines and short thrills.  While the rides are fun, it is never worth the time standing in the sun surrounded by screaming kids.  So I went with curiosity to see how the Germans manage the whole experience.

Europa Park is located in the Black Forest area of Germany, next to a town called Rust, near the Rhine and the French border – very centrally located in Europe.  It was about 3-4 hours drive from Lausanne. We traveled  a day earlier, stayed overnight in Lahr (about 20 minutes away from the park), and entered the park at around 10 – not as early as we liked.

The park is organized by themes based on the countries of Europe.  The swinging pirate ship ride is in the Scandinavian/Viking-themed area of the park.

The two star attractions of the park are both rollercoasters.  The one shown below is the Silver Star – the biggest in Europe.  As Mercedes Benz is the sponsor of this ride, we waited in line first outside and then inside a hall surrounded by Mercedes Benz Formula 1 and Rally races photos and exhibits, and even a couple of race cars – somewhat entertaining.  The ride as described by the park: a height of 73 metres, a high speed of up to 130 km/h and enormous centrifugal forces of up to 4 g, –  but the duration of the ride was only 3 minutes in total.  We waited for almost 45 minutes.

The thrill of the climb and the expectation was something to experience – beyond words.

It was fun.  We went back on one more time as the line got shorter.

One of the rollercoaster we rode – the Eurosat – was inside a geodesic dome in complete darkness.

We went on a wild river ride – also in the Scandinavian theme area next to the pirate ship.

Didn’t get wet despite the white water surrounding us.

The other big rollercoaster is the Blue Fire – sponsored by Gazprom – the Russian oil company.  This ride is probably the newest and the  wait was long too.  The line threaded through an indoor area where a 360-degrees presentation of a helicopter landing on an oil platform in a stormy sea was shown.  The quality of the video is very good – I cannot tell if it was all or partly computer generated, but the wraparound screen made it special.

This ride started with a sudden acceleration along a straight line which pressed our backs against the seat (apparently 2.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h or 62 mph).  That was fun. Not as high as the Silver Star, the Blue Fire had more tight twists and had an upside down segment.  We returned and rode it a second time. The duration is a bit longer than 3 minutes.

This ride below is in the Swiss region.  Each car with 4 riders rises in an elevator with lots of shaking for effects to the top of the castle and then roll down.

This is the ride that got us a little bit wet.

Called the Poseidon, it is in the Greek area.  We did not get soaked during the plunge but some spectators standing by the pool shot water canons at us.  No escape.

A Trojan Horse in the Greek area.

Well, the weather was nice.  We had a great time.

Given the fact that we did not see the entire park, and we missed quite a few rides, maybe we will go back again.

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