Day 5: Kahn, Tibidabo, and Bar-tha-lona
Okay, I got really far behind with these.....
So today was another day staying at Port Aventura, and we began the morning with the usual breakfast buffet followed by ERT on Dragon Kahn.
So what can I say about Dragon Kahn that I haven't already said. It's mean! Seriously a great coaster from start to finish. Lots of elements, fast turns, and the 2nd half is relentless. The wind was strong this morning, so we had to fill the train each time or they couldn't dispatch. That meant marathoning whether you wanted to or not. And with the lack of sleep some were experiencing, it was almost too much. I rode on every train dispatched, but it was only with convincing on the last one. (why did I stay so late at the bar?) The ride was running good, though not quite as fast as the night before.
As soon as ERT was over we headed straight to Hurakan Condor. Have I mentioned that I loved this ride. I got two rides with almost no wait because the majority of the park population hadn't made it back this far yet. The first was on the tilting seated side (not as good as tilting-floorless), and the second was on one of the good sides
I think we rode something else on the way out of the park, but I have no idea what it was, however we did find Chilly Willy.
On to Tibidabo......
So Tibidabo is a smallish park that sits on the top of a mountain overlooking Barcelona. Let me just say that the bus ride was TERRIFYING! Big bus on narrow winding roads at fairly quick speeds. I refused to look out the windows until we got to the top. I hate mountain roads unless I'm driving.
Once to the top though, you're greeted by this impressive looking church
And this even more impressive view.....
You also can't miss the "bucket" ride as you enter the park
Yah, I'm not a huge fan of heights (as much as I love coasters) so there was no way I was going on the buckets. You basically stand up in a little caged bucket, and then it slowly lifts you to the top (like a ferris wheel). Oh except the bucket sways when it start/stops at the top. NO THANK YOU! It was one of the old rides in the park (i think circa 1930)
Many others went on though.
But I will go on this.....ghetto galaxi
It was a fun little coaster, it looked like an in-house type of thing. I couldn't believe the clearances on the sides to some of the buildings. Like inches from your left side.
Trying to find our way down to the lower levels (the park is on the side of the mountain, so there were 6 levels to it), we came across a museum of a bunch of old kinematic models. They had old arcade-type ones (like the fortune teller, and lots of early animatronics), as well as some models of rides of the park.
Working model of the coaster
Working ferris wheel and plane ride
Working "bucket ride"
And even the overall model of the park had working swings, pirate ship, and carousel.
We spent 15 minutes or so in there, and then found our way to the entrance of the "plane ride".
Basically, it was a plane attached to a crane that spun out over the side of the mountain.
*Photo courtesy of Robb*
It really looked like a real plane inside, and even used a propeller to move.
The view out the right side really made it feel like you were flying
This is Oriol, he was working the plane ride, and is a fellow Theme Park Review Member. He was really nice, and seemed quite excited to see our group there.
On to the rest of the park. They had a really good powered mine train coaster with crazy speed and turns (including the crazy long and super dark tunnel). There was a pretty good funhouse, a top-spin, log-flume, mountain-side transit ride, and lots more. I only got a couple of pics.
Drop tower/swinging ride (Don and James are on that one)
The pirate ship. Wow don't those TPRers looks so excited (Hector, Lou, Jon, Dave, and Ed in 3rd row from back)
On to lunch. We had meal tickets for a food stand in the park for 3pm (3:30? I don't remember). Well we all get there, and it's a small hotdog stand, and the park management didn't seem to inform them that we'd be there. So it was quite a cluster fudge for them to get enough hot dogs, fries, and drinks ready to feed all of us. But they managed to do a good job, and we all had food within 15-20 minutes or so. Mmmm......hot dogs.
*Photo courtesy of Robb*
After eating, a group of us decided to head on into the city. We took the funicular down the side of the mountain (thank god I didn't have to do the bus ride down). Once down, we transferred to a trolley to take us to the metro station, where we transferred yet again to get to the city center.
New metro credit
Once to the train station we'd be leaving from that night, we bought our return tickets (it was a good test of my limited Spanish knowledge). Knowing what time the last train out was, we headed for the Gaudi cathedral.
Barcelona had a neat feel, though not as historic feeling as Madrid.
It did have a lot of architecturally unique buildings though.
Larry played tour guide throughout the day, leading us around the streets to find the cathedral and pointing out other sights of interest along the way. (He was reading it from the book Mel & Rich brought...lol)
Oooh, we're getting close.
And here it is.....Sagrada Familia by Gaudi
This cathedral has been in the process of being built for the last 150 years, and still has a ways to go. The way we approached and sides were impressive.
But nowhere as impressive as the detailing on the other side.
Some closeups of some of that detail
Seriously amazing stuff. It would have been neat to do the tour, but we were short on time, and it was rather expensive.
So instead, we took a stroll around Bar-tha-lona. Yes, the Spanish lisp was very obvious here. From the way they said the city name to "Gra-thi-ath" for thank you. Much more evident than in Madrid.
Kristie spotted a Starbucks along the way, and was jonesing hard, so we stopped in (and I partook of a coffee as well as their facilities).
Another Gaudi building
And some businessmen talking in front of it.
We wandered around for another hour or so. Enjoying Larry's tour guide commentary, stopping for some fresh baked baguettes, and even wandering around a mall. (BTW, Spanish tabloids are full of nudity)
But my favorite site, a guy riding an ATV through the center of the city.
Standing around....killing time with BIG MIKE (is this enough pics yet)
No??? How bout now?
Well, time was running out, so we headed back to the train station to find our platform.
It was HOT down here
Luckily the train was nicely air conditioned. Quickly we were off along the coast back to Port Aventura
Once back, Jon, myself, and Tommy (from Finland), headed into the park to find some dinner. We walked through most of the Western section on the search for ribs and chicken. Turns out the place closed at 5pm (WTF?). So we had to settle for a burger and fries/onion ringy dingy ding-a-ling dings. If I had known that, I would have stopped at the one up front, and not walked an extra mile.
We went back to the hotel, and sat out on the patio bar yet again. We'd be leaving the resort in the morning, so it was the last night to enjoy the place. The pool was absolutely enormous, and I somehow never managed to get in it. Oh well.
Next: Day 6: Baco, Buses, Beaches, and Benidorm