So Day Zero was spent getting up at a reasonable time and then hanging around in the lobby meeting everybody arriving, including Jon and Kyle, who I had known online forever and who annoyingly were late.
Having finally met most of the group, I headed up to the pool with Jon and Kyle for a bit, then a few of us wandered down the street to "Spanish WalMart" to pick up some bits and pieces... Mostly for Jon as he had no luggage. Late afternoon about 25 of us headed over to Parque de Attracciones, which was MUCH fun and involved us "breaking" the first coaster of the trip. I took almost no pictures at the park this day so I won't bother doing my review right now, I'll save it for Day Two when we actually returned for a longer period... And I probably still didn't take many pictures. Anyway, enough rambling.
Having gotten used to seeing Robb every six weeks or so for a while when he was in the UK working, it was weird having not seen him for four months! Hence why I'm smiling. Either that or else it's because I was helping collect money from people, and I'm always happy when people give me cash.
Condor. Not sure why the horrific face, I was probably being groped.
Dave, Carl, Jay and Elz on "El It's A Small Worldo". Biggest rip-off ever. Well, apart from Korean Indy, but that's for later.
Chris and I. "Awwww" at our reunion!
I have no recollection of what we did that evening, probably just chilled in the nice hotel bar for a while, as we had an EARLY start the next day...
Day One - Isla Magica
I had already been surprised by the high standard set at Parque de Attracciones the previous day, but Isla Magica kinda exceeded it. Only two coasters (is that really right?? I was sure there were at least three, but rcdb only has the two current and one under construction listed...), but a decent selection of other rides, none of which were *amazing*, but most had their own value, and the park was really quite beautiful. The Spanish really do like their landscaping, and the fountains and lake and theming were really quite impressive. They even had a piece of the Berlin Wall!
Jaguar was an SLC... meh... With a BONUS HELIX!! Such an exciting addition... that nobody really cared about. No matter how much I try and turtle myself I always get the poo-poo kicked out of me on SLCs, so I had the minor bruising, but it wasn't too brutal. Not special enough to warrant a re-ride.
The park also had a random family coaster with was fun enough, but did NOT warrant the 45+ minutes we waited for it, though we did have a laugh in the line, as we were all in that getting-to-know-you stage and chatting. This was the day that the now-famous "Panthers" really formed, a group which I'm proud to be an honourary member of!
As for the other rides, the park had a Maurer Sohne drop tower (proud that I know the manufacturer, anybody?!) which ran a different programme every hour, ranging from an observation mode (LOL to any of us who got stuck with that one unknowingly) to what I think they called a "Double Yoyo". We rode twice, once on medium and once on high programme, and it was actually pretty fun. The building you drop into is hexagonal and damn close to your feet, they have a "nobody over 6'3" in the end seats" rule for a reason on that thing. The splashdown boat was a good one and much welcomed on that day as it was another really hot one, got us nice and soaked in the morning (thank you Miles for being bag lady!), and there was a nice speedy Disk-o which thankfully didn't make Jon sick. Halfway through the afternoon, Kyle, Ed and myself decided to go and play in the fountains, resulting in all three of us getting soaked to the skin. I mean, DRENCHED. Felt great at the time but Ed and I were regretting it when our arses were still wet four hours later at the train station.
The only other thing springing to mind as worth writing about was the Flintstones/Indy/messed up obstacle-passing ride, which really has to be seen to be believed. I have no idea how to define it except to describe it as an outdoor dark ride with indoor sections, and the idea is that your car (which looks like a Flintstones car) has to pass through/by ten obstacles in order to get to... heaven/the buffet/insert answer of your choice here. The ride only opened late in the afternoon and we were leaving before closing, so there were a bunch of us sitting waiting for it to open, and it did not disappoint, becoming one of the WTF rides of the trip, despite me only being able to count 7 obstacles and being completely confused as to what the other 3 were, unless sets of doors counted.
Chris and I are NOT happy to be on a bus on the way to the train station at 5 in the morning... Though at least we actually MADE the bus on time... *cough*Steve Rob Trev*cough*
At Madrid train station waiting for our AVE train to Seville. Poor hippo has no idea of the molestation that awaits him on the train (see Kyle's trip report).
Me, Kyle, Jon and Miles on the train. Seriously, Jon's face cracks me up EVERY time I see this. He looks like he's about to cry, and it's just hysterical to me. I need to have it blown up and put on a T-shirt.
I swear the Panthers were drawn together by a common fudged-up sense of humour.
Lovely Miles made four attempts at this photo with my camera before any of us paid any attention. Thanks Miles!
Kristie seems to be having fun!
And so am I, I think!
On the weird Flintstones ride. I guess this was the Day of Horrible Unphotogenicness!!
And I leave you with this atrocity of photography, which was me trying to take a nice picture of a bridge, without realising that a) it was way out of focus, and b) there were sodding stickers on the glass.