I definitely enjoy the European style of amusement parks: unlike the Russian ones, they are huge, have a theme and ask only for an entrance fee – all the rides inside are free. Europa Park is a stereotypical image of Europe and its cute gingerbread houses of Germany, Italian palaces and simple, made of timber huts of the North.
The park is divided into zones which correspond to different European countries. Inside a zone, all the buildings represent a “typical” style of this country – total joy for someone who loves roaming in different cities. For example, see the Italian part:
Grungy and artificially old Greek houses:
Iceland’s fishermen village:
It is a bit strange that Russia is present in this park, unlike Eastern European countries (hmm… probably related to the Gazprom sponsored roller coaster).
And here is the roller coaster itself. Most of the rides in this park are roller coasters, but each of them has some specialty to offer. This one will catapult you into the sky instead of a slow and steady ascension followed by a fall from the height:
Another roller coaster is made completely out of wood. During a ride it sways a bit, and your trolley shakes from side to side – extreme feelings in 3D:
The most popular rides attract kilometer-long queues – one might have to wait for 40 minutes or even up to 1.5 hours. We were relatively lucky: there were not so many people in the park in the end of September as in the middle of summer, and we did not have to wait for any ride longer than an hour =) So if you want to try out all the attractions, you better come here early in the morning!
By the way, queues are somewhat interesting as well: you will never see your line in whole. It will bend around the buildings, go through them and come outside again. Otherwise no one would be willing to queue: even though the line moves fast, you have to wait for quite a while… To not be horribly bored while waiting, there are smaller attractions on the way of the line: different statues, trivia questions, and, of course, ads:
This is what totally got us:
This roller coaster in a shape of the “Mir” space station is actually quite mediocre, but the soundtrack which they endlessly repeat inside is just amazingly sick. Here, see for yourself and imagine you have to listen to this for half an hour of waiting:
Apart from the roller coasters, the park has some fun water rides. They are not so scary but imply getting wet to some extent. At the exit of each of them you will find lamps to get yourself warm and dry again.
Halloween is coming – the park is full of skeleton and spider statues, but also pumpkins:
That is it! I think it is needless to say that by the end of the day I walked out of the park absolutely and unconditionally happy =) Here is some more pictures: