Denmark + Sweden 08/15 – Bakken
The trip began with our arrival in Copenhagen, upon which we headed straight for the border and a train that would take us to Malmö in neighbouring Sweden. It actually worked out cheaper to stay at a super nice hotel here for the duration of the trip and commute every day back into Denmark than it would have been to sleep in the capital.
The train takes you over the Öresund bridge which spans a huge stretch of water between the two countries.
Once in Malmö we whiled away the rest of the flight day checking out some local architecture.
The Turning Torso holds the claim of tallest building in Scandinavia, with it’s unusual twisted design.
I believe this was the exterior of a mall. Reminds me of a generic Windows background for a PC.
Next we have a U.F.O.
And lastly something more traditional and European looking. Good variety.
For our first day over in Denmark, we took another train out beyond Copenhagen to Klampenborg and after a stroll through a forest, avoiding much horse dung, arrived at the world’s oldest operating amusement park.
The first coaster that greets you with a glimpse through the trees even before you set foot in the park, is the Intamin family coaster. After grabbing a ride wristband, I walked straight onto it. There was almost no one around at this time of the morning.
The ride packs a surprising punch if you sit anywhere towards the back of the train. Upon cresting the lift hill, the momentum of the front cars hurl the remainder into a sudden steep and twisted drop with far more force than you’d expect from a ‘family’ ride. It’s a very smooth experience, with some strong cornering and close interaction with the surrounding environments, both natural and artificial. A solid coaster that’s well worth the visit.
The quietness of the morning gave the park a slightly subdued atmosphere. Many of the staff seemingly didn’t want to be working at this time of day, making getting onto some of the rides a chore and there were also a lot of older locals sitting around the various outdoor restaurants that litter the place, throwing out what appeared to be evil stares at anyone who walked by. Hey, I’m just trying to have a good time over here.
The park’s signature wooden coaster used to be a classic, using trains that were operated by a brakeman. Sadly they have since replaced this with modern automatic braking systems that are scattered throughout the layout, removing much of the charm in the process.
I didn’t actually know any of this at the time of riding however, but it was still a very poor experience. At each point that the train wants to enter a drop, the brakes hiss and tug away at it, sapping all the momentum from the ride before it can get going again. In spite of this lack of speed, the track was rough to the point of giving me a headache and the ride was a total disappointment in every aspect. You’d hope a park with such a strong claim to longevity would take pride in their heritage.
As far as modern disappointments go, this Intamin spinning coaster sits just opposite. Though it’s entirely unique, looks impressive and the prospect of a ‘launched lift’ bringing instant energy into the tiny layout sounds exciting, the design is simply very poor.
The cars have these inwards facing seats, which you’d think would be great for watching other rider’s reactions as they are spun wildly around a dizzying layout. In reality, you just get to watch them get punched hard in the neck by the awful restraints and then spend the rest of the duration complaining about that while zero spinning occurs.
The reason this happens is the lift hill itself, using an unusual double chain that wrenches the car quickly and uncomfortably up an awkwardly steep slope into a flat S-bend. There’s nowhere for anything but your head to go with the lateral force that this sequence produces and pain is inevitable, unless you’re extremely well braced for it.
I gave it a few attempts just to be sure, but there’s no pay-off to being prepared anyway, the rest of the track always failed to induce any rotation in the car and it just navigates a few banked corners through metal sheds while I wondered what went wrong?
A far better coaster is the tiny Zierer Tivoli that we managed to squeeze into for a couple of laps. For some reason the tyre lift hill on Mariehønen was slipping wildly and managing to hold the train at an angle for several seconds before entering the layout. It appeared like the operator was making it do this on purpose and if so, fair play for trying to make it more fun.
It started to rain at this point and a wet lap on the Mack wild mouse was somewhat enjoyable, punchy in all the right places and some amusingly harsh braking.
As it got heavier, I boarded the final coaster in the park. Racing is an unusual Zierer ride that was once a travelling fairground attraction. The single seater cars take a few awkward curved drops at low speeds and not a whole lot happens.
In terms of other attractions, the most significant we tried was an old ghost train named Spøgelsestoget. Though the design on the front of the cars amused me, the ride otherwise failed to entertain us. A good number of things here seem rather poorly presented and not particularly well looked after.
Not the strongest of starts then. What was supposed to be a charming old park gave me very little reason to like it and this hobby seems to be turning me into a miserable old man already. Luckily a few more laps on Mine Train Ulven managed to lift spirits before departing.
Should have stuck to architecture.