Europe 08/20 – Freizeitpark Plohn
I hit the highest speed I’ve ever done in a car on the way to this park on my previous visit – a sweet 222kph (138mph) in some poxy sporty Renault hire car thing that I didn’t like very much. I set out on this trip with the intention of besting that and it finally happened on almost the same stretch of road – a scary 236kph (146mph), most satisfyingly, in my own vehicle. Autobahns are the best.
Amusingly the packaging for the GB magnet we slapped on the boot claimed it was only rated up to 130, but it held on like a true survivor.
I’m happy with the result, it’s a decent step up but it’s also nice to say that I’ve still been faster on a rollercoaster and I don’t really want to beat that again now unless it’s in a very significant manner (waiting on my company M5).
You know I said I wasn’t overly keen on returning to Tripsdrill? Well I least I haven’t been cursing their very name for many years now. I have for Plohn. The park put me in such a mood last time with their 19th century entrance facilities and shambolic operations but they had to go and get a Mack Big Dipper didn’t they.
Day 5 – Freizeitpark Plohn
And that’s where we shall begin. Their new coaster has been built on the site of former coaster Silver Mine, even sharing the same entrance as before and credit to them, there’s lots of little relics of the old ride kicking around to build a bit of history – pieces of track, signs and props. I appreciate that stuff, even though it used to be a totally unremarkable attraction.
Where the old meets new in the queue, there’s this guy animatedly waffling on about Dynamite and not far beyond that is the station, where a staff member was rocking a Mack rides t-shirt. Good man.
I leapt straight into my comfy winged bucket seat – I’ve been eager for the world to have more of these ever since Lost Gravity existed.
Being a dive drop, the start isn’t quite as vicious as it’s forebearer but it has a certain snap to it and you’re immediately thrust into a surprise, 2ft high, speed hill in a shed, which is brilliant. It whipped the face covering off my left ear every single lap without fail.
The train fires out of that into a weird top hat thing – again, I would have liked it a bit more violent. This is followed by an intense turn back through the shed before violence is restored with a tiny, shouty twisted airtime hill.
Loop de loop and Zero-G and aww, it’s over. I loved Dynamite far more than I had expected to, but it is just as short as I had anticipated and that is inevitably a bit of a downer. Just means you have to ride it more I guess. Fantastic investment for the park.
But that’s not all that’s new, oh no. SBF ‘3 loop’ spinner with a couple of dragon statues? Yes please.
Also the longest queue of the day. Ouch.
One of us needed the cred, so this became my second ever re-ride on a Wacky Worm (and proud) following the one in Great Yarmouth. This was greatly enhanced by a radio in the station that was playing German country music with a gravelly voiced man who was singing his heart out and had clearly experienced a lot of pain in his life. The parallel was comedy gold.
My guilty pleasure from the previous visit was the all indoor powered mine train which is amazingly themed and does the first lap in slow motion to let you soak it all in before cranking it up a few notches for two more. No one screamed this time either, so it was even better.
It’s one of the newest installations of these and it seems the world doesn’t really want to build them any more, which is a shame considering the potential this particular example demonstrates.
The other star attraction which now compliments Dynamite nicely is of course the woodie, the wrong El Toro.
It was just as good as I remembered it being. An aggressive, fast paced ride packed full of little airtime pops that bounce you out of your seat every few seconds – something GCI seems to only be able to deliver on 50% of their builds, for reasons that still evade me. This is why we can’t have nice things.
I’m going to build on the tradition of posting a picture of a goat every time I visit this park which, you know, hopefully never again.
Obviously I liked the place more this time. They’ve entered the 21st century with online ticketing and they’ve doubled their count of kick-ass coasters. The operations were less offensive, though still questionable. It’s a very… easy going/unprofessional atmosphere when they’re checking their Whatsapp in the middle of operating a major ride or simply wandering off to have a chat, leaving nobody paying attention or remotely near an E-stop. The sort of attitude you wish everywhere could have, until it goes wrong of course.
Luckily nothing had gone wrong for us so far. I was now teetering on 4-figure cred territory and it was time to drive to Poland.
I don’t want to be one of those guys who blames the sat nav for everything, but stories have to be told. We had read something on UK government advice about how terribly dangerous the roads in Poland are – they’re made of old bones and everyone who gets in a car dies, the usual propaganda. For the first couple of hours on motorway it was smooth as anything, there were regular billboards advertising Zadra to scream at and I was enjoying the second fastest country in Europe.
Upon leaving the motorway we apparently had another 30 minutes to go. This seemed a little off as, in my head, I had booked a hotel that was ‘just off’ the main road. Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough and there’s no exit nearby or maybe booking.com is being an arse with the map again. Oh well.
As we delved deeper into smaller and smaller villages that started to look like they’d belong next to Plohn, it started to seem less and less likely. It’ll be just round this corner, it’ll be just over that hill. We’ve stayed in weirder places.
You have arrived at your destination.
We were getting funny looks from villagers and there ain’t no hotel here, so I kept driving. The road suddenly became exactly as described by the government and as we opened our mouths to make a joke about this, it immediately got 10 times worse. It came out of nowhere and I hit it far too fast. I was winded with laughter as a result. This country road is made of cobblestones and if I do any more than 20Mph over this we’re going to explode. You know those Top Gear challenges where they’re driving hundreds of miles on rough tracks, shouting in pain and bits of the car falling off every other mile. That.
Google had stepped in to get us out of this emergency and we were a long way from home (well, exactly 30 minutes back to where I thought we should have been). The quality of the road managed to break Google for the remainder of the trip as the satellites were never quite in alignment again.
Fortunately we didn’t die. We saw no other cars apart from another Brit who also seemed lost – I think they took a wrong turn in front of us and might still be there now. We saw lots of old bicycles and got to witness the more colourful side of rural Polish life so, you know, culture.
The hotel was like a beautiful stately home on the outside, modern and professional on the inside, once we actually found it, so that was a relief. My car was now making a resonant rattling sound that it had never done before, but we checked under the bonnet for fire and the noise was gone by the following morning.