Though it was of course entirely worth it, that later night at Energylandia didn’t end up doing us any favours. After all the previous traffic tragedies, Poland really took things to another level by leaving us stuck at the tail end of a motorway accident until 3am as we attempted to make headway to the German border, in a queue so bad that even the recovery truck couldn’t get through due to poor ‘parking’, people leaving their cars and/or falling asleep at the wheel.
Day 16 – Erlebniswelt Seilbahnen Thale
The original plan of an early start the next day was of course abandoned after that travesty and so we needed to settle on a much more relaxed itinerary to accompany the crossing of Germany. This resulted in visiting just one humble collection of Wiegand equipment, set of course against a wonderful backdrop.
The town of Thale is situated in a part of Germany that has a strong association with witches and other fun devilment.
They have some big mountains, devils on benches, senior citizens yodelling
and of course rides.
All of the equipment here is self-operated in true German fashion, you can load up a card with points at a ticket desk and use it as contactless payment to trigger the despatch of any ride at the push of a button.
#1 Boderitt is one of Wiegand’s rarer Mystical Hex models, in this case with cool looking cauldron cars. For being such an open vehicle it was rather scary in the backwards facing seat as it swung rather enthusiastically from side to side and left me unable to prepare myself for anything. Backwards is good.
The place is also home to their prototype suspended design and first of their rides to be called #2 Hexenbesen or ‘witches broom’, of course in homage to the region.
It’s a wacky contraption that involves solo riders laying on a crash mat inside a tube, again pushing the dispatch button yourself and ‘flying’ your way down to the bottom of the layout.
Where you unceremoniously have to slide out backwards and clear the area before the car can take itself back up the lift hill. Fascinating, and great fun.
Away from all that are the cable cars with alternate bonus glass floors that are scratched and pointless.
They take you up to the top of the mountain to find one more piece of Wiegand wares.
And more witches.
Getting back on the old dual rail style felt like a bit of a downgrade after recent experiences. #3 Harzbob is also a bit of a short and unremarkable version of the hardware, but it’s all part of the adventure. Also helped that it was open.
That’s pretty much it for yet another transit day. Germany became the latest in a long line of countries that didn’t really want us to get anywhere in any hurry and, having crossed the entire width of the country, it was time to make camp in a particularly populous region of theme parks, old and new.