Europe 08/21 – Azur Park, Lunapark Fréjus + Antibes Land
Today marked the end of our, give or take, 10 days in France. Unfortunately though we wouldn’t be able to give the country the send off it had earned, thanks to there being very little to do, park wise, in the area. It was therefore decided that we’d spend the day sight seeing before visiting the final 3 Summer Funfairs when they opened later in the evening.
For the sight seeing we visited a gorge, which despite previous hesitations, I really did find myself enjoying.
In what felt like no time at all, it was time to leave the stunning scenery behind and begin the final Summer Funfair crawl of the trip.
First up was a “park” I won’t forget in a hurry, but mostly for the wrong reasons.
We arrived at Azur Park for opening and 2 things became immediately apparent, the coaster line up had changed (from my research) and almost nothing looked like it was ready to open…
So we decided to do a lap of the park.
In the area previously home to what I spent the entire trip calling the single rail Wild Mouse, was something even more exciting, Le King. King as far as I’m aware is royalty on the French touring scene and I was so excited that I was going to get to ride it, when they actually decide to open it that is.
Around 15 minutes after the park opened, several, mostly smaller rides, began to test.
After another 10 minutes or so they opened the Wacky Worm. Much like Chenille from earlier in the trip, there was most certainly something wrong with this Worm, it was barely moving and almost stalled on each of our 3 laps.
And now we play the waiting game…
We spent the next 20 – 30 minutes bouncing between Le King and Le Crazy Mouse, watching them both not being open, until…
Finally the spinner opened and my God were the operators not pleased to take our money and welcome us on board. Maybe they were just bitter because this was one of the weakest spinning mice that I’ve ridden.
Now all that was left to do was camp outside Le King.
After another frustating 15 minutes the operators appeared from out of nowhere and slowly began getting things ready.
As soon as the shutter to buy tickets opened we were there money in hand ready to finally take our seats and get this over with, but no…
After we purchased our tickets they let us onto the train, where they left us sitting for another 15 minutes…
Finally though, only an hour and half late, it was time to experience Le King.
How was it? I’m not sure.
I equal parts like and dislike this travelling monster.
On one hand, it’s a Soquet, it’s fast, it’s intense and it’s visually pretty cool. On the other, it’s brutally rough and the restraints are evil. I really think I need to re-ride it with a fresh mind and body to truly form a worth while opinion of it, but for now I’m just happy to be able to say that I’ve ridden Le King.
And that was Azur Park and we were now running late and wouldn’t have time for pizza anymore…
Next up was Lunapark Fréjus.
Which was home to a much better spinning mouse.
And the only operating Top Fun Typhoon in the World. I’d been intrigued about Magic Mountain from the moment I first saw a photo of its janky looking checkered inclined loop and it’s fair to say the coaster lived up to this assumption. It was rough, rattly and poorly transitioned but in the kind of way that’s more funny than offensive.
Up next was another super rare coaster.
Tokaido Express is one of only 2 operating (3 exisiting) Mack Blauer Enzian Version 1s in the World and I thought it was great fun. This thing hauls way faster than modern versions of the layout and that coupled with no restraints and the ghetto seating position made for an exciting experience.
The final coaster of Lunapark Fréjus was Train Gourmand and we’d have to really put in effort if we wanted to ride it.
Do you remember the Wacky Worm from Parc d’Attractions Marseillan-Plage? The one that was a massive headache to ride but I promised that a funfair later in the trip tops it? Well this is it…
Instead of being able to buy jutons (tokens) to ride Train Gourmand at a cash box at the attraction, you had to purchase them elsewhere. Where was this elsewhere? Well after several laps of the bustling funfair, getting lost and accidently ending up in restricted areas, we finally found out, from the main cash desks at the entrance to the fair, in other words, nowhere near the coaster…
This still seems utterly pointless to me and I’ve no doubt many riders wouldn’t go to that effort and thus money would be lost, but what do I know…
Yeah, the dreams of a pizza are long gone now.
The final Summer Funfair of the night, and the trip, was Antibes Land.
First up was Wild Mouse, a fully refurbished and smooth as silk Mack wild Mouse that rode great.
Next up was Turtle’s Coaster, an EOS spinning coaster that rode 100 times better than the one at Gulliver’s Milton Keynes used to but was still terrible. It did look nice though.
It almost felt fitting to end our series of Summer Funfair runs on a Wacky Worm, I dread to think how many I’ve added to my count thanks to these fairs.
Almost 1am now, still haven’t eaten, 6 Croque McDos? Yes.
Tomorrow we’d be going on an epic roadtrip through various countries in order to reach Austria before it got too late.
Heartline had discovered there was a massive trackless dark ride themed to chocolate at the Swiss museum of transport. So, while eating our McDos we booked our slot to ride and then planned when we wanted to wake up. Not too early as it’s almost 1:30 now, but with more than enough time to make our time slot. Yes, that sounds good, we might even need to find something to do in Switzerland to kill time before our slot, if only we knew…
We got a decent amount of sleep and then jumped in the car with a strong buffer period for any issues on the way.
First up we flew through Monaco, just to say we’d been. Despite what I’d been told about the place, this was the only “country” today that we didn’t face any hold ups in.
Then it was into Italy where far too much time was lost thanks to motorway traffic and endless roadworks.
Finally though we were able to escape the hold ups of Italy and enter Switzerland still with enough time to spare. Only for it to all be wasted to more motorway traffic and even more roadworks. At one point we were stationary for over half an hour on approach to a tunnel and this wouldn’t even be the worst tunnel related incident we’d witness today. See I told you the roads were out to get us and this is far from the worst example we saw on the trip, that’s coming, get excited.
The sat nav told us that we’d arrived 20 minutes after our booked slot, which was the last slot of the day. Knowing the museum stayed open for another couple of hours after this, we phoned to ask if they would honour our slot, but no, we’d need to pop in to get a refund or tickets to return…
We opted for the tickets to return and then decided we didn’t come all this way for nothing, so let’s do a spot of sight seeing in Lucerne.
Despite how I should feel given the circumstances, I cannot deny that’s one hell of a view.
Thanks to missing our time slot for the museum, then doing a couple of hours sight seeing, we were now way behind schudule on arriving in Austria at a sensible time. How bad can it be though? Checks sat nav. Yeah that’s not too bad, we should still be able to get a decent enough sleep tonight. Can you guess what happened next?
More roadworks, more traffic, more hold ups and the teased tunnel incident from earlier.
We were around an hour away from our hotel, still looking like we’d arrive at a semi sensible time, then it happened.
The 5th longest road tunnel in the World, the Gotthard Road Tunnel, was operating 1 lane only, due to, you guessed it, roadworks. We waited almost an hour for our turn to drive through this stupid hole in the mountains, turning our promised decent enough sleep into something stupid like 5 hours.
It was a shame really because the hotel was stunning, but never mind, I was still buzzing, the trip was about to enter phase 3, finally getting to visit parks that Heartline had visited and I was dying to see.
With that being said, thank you for reading, please click here for day 12 of my trip report where we visit the charming Freizeitpark Familienland and the wonderful Fantasiana.