Another early start for the longer journey to the second park and accommodation of the trip, trippsdrill. I'd recommend staying closer to this park than we did; it's in the middle of nowhere and the pretty long journey was a bit arduous before a long day on the park, especially as much of this was on winding roads with junction after junction. TopTip: You need a good map or satnav to get here; the road signs are sporadic to say the least with many junctions left for you to guess at.
Tripsdrill is properly German, with little to no concession made for non German speakers. All adds to the fun, but there were a couple of times we found ourselves entirely unable to make ourselves understood, which is of course because of own ignorance and not their fault at all. The first time this becomes apparent is using their online booking for the treehouses and wagons which is entirely in German, and even using google translate for the documents sent out I couldn't find a way to actually pay them. I emailed them requesting someone phoned me back which they and it worked out fine, but I've since noticed they can be booked on booking.com, which is probably a lot easier.
It was another term time weekday, and another largely empty park. Again I had very little expectation, knowing virtually nothing about the place. Again I loved it.
A working vineyard set in largely unspoiled rolling hills, it's something of an understatement to say the place is picturesque. The grounds are well kept with everything feeling clean, fresh and vibrant, it's the sort of place you'd be happy to be at not riding anything. The park is split into two distinct areas of old and new, with the old world being tightly knitted together surrounding the entrance with more traditional attractions, and the new area of bigger thrill rides in a separate more spacious area. This seems to work really well having both styles without them jarring against each other.
Staggered opening gives you the first hour to explore the old world before the other side opens. I gather it is designed to depict a traditional German way of life, and does so in a charming way with little automated and interactive scenes in what I presume to post humor which was entirely lost on us and our Englishness. Some of the more traditional rides like spinning barrels tranquil boats are intermingled with fun little diversions like funhouse style moving walkways. There's also the downright bizarre with the likes of the armory, an admittedly impressively huge display of old guns and weapons that you can not imagine sitting in a UK family theme park. There's a few flats too, all well run and again looking so well maintained. TopTip: No-one is going to check your restraints here, sit down and strap in as it's on you if you come flying out! Some rides are run with one op between two, who is only paying attention to the loading and off loading of the stationary ride and not the one which is actually running! I love that tbh, Germans a clearly less dumb than us Brits..
Tilting treehouses of doom
The highlight of this area for us was the wine museum and cellar, a cool dark underground bar where Tripsrill's own wine can be sampled along with a good few others from the surrounding for a couple of Euros a glass. Could have spent many hours in there hiding from the 100 degree plus heat outside, it's so nice finding somewhere so genuine in the fake world of theme parks, and we spent longer in there than we probably should have! The elderly man behind the bar was so helpful and clearly very knowledgeable of the wines, we had a great time with him trying to converse in his very broken English and he seemed to love trying. Oh, and the wine glass is free and to keep! TopTip: Even if you're not a drinker pop in with your park ticket and collect your glass. Free merch!
Over to the 'modern' side and first up was unfortunately one of only a couple of disappointments of the whole trip. Mammut is wood. I like wood. I like wood a lot. So inevitably it was what I was hoping to be the highlights of the park, but it is anything but. Slow, dull and uninspiring, it rattles along in an annoyingly pointless way achieving very little. It looks like it's a decent size and and has points which look like they are there to provide some airtime, but the speed it goes round none of it amounts to much.
We rode a few times, front and back and hoping it would warm up later in the day, but no. 4/10
On to their newest coaster, I didn't too expect much from Karacho based mostly on me not being much of a fan of the other original Infinity coaster The Smiler. This is such a better coaster than that; glass smooth track, fun little indoor section, powerful rolling launch, interesting varied layout with some great moments climaxing in a two suburb inversions with the dive into and roll out of the tunnel, all in the extreme comfort of those lapbars in the stylish trains. It's just sooo much fun, everything the Smiler isn't. I know they are not trying to achieve the same thing but this being the same type built by the same people at the same time shows how much better you can do by not chasing gimmicks and building something good and solid instead.
Look, I told you it was pretty.
I rode many times and didn't even begin to get bored of it. I also got bonus bit of geekery when they swapped a train over just as I was boarding, seeing the transfer track disappear into the false wall of the far side of the station and watch the poor staff push the trains back and forth as this track isn't powered.
Actually Smile. Always.
I like Rage a lot, but why our other (read Merlin) Geursts are so poor in comparison I do not know. It's a shame. Karacho was another massive hit for me on this trip. 8.5/10
One of these is enjoying it less than the others
Also over this side are some really fab rapids, with a much better lift and loading system than we have over here, decent length and a good amount of rough water and wetness in strange bendy boats which feel disconcertingly top heavy. Probably one of the better rapids I've ever been on, 8/10. A good mouse/bobsleigh type affair interacts with a brilliant flume including a backwards section and an unexpected nude spa float through. Mental. The flume was the only ride to hold a proper queue all day, I can only asume it's those kids wanting a titillating glimpse of latex nipple.
Overall we had a wonderful day. It's not perfect, but then nowhere is. I'd hate for the place to lose its German-ness, but I don't think that would be spoiled by some English and French on the museum type exhibits which line the queue lines, their splashbattle type affair is useless, and we weren't allowed on a couple of the kids rides (boo) and the park map isn't up to much. But I was smitten with the place, I implore you to go if you get the opportunity.
A short stroll in the evening sun back to the wildlife park to us to our slightly unusual accommodation for the night...