Monday, August 08, 2005

Dungeons, Outlaws and Death-Defying Stuff

Mare came to visit me on Saturday morning, flying in from Glasgow to the East Midlands airport. Which by the way lets you park for free for 30 minutes if you put the right ticket in the machine in the way out.

Anyway in a toss-up between going to Leicester and Nottingham we initially chose Nottingham and went into the Nottingham caves which go beneath the city and have a couple of "actors" pretending to be an incredibly grumpy underground tanner and a WW2 air-warden. And you get a funky helmet to wear for the duration, which is good otherwise I'd stand an extra foot tall with the lump I'd have got from banging my head on the cave roofs.

Then we went to The Tales of Robin Hood, which is where I got the offending green hat (something of a recurring theme that day). That's one of these multimedia places where they put you on a slow moving ride where waxworks are meant to jump out and scare you. Only problem was rather than being an engaging experience it was more of a cacophony of sounds and voices as you could hear what was going on 3 exhibits/waxworks ahead of you mixed in with what you were actually supposed to be hearing. Still it was fun, even if there was no real historic content.

Sunday was the big day we went to Alton Towers. It was a reasonably long drive, further than EMA apparently, and slowed down to a crawl as we approached the village of Alton (population 3,000, all theme park haters no doubt).

The fast-track ticket is £5 and lets you skip the queue on Oblivion, Air, Flume and Nemesis once. It sounds like a con, since admission costs £29 in itself, but the queues for Nemesis can be up to 90 minutes. So we recommend the Fast-Track ticket, or "skippin' queue" as a bunch of Glasweigans on our train-cart kept saying in a suspiciously have-you-seen-the-muffin-man way as the kept running up to the window and going "Can you see the skippin' queue?" "The skippin' queue?" "Look at the skippin' queue".

Anyway, some of the rides we went on:-

Oblivion, our first ride, which is a sudden drop down a dark, dark, dark pit. Which is very dark. And a bit scary.

Corkscrew, nuff said really. Bring a pillow for your neck.

Air, flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

Nemesis, which Mare discovered is a poor choice to go on straight after lunch.

Duel - my personal favourite, where you shoot the ghosts in the Haunted House. Sadly after the aforementioned Nemesis Mare didn't want to go on any moving rides.

Hex - slightly terrifying given how poorly strapped in I was, we were expecting a relatively dull haunted house.

Still didn't seem along enough to see everything, but we were incredibly tired (and wet after flume as the Photoblog will testify). A return expedition is planned to Alton Towers for around October before it closes, and the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned! I'm also waiting for the park to send me a photo of us on the Nemesis to come through, though there's a pretty cool one of us pre-soaking on Flume which should be hanging off Mare's fridge beforel long. Much fun!


Anonymous said...

Best ride in the entire place: Air. Even if Stu had his eyes shut the entire time.

I also recommend the 'Skippin Queue' pass... although I did feel reeeaaallly guilty marching past these poor (or stingy) folk who hadn't shelled out the £5, and thus had been standing in a never-ending line for over an hour.

Stuart said...

I only had my eyes shut for doing 360 degree turns. I just don't like being upside down and looking down at the ground.

Anonymous said...

How does the skipping queue pass work then? Do you just get put in a different (hopefully shorter) queue for all those who've paid an extra £5, or do you literally shove past everyone and make your way to the front?

Stuart said...

Shorter queue that usually involves a non-stop walk past the massive plebian queue.

Anonymous said...

Ah. Maybe they could have a third queue for those too impatient to wait in the 'pay-£5-extra' queue. You pay an extra £10, and get to skip past the cheapskates who only paid the extra £5.