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Sally's Journal
September 13th, 2004
05:02 pm


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Well, if you've read M's version of "what I did this weekend" you don't really need mine. But having spent years tayloring my diary writing style to my own amusement and having nothing better to do in this deserted house at this moment in time (those of you who were sweet enough to email me I will answer if anything interesting enough to write about happens!) you can have it anyway...

Matthew has never been to Alton Towers. Now I'm not even sure where I stand on Alton Towers, when I was little it was the Really Cool Place we didn't ever go to because my parents hated rides, when I was 17 it was my "I survived Step" treat with Sam (if you're just going to stand around and gossip all day you may as well do it in the queue for something cool) and when I was 20 it was the place you herded whinging Campus kids around when it was Far Too Hot and Busy. But M had never been, and his twin and twin-in-law-to-be are both almost as rollercoaster mad as I am, so he seemed interested in finding out if he really was missing something.

Early September weekdays are *the* best time to go. Later in the year the weather is too bad, in the summer holidays there are just Too Many People, and just before summer is a common time for big coaches full of undersupervised school children to take over. The queues were short, and there weren't even many wasps. We made the effort to be packed the night before and up hellishly early, (as if you're going to pay that much you should at least get a full day out of it if you want one, and the mornings are always less busy than the afternoons) and by a good mix of luck and judgement turned up exactly as the park opened at 9.30.

Dragged M off to the rocky mountain railroad, which coincidently seemed to be just on his upper limit of bearable rollercoasters. We then went to see the newly renovated ghost train, which... well, it was a far far better ghost train before. The idea of a ride where you go round and shoot things and can compair your score with other people is great, but they should have just built one rather than reducing what used to be a very atmospheric spookfest into a parade of blinkin lights. Decided the weather loved us enough that we could get away with the log flume (which is now sponsered by Imperial Leather and the Scary Ducks of Doom) which had a really funky full-body-dryer (like a hair dryer but you stood inside it).

I can't quite place M on the wimp-scale, as despite later rollercoaster loathings he was quite happy to go on Oblivion with me (which I remain convinced is the most petrifying ride in Alton Towers). It was as exhillerating as ever, I was high as a kite and even M was laughing when we survived. Every time I go on I can't decide if I love it or loath it, and so keep doing it again to try and make my mind up...

Anyway, then it rained on us (yes, I know I lied when I was 17, but it was 4 years ago now!) so we ran into the Towers to hide. They had a lovely chapel that has slightly marred by the GCSE-art-project-esque stained glass window and the large white box (who sponsers that anyway? Some CICCU types?) The towers themselves had been renovated in the "use as much concrete as you need to make sure it's safe and won't fall down" school, although they were advertising the fact they were just starting a big restoration project, so you can but hope. And you were allowed on the roof, and the great hall rivalled the grand Cambridge ones, so it was not all bad by a long way. Then we went on Hex, which I don't want to spoiler but which really really confused me... even as my brain sat there going "I know exactly what they're doing" my senses were screaming blue murder at them.

The rain didn't last too long, and it ment we were soggy enough to go back on all the water rides without any fears. I abandoned M for a bit to do Nemisis (which I love more than any other rollercoaster in the world) and Corkscrew, persuaded him to go on Air (which in my opinion is the tamest of the big rollercoasters, but it does start with the disorientating tilt, which didn't help matters.) I felt justified in that it didn't seem to actually make him feel ill, but as he got no pleasure out of the experience at all it probably wasn't worth the terror. We did find a great little rollercoaster hidden in the shadow of spinball whizzer - I think the attendent was quite amused at the number of 20 year olds he had going round and round and round on his little dragon, and both M and I found it fun, which was good. We took a break by seeing the ice show and luckilly the standard of the skating made up for the fact that it would have been a dire show if not performed on ice. A few more goes on our favourites and we were tired and went off to the bed and breakfast.

The general standard of the peak district three diamond B+Bs seems a bit lower than that of the southern ones (although that may just be my very small sample size) Nice enough, but a bit fussy and disorganised over breakfast, not the hottist hot water in the world, not en-suite, and a modernish place instead of an olde-worlde treat. This is what I should expect if I book accomodation for Friday on Thursday. The pub where we had dinner more than made up for it, wth sweet thai prawns, the best venison I've ever had, superb duck (I know as I stole some of M's) and dark chocolate coated mint ice cream to round up. Mmmmmmmmmmm....

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2004 09:57 am (UTC)
Of course, there are those of us who don't have emperor friended, so writing this does actually have a use.

I have also never been to Alton Towers, btw....and my opinion on Rollercoasters is moderately schizophrenic. I'm a speed freak who hates big drops.

Sounds like you had fun, anyway :-).
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2004 11:14 am (UTC)
You haven't fiended my Matthew? Sigh, you're not nearly as good at being a stalking ex-boyfriend as you could be :-)
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2004 10:20 am (UTC)
Hmmm, I hated Oblivion - dulldulldull (the ride, not the house...). But I loved Air - mostely because, it, well, takes more than 30 seconds.

The real way to see Alton Towers is to go with someone disabled... when we went Dad was on crutches (he broke his leg) but they gave him a wheelchair for the day, but better - We didn't have to queue, for anything, ever. Because apparently wheelchairs don't fit 'round the queue, so they let you in the exit. It was fun. I went again with brat and it was made a lot less fun by the endless queueing for absolutely everything...
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)
Air is all right... but... well I mean, it's a bit naff compaired to Nemisis. It's fun, but it's doesn't give you the mad rush at all. They'd make a lot more sense if Air had been built first and Nemisis was the improved Air...
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2004 11:24 am (UTC)
Awww but Air is like flying and Nemesis is like *short*... I think maybe I like the Air seats better too and that Nemesis hurt my head (getting whacked against the head restraint) so I'm biased.
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