Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 59: Tropical Islands (Venice)

Hallo! Venice here! In this post I’m going to tell you about our trip to tropical islands!

We started our day by running to the tram station. The M1 was taking forever to get there, so we took an M12 instead. We had to change course to accommodate for the M12, so we got lost and took several wrong trains until finally getting to the correct place. We bought tickets for the R train, and realised that it would be way warmer below the station at the U-bahn stop. Down below we got a snack, because we wanted to be able to swim right away when we got there, and so we didn’t have to eat twice while we were there. After a bit of eating and waiting we headed back to our platform, platform 10 (not 9 and ¾, but I wish it was!). We avoided smokers in our quest to stay in the sunlight while waiting in the those final minutes for the train to come. 

The Dome from behind the bus'
window screen (Photo by Xander)
When it did we saw that it was 2 decks tall, so we headed up the stairs and got to ride up top! Because we were at the top, the train rocked a bit, but not so much that we went downstairs. In the last couple of minutes of the ride, we saw glimpses of the dome that held the water park. It used to be an airport hanger. If you can imagine a giant pill sized dome that could hold the Statue of Liberty up right then you have a good image of how big it was. Eventually we got to our stop and headed out of the train.

When we got off the platform, we saw a bus that said “Tropical Islands” on it, and we boarded it. As we rode, we stopped at various campgrounds and buildings to pick up people who were camping outside of the dome. We also got to watch a mini movie about the resort. They played elevator-ish music while we rode and one of the songs sounded like “How Bizzare” by OMC, but without the lyrics. Eventually the bus arrived at the dome and we all got out. 

When we got in, all I could do was look up. The place was huge! It even had hot air balloons that you could go up in, (for an extra price). After some confusion, we got in line and bought our tickets for the “Tropical Islands” part of the park. You could also go into the sauna area, but we didn’t want to go there. They gave us wristbands with a white metal chip in the middle. These wristbands opened and closed our lockers and let us pay for food and drinks. We headed to our lockers. Mine was #8555. My locker took a while to open, it was a stubborn one! Eventually I got it to work and we headed to the changing rooms, or so we thought. It took us awhile (i.e., a bunch of going back and forth) to find the changing rooms, and guess what? They were 50 feet from our lockers the whole time! 

The two hot air balloons. The green one is tethered. The white one allows you to go
back and forth throughout the dome (pulled by a man in a harness!)
(photos by Chris)

We then went to the bathrooms and mom told us about how the germans showered before going in the water. Most pools require this, but here it didn’t seem mandatory, everyone just knew to do it. Before I could shower, however, I wanted to get a swim cap so my dyed hair didn’t leak colour everywhere. We went to “Surfers Paradise”. I got a dark blue swim cap with tiny octopi on it. It is super cute! We then went to the lagoon (we forgot to shower, oh well) and it turned out that Xander forgot his goggles in the locker room. So he and dad went and got them while mom and I tried the slides. There were two, and they had mini stop lights that told you when to go. Mom and I tried the slide on the right, it went super slow. I had to push myself to get down.

Eventually, Xander and dad came back and we showed them the slides. Sander, dad, and I went down the left on this time. This one was dark and had crazy lights inside. I had to push myself on this one too. After I got down, I waited for xander to come. When he got down, he was scared. He had to push himself down and he was worried that he was going to get hit by dad coming after him. The stop lights don’t work with motion sensors, they just have a time limit. If someone gets stuck they might get hit by the next slider. After Xander came dad and we decided that these slides were no fun, so we went to the other side of the lagoon and found a mini lazy river and waterfalls! We swam under them and around them. Eventually, we decided to try and find the big slides.

The Slide Tower behind the beach (Photo by Chris)
We got out of the pool/lagoon and walked up to the mini slides. Next to them was a underground tunnel. This tunnel went through the rainforest (you had to pay more to go there, see a pattern?) and at the other end was the fake sea/ocean! It had a mini island in the middle and a pirate ship that little kids could play on. It had mini yellow slides, a dock, and a bunch of sand everywhere. We walked by, knowing we could come back later. We wanted to go to the big slides.
We could see the slide tower from the beach. It was very very tall! After a bit of wandering, we found our way there. There were 4 slides, a red, a green, a yellow, and a blue. The blue slide was at the top of the stairs and it made you go 70kph! But you had to be 15 years or older to ride, so Xander and I didn’t get to try. Mom and dad had no interest in sliding on it either.

We decided to try the red slide first. It was above the green and below the yellow and red. this was the only inner tube slide they had. The inner tubes weighed a ton! They were all red, except for one blue one, which we saw only once. We waited, not too long, and got to ride down. It went way faster than the two slides at the lagoon. I got turned around, but, right before the end, the slide made me go straight again. After me, Xander, mom and dad came down. At one point, I saw a guy go down and he fell out of his tube. But he was ok in the end.

Then we decided to try the yellow slide. This slide had a longer line. At first, the line only seemed to grow, it didn’t move at all. After a little bit, it started to move and we saw that a couple of kids were cutting us multiple times. I think their mom was at the top and saving them a spot. Eventually, they left and we got a turn. We had waited over 30 minutes to ride and it was the most anticlimactic thing that day. We had to push ourselves down this slide, but at the end we got to go a little fast. We did not ride this slide again.
Photo by Chris

After that, we rode the green slide. This one let you go down with up to 6 people at a time! It was wide, but short. It made you go super fast and we went on this slide over 10 times. There are 3 ratings of slides at the park; blue, red, and black. The yellow, red, and lagoon slides were all blue, for mellow. The green slide was a red, for medium, and the blue slide was a black, for extreme. The green let you do tricks on it. It seemed to have no rules against us riding in funny ways and the life guards seemed pretty chill. The only times i saw them blow a whistle was when little kids were running. The Germans seem to understand that if they get hurt they are responsible for doing such a stupid stunt. 

When you climb the tower you could see a giant green hamster track for kids to play on. we tried to go there, but it was for little kids, so we didn’t go on it.

We walked to the sea and played a little in it. Xander and I went on the mini pirate ship that had two yellow slides. These yellow slides made you go up at the end and, honestly, I had more fun on these then the giant yellow slide. None of the pools at the park went deeper than 4 feet. After playing in the sea for a bit, we all decided we were hungry, so we went to the restaurant at the edge of the sea. But they had no hamburgers or pizza like advertised in the infomercial played on the bus. We left and walked around a bit until finding a food court that reminded me of the places we ate at while skiing. It was funny, because when we ski, it is really cold and here we were all hot. I got chicken schnitzel, mom and Xander got hamburgers, and dad got a prosciutto pizza. I got to pay for my own meal with my wristband! For drinks, Xander and I got Schwip Schwap (pronounced shvip shvap) it was basically orange Coke. Mom got Pepsi. When dad got his drink we tried this himbeere (raspberry) soda and didn’t care for it. But I liked it, so I asked if we would switch drinks with me. So dad ended up with orange Coke and I got raspberry soda. The soda reminded me of a drink I get in portland when I go to Hot Lips pizza.

After lunch/dinner, we went back to the sea without dad. Dad was going to get his phone so he could take pictures. Xander and I swam a bit in the sea while mom sat on the beach. When dad got back, we went to the green slide again and dad got a video of us sliding. Did I mention that between water features I was cold? Even though the entire place was heated, I was cold in between the water. As the sun set, I noticed this got worse, but it didn’t dampen our fun.

Kids in the Sea (Photo by Chris)

Photo by Chris
Then, we went back to the lagoon and dad got a photo of us on a water feature that was like a fountain. After that, mom and dad sat in a lounge chair and I sat in the hot tub. Xander went back and forth, but ended up with mom and dad. Eventually, I tried to go to the other hot tub, for more room. When I got there, I sat down but there was a couple making out and they were not being conscious of their space at all. It was a man and a woman and the woman was putting her feet in my face. Bleck. 

I went and joined mom, dad, and Xander.

Xander and I played with the lounge chairs for a bit, doing trust falls by leaning the chair all the way back really fast. Eventually, mom asked us if we were done. Xander and I decided we wanted to ride the green slide a couple more times, and then we would be ready to go. We went down a bit and this time were was a kid who liked to take up the entire slide on his turn. But other then that it was just as fun. We went back to mom and dad and we headed to the changing rooms. 

After changing, we went to a frozen yogurt bar that we had seen at lunch, but they were closed. At this time, Xander pointed out a smoking lounge that they had. I had been wondering why there were no smokers (it was extremely nice) all day. I then remembered a bar that I had seen advertising milk shakes and we walked there. I got a vanilla milkshake and Xander got fake-y-chocolate dip n’ dots. You had to return the cup for the milkshake, or else you paid 2 euro. I waited in line to return it and an elderly man in front of me asked me to hold his spot for 10 seconds. At least i think he said that, it was all in german. I said yes and he went to a table and put something down, then came back. A couple seconds later he asked me if all I was doing was returning my cup and I said yes. He let go cut in front of him. He was very nice.

After returning my cup, we went and used the bathroom one last time. Then we checked out and waited for the bus to come. We rode back to the train station and waited on the other side for our train to come. Good thing we knew to switch sides or else we would have had to wait another hour! We sat up top again, and the only problem was that every 4 person seater was occupied by one person with their 3 bags! Sooo annoying! But, nonetheless, everything was ok.

Fun on the train (Photos by Venice)

That is, until we were almost home. It happened in between the station we wanted to get off at and the station before it. We just randomly stopped and then the lights went out, like a total blackout. The announcer said something in German that we didn’t understand. So we started to go down to the bottom to see what was up. A man sitting behind us by himself (in a 4 person seater i might add) told us that a broken train was blocking the way and that we might want to sit down because it would probably take a while to fix. He seemed nice and so I decided that he must have come on the train when that 4 person was the only option. After about 10 minutes, we started moving backwards as we pulled the train onto a different track. Then we started to go forward again.

Eventually, we got the the station and got off the train. The guy who helped us also got off. We went into the station and took the S-Bahn to Hackescher Markt and then the M1 home. It was past 10pm now and we were all really tired. Xander brushed his teeth and crashed. I did the same, but with an added snack of bread and hummus. Then, I checked my email and went to bed. Thus marking the end to our trip to Tropical Islands.

1 comment:

  1. wow, such great writing. You made me feel like I was there!