Wednesday 19th September 2018
Wednesday would see the last long drive of the trip, as we shifted our base from Ankara to Istanbul
Before that though was a trip to the Mall
Nata Vega Outlet is a large shopping centre on the south east edge of Ankara
We were there to visit Fun Land, a fairly large Family Entertainment Centre in one corner of the mall
First on the agenda was a ride on Fun Land's rollercoaster, Grand Prix
The coaster is an IE Park JR-40 - currently the only one in the world
Grand Prix sits in a separate room across from the rest of Fun Land, with a curious combination of racing car and outer space theming.
The seemingly unnecessary overhead restraints were uncomfortable and slowed throughput to a crawl, with the operator doing two or three checks up and down the train before dispatching
Although very smooth, the ride itself was fairly slow and uninteresting, but it did have a nice helix towards the end
If a Disk'O mated with a tea cups ride, what would you get?
It was Lech Coaster tshirt day for those lucky enough to have already experienced Vekoma's new ride!
A highlight was Fun Land's interactive Wild West shooting game - a 5Di Game Box from Alterface
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner!
After a couple of hours it was time to leave the mall and drive across to the other side of the city
Harikalar Diyari ("Wonderland") is the largest public park in Ankara
Apart from us, the place was deserted
Triggered by the arrival of fifty customers, we waited while the park was hurriedly spun into life
Once again, Faruk was on hand to help with the purchase of ride tickets
Sincan Luna Park has two rollercoasters - the first one we tried was Dragon
Dragon is a powered coaster from Zamperla
Looking forward to the ride
Despite its faded paintwork and unkempt look, it was actually lots of fun
There was a nifty helix at the end
A long queue had already formed at the other coaster, so we headed to the park's aptly named "Dark Ride": there was almost nothing inside apart from a ride through the darkness.
Excited to see what scares await inside - don't get your hopes up Bill!
That's the face of a man unimpressed!
It was a fairly standard Big Apple kiddie coaster
The operators seemed keen to only half fill the trains, making everyone sit at the front
The coaster was clearly past its best - we were warned to duck inside the apple to avoid hitting our head on a warped piece of metal hanging down
Today it was Anita's turn to celebrate a major milestone on a kiddie coaster!
Finally everybody had got a ride, and the ride ops were able to take a well deserved break
In comparison to other Turkish parks, Sincan Luna Park was very disheveled, with faded paintwork and abandoned rides scattered around.
In particular, the toilets were the kind of place where it felt more hygenic not to wash your hands!
I'm sure I've seen this mouse somewhere before
Time for a (pre-packaged!) ice cream
After an hour and a half it was time to head back through Harikalar Diyari (much more attractive than the Luna Park it contains!) to board the coaches
There way another long drive through stunning scenery on our way to Istanbul
We stopped off en-route at a service station for lunch
The food was delicious - much better than the standard food you get at motorway services in the UK!
There was still a long way to go
Night had fallen by the time we reached our final park of the day, Park Lunasan in Izmit, about 50 miles outside Istanbul
Unfortunately, the ride was quite tame and didn't really spin very much at all
Park Lunasan's other rollercoaster, Spinning Coaster had been closed for the season the week before but, thanks to some awesome negotiations by Faruk, the park agreed to reopen it especially for us
It was a gesture greatly appreciated by all of us. I rode with Bill, and we spun like crazy!
Something a little more relaxing next: a trip on the wheel with Mary, Darren and Maggy
Looking down on the park
A nice view of Twister Coaster ...
... and across to Spinning Coaster
Octopus was fast and furious!
It was bags of fun though
Time to leave
We congregated at the exit, then boarded the coaches again for the final journey into Istanbul
It had been another long day of travelling plus three park visits, so two coach loads of tired coaster enthusiasts were very glad to finally reach our hotel for the rest of the trip, the Holiday Inn Istanbul City