Saturday, April 16, 2016

Fair: Foire de Nancy

A few years ago I was visiting a travelling fair every other week, but in my attempt to wind that back I'm only going to go to good ones now. Word had spread of a rare rollercoaster appearing at a fair in eastern France and with a few people planning to go, and me having the weekend free I thought I'd hit it too.

I took Eurostar to Paris catching one of the earlier trains on the Saturday to take me to Paris.

No complaints with the seat and the continental breakfast was ok I guess.

The Eurostar was great and in a little under two-and-a-half hours I was at Gare du Nord station. 

From there it was a short 10 minute walk to Gard du Est station where I then took a 90 minute TGV journey to the city of Nancy in the Lorraine area (famous for the quiche). All of this worked really well, I don't think I've ever had a bad train journey outside of the UK, if I have it's rare and not the norm unlike the countless line closures we have to endure. Our stations have pianos, French ones have pianos and table football.

A little piece of graffiti next door to my hotel.

The room was adequate and I had a quick nap to make up for the early start before meeting up with a friend who'd driven from Germany.

I don't think I've ridden a Top Scan in over 10 years now. They're still popular, just not with me.

Let's get the first coaster out of the way. These toboggan rides are not good and we ride to tick not to enjoy. The restraints are usually not good for larger folk and I wasn't sure I'd fit but I needn't of worried, it was fine.

Whilst arguably not a coaster, the Bayern Curve was one of the better rides at the fair, with a really long program increasing in speed and force. At it's peak the forces were causing my leg to push really hard against the side handrails but fortunately it wasn't long enough to bruise....These rides are great but as powerful as these are, they still have a long way to beat the G-Force machine we found in Mexico.

In the back corner of the park was the second coaster, a powered Tokaido ride which like the Bayern increased in speed and forces in a really long program, I'm sure we did double digit laps in this thing.

Shlos was the first of two haunted ghost trains, this one featuring suspended cars and, rather surprisingly a live actor part way around who'd brush your face in the dark.

The third coaster was a wacky worm; squeeze yourself in it, ride it, never mention it again, move on.

The largest spin ride was easily the XXL.

The second ghost train was great. It started out as a standard ghost train with animatronics you've seen many times before. However towards the end the ride shut down, and the power went out, and then a guy with a chainsaw began attacking us. The chainsaw was rigged so it didn't actually cut you but it was being pressed against our necks and arms. Totally unexpected and liked afterwards...just terrifying at the time.

We'd saved the best coaster for last. Super Railway has been on the travelling circuit since the 70's I think and features a strange monorail style track. The trains will only be sent out with a minimum of 3 passengers, something to bear in mind if riding alone. It's also recommended to hold on at all times, something that becomes very apparent halfway around when you take the drop that isn't braked at the top like the others, the train drops quickly and with no restraints to hold you falls from under you, leaving you in the air like something in a road runner cartoon. One of the more extreme rides like this I've come across.


Overall the fair had a really good selection of rides with minimal duplication, which tends to blight the larger fairs we have in the UK.

How big do these fun houses get?

The Couic stand was a series of grabber machines with a guy walking around connected to a headset enticing people to play it. It was louder than it deserved.

For a quick bite it was suggested we try some Merguez, a spicy sausage originating from North Africa which had become popular in this region.

It did rain for a little bit and we were worried we wouldn't get on everything especially the Super Railway coaster but they continued to run them, even the kiddy gokarts which provided much mirth as the cars continually spun out.

The Bayern looked to be the most popular attraction at the fair.

Impressive kitchen set up. I can't believe they get through all of that each day...and walking past the next day seeing everything still like this implies I was right.

The Foire du Trone in Paris is on at the same time and is bigger than this fair but this one is still worth a visit. 

Finishing our evening with a few photos from the wheel.

I'm glad I did this, with there not being genuinely scary rides left for me to experience I'm glad I made the effort to visit this one.

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