venerdì 20 agosto 2010

Proof That I Am Definitely Grown Up (and quite possibly becoming middle aged)

During our holiday at Lake Garda, we went to Gardaland for the day. I did not go on a single scary ride. I didn't feel remotely tempted to go on a scary ride. I didn't berate myself for being too chicken to go on a scary ride. and afterwards, when my friends got off the scary rides, I didn't feel the slightest bit of regret about not having joined them. No, when it came to the rides that went upside down, looped the loop or even just spun around a little too fast, I just said “no”.

To be honest, I've never been a big fan of rollercoasters. It's just that there was a point in my life when I felt that I should try them out, if not for the fun then just to conquer my fears and prove that I could do it. But a little while before I went to Gardaland, I went rock climbing. On my way up the vertical cliff, with a river roaring down beneath me, my legs began to shake like crazy, despite the fact that my mind kept telling them everything was fine. I got them under control, climbed a bit higher and then forced myself to look down. I might easily have fallen off and if I had, it would have been painful, terrifying, difficult to get back up again and entirely my own fault. When I didn't, I knew that I had achieved something. On the Gardaland rides, I would almost certainly have got off at the end with no disasters having happened, but instead of feeling satisfaction, I would probably just have felt sick.

That's not to say that I didn't have a great time in Gardaland. My favourite ride was Mammut, the runaway mine train, which speeds at an angle around spiralling bends and lets you scream to your heart's content, but never ever turns you upside down or spins you around. That was great. I also liked the water rides, particularly the log flume, the flying island, which gives you a view over the lake and the surrounding countryside and the kiddie caterpillar train, which turned out to be quite a bit faster than any of us expected and was therefore pretty exciting despite the fact that it was really a baby ride. The only ride I didn't like was the one where you go down inside a magic tree where they spin the walls around to make you think you're going upside down. That just messed with my head and made me want to vomit, and it was in the kids section!

If I went back another day though, I'd probably spend the whole time on that runaway mine train. It was awesome.

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