The very first day we arrived in Vienna, we went to the Prater. This is an amusement park, famous for its 212 foot Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel). But I'm not going to talk about that wheel right now... because I rode something a little more terrifying.
---Its name was EXTASY and it was one of those bright rides with loud music, the kind that you can't help but look at as you pass by. (see the blurry picture to the side.)
They were also sideways.
Well, I tried to see what the other riders looked like (I tend to judge rides based on the expressions of the people in them) but there appeared to be only 4 other kids on the entire ride and they were spinning so fast it was hard to tell what they looked like. They were holding very tightly to their seats, and just as I turned away to talk to my host mom, they started screaming.
In retrospect, it would have been good if I had turned around to see that part of the ride. I did not.
And so when my host parents asked me if I would go, I remembered the exchange student creed "say yes" and did so. I told myself I could handle this easily... tilting wasn't so bad. This was an adventure!
Walking towards the entrance, my host mom pointed out a sign that read "ACHTUNG -- NICHT FÜR SCHWACHE NERVEN" [Attention -- Not For Weak Nerves]. I laughed and took it as a joke.
(Note to self -- Germans don't joke.)
The seats began to spin -- and boy, were they fast! They whirled around each other and tilted until we were sideways. And I mean really, lying down sideways-spinning, the kind that makes your stomach forget its rightful place in your body and makes your heart threaten to come out your mouth. It was terrifying and fun and exciting, and all the time we whirled at 90 miles an hour with music blaring like sirens.
Finally the ride slowed down and we were right side up again and my host sister looked at each other and laughed and prepared to get out.
We were interrupted by a happy voice in German cheerily announcing something into the ride. Rather unfortunately, the shock and spinning had driven all German vocabulary from my brain, so I had no idea what was going on.
It was rather unexpected, but after rudely turning on its head, it proceeded to spin. And spin. And spin. I didn't think it was possible, but we were spinning even faster than before--and all of a sudden someone started pumping blue smoke into the ride--
the rest was a blur of me screaming and Delia screaming and smoke and flashing lights and whirling minds and loud music and I'm pretty sure this machine was a torture device in its former life...
and it was terrifying.
But it was AWESOME.
and then of course I went on a scarier ride about 3 weeks later...
...but that's a story for another time. ;)