I was starting to worry I wouldn’t have a decent topic to blog about this week – most of my time outside of class was spent programming a game (for my Game Design core course) or watching episodes of I Love Lucy (homework for my TV class – but I won’t complain, this might be the best homework I’ve ever had). Thankfully, though, a group of girls in my homestay network decided to take advantage of Bakken’s final weekend of the summer season.
For some background: Bakken is the world’s oldest operating amusement park, opening in 1583. It’s free to enter, but attractions require some payment (we paid around $40 to have unlimited rides!).
And. I. LOVED IT.
I personally love amusement parks, and to be honest, the feeling of Bakken reminded me of Dollywood, the theme park closest to my home in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Anybody else? No? No love for Dollywood? Understood.)
Bakken has two mascots, visible on most posters and advertisements around the park. One is a lovable moose, who my friends and I were lucky enough to get a picture with. He gives AMAZING hugs.
The other is Pjerrot the clown. And I LOVE Pjerrot the clown. His white-painted face is seen on billboards, signs, and balloons all around the park. He even has his own little area where he does magic for little kids. I immediately loved him despite everyone I was with thinking he was creepy – is this attached to my love for the book It and the fact that It: Chapter 2 came out this week? Maybe. Don’t psychoanalyze me like that.
Part of me regrets not getting a Pjerrot the clown balloon, or even a picture with the Main Man himself, but just getting to see his magic was absolutely worth the train ride.
As for attractions, Bakken’s rollercoasters were MUCH better than we anticipated. The most popular is Rutschebanen, a wooden rollercoaster that opened in 1932. Rutschebanen was also my personal favorite, although I will admit I do have a nostalgic love for wooden rollercoasters.
Bakken has more than just rollercoasters though, including some classic state fair-type rides, carnival games (unfortunately not included on our unlimited attraction wristband), and my other favorite: a haunted house ride.
Similar to Disney’s Haunted Mansion, riders get in a cart and ride through some spooky scenes. Unlike Disney, this ride IS SCARY. I don’t want to spoil too much in case you will want to ride this ride for yourself next season, but there’s an actor in there. And you will scream out of pure terror.
Overall, I am so so glad I got to go to Bakken before the summer season ended. And I kind of want to go back for its Halloween season or Christmas! Today, I’m spending the day indoors getting work done and relaxing, both to recover from my exciting day at Bakken and to prepare for my upcoming core course week. And as I drink my coffee and write this, I vow to always remember Pjerrot the Clown.
Until next week!