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PTR: Osteria Ai Pioppi

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by TilenB, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. TilenB

    TilenB Well-Known Member

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    So, Ai Pioppi. This place has been on my radar for ages, ever since it was first discovered by the enthusiast community (which was about 4 years ago). It's located relatively near Slovenia, but a bit far to 'just go' on a whim. But, the past Sunday, 27th of October was the date we finally agreed to go with my parents. I could certainly tell the place was on my dad's bucket list too, after he read the article published in ECC's First Drop magazine.

    After about 2,5h of driving we arrived to an overflown parking lot; one could tell it was the last day of their operating season! ...and also a Sunday, which I guess is a day one spends with their family in the Italian culture.

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    It being 1pm when we arrived, our first of call was the fabulous Osteria, where we 'met' Bruno (the guy who built the whole place) at the cashdesk. He seemed a very enthusiastic old chap, chatting away with pretty much everyone, old and young. Just a shame my Italian is far from a high enough level to hold a conversation in...

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    Upon placing our order we were given a few coupons, which we brought to the next desk, where we were given our food and drinks.

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    Note that all of these cost just 22€! And you then get to enjoy the rides for free. A great deal, considering most of the actual amusement park in the area would make you pay about the same for a couple of sub-par burgers, on top of an already hefty entrance fee. The food was great and every dish came together with a piece of polenta (that's the sponge looking thingy on the side). On to the rides now!

    Right outside the restaurant part is the launch coaster, Catapulta, which still wasn't open to the general public.

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    A video of the ride testing (taken by the park):



    While I was taking photos of the coaster, my parents enjoyed themselves on the swings.

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    Just as I sat on one of them myself, I've heard a roar coming from the part where other rides were. And I knew it could only mean this thing has opened:

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    It seemed quite incredible for a home-made ride and the fact that it goes up to 100kph, wow! With wasting no time me and my dad joined the queue, whereas my mum sat it out.

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    I love these headrests <3

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    And what a great (and terrifying) ride it was! It was surprisingly smooth and the forces in the bottom section were just perfect (not overly high, not low either). It's quite a feat of a home engineering with a catchcar that brings you up the shallow spike and a tire brake that helps slowing down the ride in the end. It's also the only ride in the park that has an operator.

    With that out of the way, we continued our way towards the remaining part of the park and bumped into the next coaster, Bob.

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    It's a twin tracked racing coaster where the riders have to push the car up the shallow ascent to the top of the course, where both of the riders have to pull up the lever in order to get the ride going. The track features a turn right in the middle of the course and ends up with a spike - making it an another shuttle coaster.

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    We queued for the yellow side first and then continued onwards

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    The last coaster in the park was the smallest one - Carrello della Gobba. Again, the rider had to push the cart to the highest section of the track and then release the brake to get the ride going. Only that here the turn was 'replaced' by a tiny airtime hump. Mum was looking at us with slight embarrassment as we queued (and rode) this one, considering all of the other riders were small kids. Interestingly enough, this ride has the highest amount of riders on coaster-count, but that mostly goes down to the fact Bob spited the huge ECC group and Pendolo only opening on the busier days.

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    The ride was fun enough, but we did have a bit of a problem closing down the restraint. It's clear this one was geared towards children (at least more than the other two coasters).

    After this, we went to ride the other track of Bob and mum asked why is it necessary, considering it's probably the exact same thing. I responded it's a different ride and that it also counts. And off we went into another queue.

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    And after this it was more or less time to leave, considering mum was getting increasingly impatient at this point (and we did promise her some shopping later on, so, well...).
    And here are some photos of the remaining attractions, the ones we didn't ride... Or left for some other time, since I'm pretty certain I'll be returning at some point!

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    Mysterious Sue, nadroJ, peep and 4 others like this.
  2. peep

    peep Moderator Staff Member Moderator Social Media Team

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    This place has always looked so weird to me. Sounds like you had a fun time.
     
  3. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    So glad someone else has finally got here. It's an incredible place just for the sheer feat of engineering that this all came from someone's shed. Also good to see they are still doing the polenta thing XD
     

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