Carnivals and Amusement Parks

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – International Children’s Day, Task 4:

As a kid, did you enjoy visiting amusement parks and carnivals?  Which were your favorite rides or shows?  Do you still have any photos, or is there a memorable event you’re happy to share? – Alternatively, if you’re a parent now: Do you visit amusement parks / carnivals with your kids?

I’m extremely prone to suffering from motion sickness — as a kid, I couldn’t travel (by car, bus, train, plane, or whatever else) without throwing up within 15 or at most 30 minutes from taking off.  So, when I was little, anything other than a very slow moving merry-go-round was a complete no-go … however much I may have enjoyed riding supermarket toy horses.

Obviously in my teen years, rollercoasters and similar rides became a challenge — to most others, merely of courage; to me, also physically.  But at age 13 and 14, limits are meant to be overcome …

(With a high school friend — we’re behind the green neon light pilon, to the left of the guy with his back to the camera)

Rides like the one pictured above — where you’re basically spun around in an ever crazier fashion — were never my favorites, they always remained a matter of challenge (and I learned where to draw the line and which ones never even to go near), but I came to actually enjoy “real” roller coasters … and, of course, ferris wheels.

There’s an amusement park called Phantasialand near Bonn, and there’s also a huge annual carnival in Bonn every September — the modern-day version of what started as a trade fair in the Middle Ages –, not far from where I live and literally in walking distance from my former high school.  I really like Phantasialand, not least because it’s got a lot more to offer than carnival rides and food stalls, and I also used to enjoy going to the big September carnival almost every year when I was younger, but I’m finding these days it’s just too busy for me.  That said, I still enjoy walking down to the little carnival on the banks of the Rhine that we get every Easter and fall (for German Thanksgiving).


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