27.10.22 — Journal

Arcade Fire & Theme Parks

With my parents back home in the UK, I had plenty of other entertaining plans in place to keep myself occupied. After my trip to the US and Canda, I’d decided to do more stuff and live more experiences, so I jumped at the chance to go and see Arcade Fire live in concert with Carmen!

We met up one evening in a very cramped bar just outside the Wizink Centre, Madrid’s main arena in which I’d seen Queen with Danni just this past summer. We had a couple of beers to build up some energy and then headed out with the rest of the crowds as the hour of the concert drew closer.

It turned out that our seats were way up in the gods, but I was happy as it meant I could enjoy the light show in its entirety – anyone who knows me will know I do love to stare at the lighting rig during any given live event. Arcade Fire were then on stage, and so followed a medley of some of my favourite songs of theirs and some new gems that I discovered as they belted them out live.

It was a truly awesome show, with the band’s signature and eclectic mix of styles reflected in the visuals and the staging of the show. They moved from the main stage to a smaller on in the centre of the standing crowd, heading to it through the audience itself. It was a great experience and me and Carmen had a wonderful time of it all!

The next weekend I had another plan in place, which was to head with a friend to Parque Warner, a huge theme park just outside of Madrid proper that me and Danni visited together for the first time last year. In the end he was too ill to join, but in a moment of improvisation and spontaneity I rang another mate who lives nearby. He had just enough time to throw on some clothes and head down to the bus station to accompany me!

I managed to talk him into this one, which didn’t go down well after.

The Superman coaster was definitely our favourite: we rode it four times!

We had loads of fun at the park, with one of the more hilarious moments being off the rides themselves. We sat down for lunch inside one of the food courts and watched as a family just outside the window began to panic as they were attacked by a persistent bee. We couldn’t help but laugh as we watched them waft and flail their arms around. I might have felt bad, but they could have just as easily moved to another table…

The rest of the rides were a good laugh, all except for a water ride that Álvaro wanted to go on which then soaked us through to the skin. It took every last ounce of my self control to stop myself from yelling expletives the entire way around the painfully slow circuit, for the duration of which we were attacked by water jets and waterfalls and other such instruments of torture.

As the day drew to a close we headed over to the Loca Academia de Policía (“Crazy Police Academy”) show. I’d seen this before with Danni when we went together, but the motor stunts and the questionable comedy were still as fun this second time around.

The sun set on us during this show, but we were still clinging on to the back end of summer, so the temperatures were warm enough for us to keep on enjoying the park’s offer until it closed. We made one last run around the park, hopping on another coaster and then sadly missing the evening parade as the time given on the park’s app turned out to be wrong – damn it!

Leaving the pleasingly illuminated park, I had then only one week to wait until my next theme park experience. This time I headed off to Madrid’s other and more central theme park, the Parque de Atracciones (whose name is very uninspired, meaning just “Amusement Park”). I met up with my colleague María and the two of us had an absolute blast, riding all of the rides multiple times and making the most of the 10 hours that the park was open.

One of the funniest moments took place on the ride that I’m sat waiting for above, a huge spinning contraption that takes you high into the skies above Madrid for some of the most insane views over the city and its surrounding mountains. We just found the whole experience hilarious, giggling from start to finish!

Another highlight took place on the rapids. I’d convinced María to join me on it and then somehow managed to talk her into a second ride as there was no queue when we arrived back in the station. I recorded the entirety of this second run around the rapids track, in which María got properly drenched by a stray wave that hit our boat. I’d include the clip here, but I shan’t on fear of death…

And with all that, I conclude another blog post to try and catch up with all the stuff I’ve been doing recently. Stay tuned for the next – it shouldn’t be too long!