Historic food-fanatical Costa Dorada

dieboldatlarge

It took three days before I had the nerve to take on Shambhala, Europe’s highest roller coaster, towering 249 feet above the vast Catalonian theme park of PortAventura.

It wasn’t the screams that scared me so much as the way this 5,131ft-long behemoth suddenly silenced its passengers when it dropped 256 feet down a 77 degree slope at almost 135 kilometers per hour.

People cheered on the way up, then shrieked later as the roller coaster roared through a bone-shaking helix, but for that moment rushing earthward the first time, held in by what seemed me little more than small, plastic cups, all they were capable of was a sort of guttural ‘whoof’.

That was my view of the situation from bustling ground level amid ten thousand gleeful holiday-makers in a park so vast that I thought it made Disneyland look like Bray seafront.

When I eventually found myself on…

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