Tankfest 2016 – part four: Day Two

So, on Sunday, I had another early start, and HiDeath drove me again. We talked quite a bit more this trip around, having gotten more used to each other yesterday. And one of the things we agreed on was that everyone was -exactly- how we knew them in Blitz. So far, we’d had an amazing time, and today started no different. The only downer of Saturday was that we completely missed meeting mrpgilbert somehow. We joined the others at the tent again, but I left fairly quickly to go to the press-area on the other side of the arena where they held events before the cool events started. I wasn’t the only one with that idea though.

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And then the monsters started driving around. One of them was imported from the Netherlands for this, which was very good for my national pride. The press-area was right behind the arena and that meant that as the tanks drove around, they were only a few meters away from where we stood.

The noise was simply amazing, and every time one of the Leo’s drove by, I could feel the tank driving by through my whole body. It was magnificent, and made me all the more aware of what these monsters can do. And became incredibly jealous when I noticed that one of community staff-members – Ectar – was actually -riding- in one of the tanks.

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Once the battletanks left and the more historical vehicles came about, I went back to the others, and I toured the grounds and stalls with Rossolancer and HiDeath. We looked at the model tanks, the remote controlled ones (I still think HiDeath regrets not getting one.. Or two..).

The weather on Sunday wasn’t as good as on Saturday, and there were times when it was a good thing that there were tents with stuff to look at all around us. When we could, we went to the back area – where the tanks lined up to enter the arena, and strolled around there. One of the tanks there was Fury, the tank from the movie that I still hadn’t seen at the time. Of course, since HiDeath was wearing an actual Fury-jacket, I couldn’t not take a picture of him with that tank.

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And of course, I saw a cute widdle tank, and had my picture taken with that as well.

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Generally, this day was spend more outside than inside, but less in the company of the general gang. I regretted that, but it did give me some great pictures and videos from the other side of the arena. When I went back to the press-area again later, I had Sk8 and his Mrs with me. Sk8 pointed out the tanks to me as they drove by – he actually knows the names. The only one I recognized up until then was the Leo in the morning and that was because of the little Dutch flags, not because of the tank. And one of the beauties passing us was an actual Hellcat. Like with so many tanks, I was surprised at the size. The game really distorts it.

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And of course, we go to see the famous Tiger drive around as well. It’s big, and slow, and very loud, but quite cool. We watched a battle being simulated with that, the Fury and a few other tanks of which I have no clue what the names were. And they fired shots. And that was just epic. The noise. Omg. I can’t imagine what it would sound like to hear a 183, Jg or E100 fire their guns. Think we’d all turn deaf. But it’d be worth it.

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Overall, tankfest was utterly amazing. And for me, the tanks are only a small part of it. They’re incredibly impressive, don’t get me wrong, but for me, it’s the people it was all about. Meeting the staff, with whom I had already been working with for half a year at the time, putting voices and faces to the names. Meeting HiDeath, who, despite not having met me, offered to drive me around like he did, and actually booked a ticket for sunday and a hotel just to be able to do that both days. Meeting Tom (getting the hugs he owed me), and his amazingly well behaved kids.

Meeting M4U5L1 and Meadsy69 who had started driving down around 4am, to arrive on time on Sunday, only to meet us, and who would have to drive back again right after tankfest. And as usual, Meadsy let Mausli do all the work… They’re such portraits. The trolling level they show on fb and in game, is exactly like how they interact irl too. And Mausli was so incredibly sweet. At some point I got a hug and a fond farewell every time we met just in case we wouldn’t meet each other again.

And HayabusaX, who brought me chocolates to bribe me with. Rossolancer, with his Tipi-tent. And so many others. It was absolutely wonderful. And when the day grew to a close, I was both happy and sad. I’ve never been good at goodbyes. Luckily, this was taken out of my hands as I missed quite a few people as they left, and I didn’t get to say goodbye at all, which I hated too.

When I got back to the hotel that night, I was absolutely knackered. All the impressions, the people, the walking, walking, walking. But it was amazing. I think I was still in a bit of a daze as I headed home the following day, full of everything. Thank you for an amazing time, everyone one I met, everyone that made it amazing. I know I didn’t mention everyone I met by name in these blogs, but rest assured, that didn’t make meeting you any less memorable or enjoyable. I can’t wait for next year. I hope to be dragging even more people there to meet up with then, and just have loads of fun together.

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