10 July – Kris’s birthday – Minature Wonderland

Today was Kris’s birthday. It was also the last day of our holiday – so we were determined to make the most of the day.

Unfortunately it was raining, so this was a non-cycling day.

Andreas and Silvia kindly took us to buy some luggage and gifts at the Hamburg Decathlon. From here we drove back into the city, to view the wealthier areas to the north. We saw more burnt out cars resulting from the G20 protests here. We were also interested in the huge Airbus factory and airport across the river.

Because it was raining, Silvia suggested they drop us off at the Miniature Wonderland – a major tourist attraction in the Speicherstadt district.

This is the largest model trainset in the world – but it is so much more. It far exceed my expectations, in terms of the detail of the models, ships sailing in real water, an airport where planes take off, trucks traveling along the many roads. The lights dim on a periodic cycle, a sunset occurs and it is night – when you see another range of effects – such as an erupting volcano and a house on fire, with real smoke.  Airplanes land, taxi on the runways and take off again.   I highly recommend this to anyone – you don’t have to be a model train person to enjoy it!

We spent 3 and a half hours there until we couldn’t take in anymore – before making our way back to Stelle on bus and trains.

Silvia prepared a wonderful birthday dinner for Kris, and we enjoyed our last evening in Germany with good friends. Hopefully it wont be too long before we can return.

Here are a selection of my Miniature Wonderland photos …

The control room where activities can be controlled- the geeks here love their jobs. Some of the trains have cameras mounted to their fronts and you can view the footage on these monitors

Hamburg and the Elbphilharmonie

Los Vegas at night

Trains with castles in background

German village, market, trains

A working lock in the Scandinavian area

Winter Scandinavian scene at night

I loved the odd whimsical touches – such as this dragon circling a castle tower

The Swiss section was the largest, stretching over two stories to encompass alpine mountains (note the viewers overlooking from the top balcony)

Looking down on Swiss mountain scene – cranes, bridges, railways, roads below

Swiss Ski slope – railways in foreground. The ceiling pipes on top right are the only clue as to the true scale of this scene.

Intricate details in the midst of the huge layouts – such as the drama around this road accident

And this bicycle race

Humorous elements are tucked away in the landscapes- such as this alien hunter

Italian section – coastal scene including dolphins that leap from the water

Italian coast

Ruins complete with tourists

 

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