Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Little Goes a Loooog Way!

Hey all,

Sorry about last week.  I was so busy with things around here by the time I remembered the blog, it was too late to do anything about it.  I tried to do one on Sunday, but the internet wouldn't cooperate.  I figured it was a sign and gave up.  LOL's all on me.  I forgot and then didn't get back to doing it when I should have.  For that you have my apologies.

But this is a new week and hopefully a better one schedule wise.  Jonathon and I had an awesome weekend and got to see a couple things I've been looking forward to.

One was a place that is world famous.  Minatur Wunderland.  Jonathon has been looking forward to seeing this since we got to Europe, and while I was intrigued and interested, it wasn't one of my really HOT spots to see, if you know what I mean.

But once I got there, I realized just how wrong I was in my thoughts.  Not only is this an amazing place, it's an attraction you can spend literally weeks appreciating.

What is Minatur Wunderland?

Well, it started off as a miniature railway display.  And then it sorta grew.  A LOT!!!   I won't bother with the actual history of the place, but if you're interested--and it is a pretty cool story--you can check out this LINK for more.  And once you're there, you can check other things out by clinking on the links to the left.  There is a lot of info.

They still bill it as a "model railway system", but it's more like a miniature world. Cities, country and alpine landscapes, castles, rivers, harbors and much, much more.  They've got bits and pieces of countries all over the world, including the USA, Switzerland and of course....Germany.

The most amazing part for most people is the full and complete working airport they have there.  Planes actually take off AND land on a schedule.  You can stand and watch for hours...just like people do at a real airport.  There are gas trucks, little luggage carriers, planes taxiing around, and all the other things that make an airport "live".  It's really fun to watch it all.

And the people at Minature Wunderland have a sense of humor.  After picking my jaw up off the floor at the sight of this HUGE area of displays, I started wandering.  And I found so many little (no pun intended) details. 

On the side of a mountain, I saw Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.  At an Octoberfest, a Zebra wins a foot race (after trampling another runner), and three horses drink beer from a bucket out of straws.  In the Florida Keys a shark chases a diver around a reef, and in Switzerland, when you push a button (there is a lot of interactive buttons you can push), you can see a group of skiers turn on their torches and ski downhill.

And then there is the sex.  

Yes...I said sex.  While there were just as many children in the attraction as there were adults, Europeans have a healthy, relaxed attitude when it comes to sex.  And it shows here.  This place is so detailed that when you look in some of the windows, you can see couples stripping, flashing, kissing and of course, making love.  And there are several places where you can see couples having sex outside, too.  In a field, in a port-a-potty (ewww), and on the side of the road.  (pic shown)

Once you find one, you can't help but look for others.  It becomes a game.  Find the shagging people and win a prize!  LOL  Even gays are given a chance.  I saw several same-sex couples snogging around town.

And, about every 15 minutes or so, the lights dim and they simulate night.  Street and house lights go on, and off, actions change from what you'd do in the day to what happens more in the evening.  It lasts only a couple of minutes, then the red lights begin to glow, showing dawn is coming.  From one side of the exhibit to the other, daylight approaches until it's full light again.

But I think the thing that I loved the most was the creativity.  There was so many things happening, you could stare for hours and not see everything.  Here are some of the highlights of the place.

1.  A working Space Shuttle takes off and lands in Cape Canaveral.
2.  Castle Lowenstein (apparently a favorite site for arsonists) catches fire and fire trucks come to put out the blaze.  You can almost see the itty, bitty firemen jump out of their trucks to save the day.
3.  The airport.  Watching the planes land and take off was fantastic, but I enjoyed just as much watching the everyday workings of an airport.  I swear, it was just like I was sitting in a bar at JFK gazing out at the tarmac and watching everything.
4.  Festivals everywhere.  If a country has was displayed.  From Octoberfest, to the running of the cows in Switzerland to simple street fairs to elaborate fairs and carnivals.  Everything was there and detailed enough, you could smell the cotton candy and bratwurst.
5.  Area 51.  Not only above ground...if you knelt, you could see the secret base complete with alien ships below.  Great!!!!
6.  There is a building in one of the towns that is on fire.  The trucks are there and if you push a button, you can see the blaze flicker and burn, and the water(actually made with a white feather and air) squirt up to put it out.  Amazing detail.
7. The BoBo Stage in Switzerland, in full glory with it's 20,000 fans.  Every few minutes the stage lights up and the singers perform to a roaring crowd.
8.  A working harbor where boats move in and out of the channel, and you can almost smell the diesel fuel, it's so real looking.
9. The Lindt Chocolate factory complete with a conveyor belt that when you push a button it goes through it's process and finally gives you a miniature chocolate bar when it's done.  Sweet!!!!
10. Hundreds of "hidden" secrets you can find.  Gnomes underground, elves dancing under trees, raptors chasing human prey (what?????), crystal ice caves, aliens, drug labs ( I know...another what????), and so many more.  

 Roads, too are everywhere...winding there way between different scenes.  The cars move so perfectly, even going around other stalled vehicles, I was hard pressed not to believe they weren't being driven by tiny people.

And finally...the trains.  They really are the focal point of the exhibit, running through each scene, binding everything together.  There is a massive--and I do mean massive--system operating behind the scenes.  You can see part of it--watch trains get lifted and moved and re-established elsewhere.  That was just as interesting as the rest of it.

We spent six hours there and could have easily spent six more.  If we lived here, we'd have a annual pass.  You could then really "see" all there is to see.  I know I missed far more than I found.

So, in truth, a little goes a long way.  One of Jonathon's bucket list favorites is now my own.  If we ever come back to Hamburg, we'll go again.  They are building even more cool displays and I'd love to see a "little" bit more!

Be back next week with my last blog from Europe!  Until then, have a great week!

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

I think you need weeks to see it all! Pretty amazing and I can see why so many people go there. It is really cool!

CJ England said...

Totally know we would have annual passes if we lived here. I'd spend hours there. And that would be the first month. LOL

Ray said...

I love it. Alexis would go crazy over the trains. We have a model train club in a shopping center near the house that I almost couldn't get her out of when it came time to leave.

The couple having sex, is that their car crashed into the light pole or does it belong to some shocked Americans?

CJ England said...

I'm not sure. They are still going at it even with the cops there, so I'm guessing it's one of those hidden thrill things. LOL

Ray said...

Probably. They are hidden from the little people, but not us super beings.

Anonymous said...

Love your articles

Mumbles said...

Wow, that really is amazing, detail-wise. And yes, the amorous couple in the brush beyond the accident scene caught my eye immediately--I had to maximize the image to make sure I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing. How joyful!


CJ England said...

*grin* Ray...I've always wanted to be a super being. LOL

CJ England said...

Thanks, wapgod. Glad you enjoy them.

CJ England said...

It is pretty amazing, isn't it, Kris. I wish I'd had hours more to just poke around.