A Visit to a Magical Place: Wunderland
Rain was gently falling as we headed out of our hotel today. We took a 30 minute bus ride to the airport and surprisingly, the bus had its own access road which the Dutch call a busway.
Our flight to Germany was on Easyjet. We have flown with them before. They are a no frills airline which often means they don't have their own walkway from the terminal right into the plane. In Hamburg that meant going down the steps from the plane, across the Tarmac, and back up outside stairs to the terminal. Ordinarily that would not have been a problem, but today it was . There was a torrential downpour and the airline showed no mercy. We arrived in the terminal positively drenched!
All was well once we reached our hotel. It's a modern business class hotel at a reasonable price. After dinner we headed out to the most amazing place. Wunderland is a magical world of miniature villages, cities, airports, and harbors. The beginning of the tour showed a series of dioramas showing changes over thousands of years in one small village. Even more striking was a series of dioramas showing changes in one city block in Berlin from before WWII to liberation, to today.
Continuing on, the dioramas soon came alive. Mountain villages, towns and cities fill entire rooms. Children and adults press up close to the models where buttons can be pushed to make a miniature car wash operate or an elephant wag its tail. Hundreds of trains, cars, boats, and police cars continually are on the move. All this in worlds representing Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and even parts of the US where each tiny figure is less than .5 inch tall. Day and night was simulated. It was fun to watch an entire miniature city turn on its lights just like a real city. A fun fair had tiny operating amusement park rides and a stadium showed highlights from a soccer match.
The highlight of our visit was a miniature airport that wrapped around an enormous room. Planes and airport transport vehicles moved around the airport at the terminal while planes taxied out to the runway. Everyone waited in anticipation as planes came in for a landing through a cloud covered curtain and planes from all over the world rolled down the runway with their thunderous engines, took off, and disappeared behind a cloud covered screen. Just like a real airport, there was an arrivals and departures board.
Equally amazing was a miniature harbor which filled a room with tankers, tugboats, and small ships sailing through real water. Nearby was a snowy village with tiny chairlifts and toboggan rides. We truly felt like this was a magical place!