I feel slightly guilty that after reading Kris Howard’s A visit to Moominworld I found myself wishing that she’d written more about one of the early steps in the trip: a visit in Hamburg to the world’s largest model railway, Miniatur Wunderland.
The Snook was very sceptical about our destination, a place that I’d been told by many was THE tourist destination in the city… We were only able to get timed tickets at 10:30pm, and it was still PACKED. It reminded me of the House on the Rock, in that it felt like an obsessive fever dream kind of place. Every fifteen minutes the lighting cycled through an entire day so you could see it all at night too. […] Did I mention it has a giant working airport?? Model plans take off and land through holes cut in the walls while little luggage trucks drive all over the place. It was CRAZY. […] I think my favourite part was getting a glimpse into the control room that runs everything. It looks like Mission Control! It takes a lot of computing power and smart people to keep all the little trains, planes, cars, trucks, and boats moving.
I have a feeling I’ll find quite a lot of material on the web about Miniatur Wunderland now I’m aware of it. I can’t help but notice that there’s not at present any part of Hamburg’s model railway depicting the United Kingdom. Imagine that: part of Europe where they can get by without thinking too much about accommodating the preferences of a small, disputatious island just off the French coast.1 Who’d have thought such a thing was possible?
Do follow the link to Kris’s site, both to see the pictures of all this and to read the rest of her post about their trip across northern Europe. It’s well worth a read.
- In fairness, they do make sure their web site has an English language option. I can’t help but wonder whether that’s aimed more at American visitors – the model railway does include parts of the United States – than it is those of us residing just offshore from the European mainland? ↩