1 day with kids in Hamburg
Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland)
Kids and adults in our group of friends were equally blown away by one of Hamburgs best attractions, a huge world of miniature railways located in the historic Speicherstadt. Not really knowing what to expect (since I was never into building model railways) this museum surpassed our expectations and had us talking about it for weeks after. You simply have to see what these geniuses created with such attention to detail.
Miniature wonderland is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. Room after room will take you on a journey through the alps in Switzerland, a concert with thousands of people, or a soccer game in Hamburgs stadium. The museum is divided into nine sections: Harz, the fictitious city of Knuffingen, the Alps and Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland, a replica of the Hamburg Airport and Italy. The exhibit includes 1,300 trains made up of over 10,000 carriages, over 100,000 moving vehicles, ca. 500,000 lights, 130,000 trees, and 400,000 human figurines, 50,000 feet of track all in HO scale.
One of the crowd favorites is definitely the airport, where planes actually take off and land. Apparently the creators worked hard on the mechanism to pull it off. Not only do the planes actually ‘leave’ the airport but the room actually turns from day to night. the lights dim and the entire mini world turns into night mode operated by an entire room full of screens, switches and computers. Several technicians watch every technical aspect of the wonder world so they can fix it right away when something malfunctions. When we were there Hendrix was fascinated by one of the artist recreating the Roman colosseum and visitors can take a peek at her studio. You could see the progress of the newly constructed France section. By 2020 England, Africa and Australia is suppose to be added.
Words can hardly describe this amazing place. You have to go and see it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. Since it’s so popular, it’s advised to book your tickets online and in advance. Hard to believe that the owners were not able to get funding for this amazing project in the beginning and it has developed into one of the most visited attractions in all of Germany.
Lunch at Trattoria Remo’s aka Lillo’s
Tony and I met in 1997 through Nena and we used to have many fun dinners at the Italian restaurant Lillo’s with Nena and band members. We simply had to go back there after 20 years. Although not the same owner any more (and it’s now called Trattoria Remo;s), not much had changed in the restaurant and food and service were great. We shared many of our old stories with the new owner and had such a great time.
After a nice lunch we decided to walk around in St. Pauli exploring the city by foot. The St Pauli area in the middle of Hamburg contains the world-famous red light district around the street Reeperbahn. It’s a lively area with lots of tourists, restaurants and shops and walking around here with kids was fun. The 9 year old boys giggled a lot seeing topless woman on certain advertisements. St. Pauli is also one of Hamburgs soccer clubs and the fan shop is located on Reeperbahn which was our first destination. We love the St. Pauli merchandise with skull and cross bone images on mainly black t-shirts.
From the St. Pauli area you can easily stroll to Hamburgs busy harbor to watch large container and luxury ships travel down the river Elbe. It’s the biggest harbor in Germany and is named lovingly Gateway to the world. The floating dock – called the “Landungsbrücken” (landing stages) is one of Hamburg’s biggest tourist attractions and worth a visit. The Landunsbruecken were once a landing pier for steam ships and now functions as a connector for underground and suburban trains. Additionally, harbour ferries and catamarans depart on their trips to Helgoland. The pier has developed into one of Hamburg’s most popular promenades with colourful souvenir shops and quaint fish restaurants with fresh North Sea shrimps – it is easy to forget that you are walking on a floating platform. From far away you can spot the two towers with prominent green roofs marking this historical landmark.
After a fun harbor stroll, we are ready for the subway ride home. Our plan for the evening: cooking a a nice dinner at our friend Heike’s house in Rahlstedt and catching up on life. The kids had fun playing at home with their new model car they bought at the museum gift shop.