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  • Writer's picturePeter Antonucci

Hamburg, Germany

Sunday | May 30, 2016

Notwithstanding jet lag, I woke up a little before 5:00 AM. My goal, over the next two hours, was to clear all the boxes and bags in our living and dining rooms. I was successful in accomplishing this endeavor even though I have now come down with a cold and do not feel well at all. Regardless, there was no stopping me.


It was like old times as we ordered In Residence Dining and feasted on breakfast in our apartment.


Finally, we ventured downstairs to meet with the local Hamburg Chamber of Commerce representative who is stationed on the ship while we are in Germany. We asked what we could do in town, but as this was a Sunday, our options were limited. Finally, we decided we would venture off to visit the Miniatur Wunderland, the largest model railway system in the world.


When we first arrived there, we were treated to the arrogance and freshness of several German families who tried to cut in front of us in the line on several occasions. They pretended not to understand what we were saying, but when we unleashed our finest German, they were aghast and stepped back.


This amazing complex features several floors containing 930 trains with 14,450 railway wagons, 228,000 trees, 215,000 figures, 8850 cars, 42,650 feet of railroad track, 3,660 buildings buildings and bridges.  It was constructed and assembled in minute detail by 230 employees over the course of 580,000 man hours. The seemingly endless stream of trains and topography replicates the landscape of Hamburg, as well as areas of Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland, and parts of America.

After we bought our tickets, there was a 45 minute wait during which I bought some spicy German sausage and French fries– neither of which was very tasty.

At the beginning of the exhibits, there was a vast array of computer screens and technicians sitting behind them; it is these people who engineer and run the entire exhibit.

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The enormity of the exhibit was impressive. 

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Trains were running everywhere. (My son would love this place!)

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The first cool exhibit we encountered depicted an amusement park.

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Next, we came upon a massive soccer stadium with hundreds of thousands of fans inside.

And there was yet another stadium.

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Outside the stadium, an emergency team was tending to a crisis.

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We saw a replica of an outdoor concert.

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In the United States section, Las Vegas was featured.

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The detail in the Alps was impressive indeed.

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The Bavarian Alps were magnificent too. 

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And true to historical replication, the exhibit included this section on the destruction of Germany in World War II.

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But the highlight for us was the Hamburg airport and the realistic planes that actually taxied, took off, and landed before our eyes.

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They even had the parking facility replicated.

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Once outside, we walked back to the ship, passing dozens of old brick buildings from the 1800s.

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Also on our way home, we encountered this building with a series of small gramophone horns protruding from the outside.


Passersby could place their ear against any one of the horns and listen to music from various German composers including Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and others.

A brown river snaked slowly through the city center.

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The construction of the ship terminal was interesting — it was constructed of shipping containers that were placed like building blocks to form a building.

Inside, it was fairly modern, not as primitive as the outside would suggest.


Ah, the fun of being back in Europe!


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