miniatur wunderland hamburg!

one month before leaving berlin, we suddenly realized that despite having lived in germany for over 3 years, we still hadn’t visited hamburg… so, much like our last minute trip to see the great wall, we quickly booked our train tickets and off we went for a visit.

i was anticipating a lot of good things about this visit: seeing old friends, the “portugiesenviertel”, christmas markets, franzbrötchen, strolling along the port… but very high on my list was to finally see the miniatur wunderland! ever since i visited loxx in berlin, friends had been telling me that if i liked loxx, i should go to see the miniature place in hamburg, as it was 10x better. so i reaaaaaally wanted to see it!

and of course they were right… it’s A-MA-ZING! :D

in my excitement, i immediately dove nose-first into the displays and forgot to take a proper picture that would show you the size of it… but it’s huge! you can really see the countless hours of work that went into planning, building and maintaining this thing… nothing has been left to chance.

everywhere you look, there’s something going on: a party, a rescue mission, a bike race, a police investigation, a movie shoot, protests, a graffiti artist doing his thing… as well as really mundane things, made all the more interesting by being staged by such tiny people. every single one of them seems to have been put there with a purpose… and there are millions of them!

as in berlin, the airport was one of my favorite parts. the hamburg one is extremely well done, with different planes taxiing and landing simultaneously which you could follow on the departures & arrivals screens overhead. not just the planes though — they really managed to capture all the atmosphere surrounding it, from the lines of taxis waiting outside to the workers horsing around in the airport’s customs area…

a lot of the scenes have interaction built into them, which you can trigger by pressing small buttons. you’ll hear an old woman complaining to her husband, a tree falling on a house, a firemen brigade rushing to put out a fire on an old house… or even a chocolate factory which gives you free mini chocolates! :D

the control room is equally fascinating. some trains have cameras on the front, and you can follow the video feed of their journey as they make their way around the different parts of the miniature world. and when, inevitably, one of them breaks down, you can see the engineers quickly rise from their chairs to go fix the problem!

you could spend days there, zooming into all the details and the mini-scenes playing out, following the trains which wander the kilometers of tracks along the two floors… and it’s still expanding!

we’ll definitely come back for more someday. :)

analogue wednesday #32

inside tempelhof, 2012.

days like chewing gum

earlier last week, i was talking with A. about the surgery she was about to have in a couple of days. she was eager and excited for it, telling me how the days were stretching endlessly like chewing gum… how she planned to go to sleep early that day, just so that time moved a little faster.

and then, something happened during that surgery… and a couple days later, i got the news that she had died.

like a punch in the gut. one day she’s right there, we’re laughing, sharing train rides and exchanging letters, commenting on her new kitchen cupboards and the pile of books she wanted to read… and next thing i know this unexplainable void takes over, this acute absence of her. it doesn’t make sense.


the heartbreak crystalized the absurdity of the past few months — and how silly we’ve been, postponing our life and putting things on hold until we reach an arbitrary point in the future. what are we waiting for, exactly? we have a roof over our heads, clothes, health… let’s live, damn it!

analogue wednesday #31



random bits from barcelona, from a couple of years ago.

month of letters: done!

so, finally, this was the year i wrote a postcard or letter for every day in february, successfully checking that item off my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days… yay!

the recipients were a mix of old and new friends, which gave it a nice twist — conversations were started, continued or kickstarted again by means of a random mail item. owed replies were sent, and people were cheered up, or thanked or remembered. it was fun, and it had the unintended benefit of giving me something else to think of during some trying time. i wish i had the stamina to keep it up the whole year! :)