|All trains powered underneath by hamsters with magnets on their backs, or similar magic.|
I like to think that when you lie in your bed at night and think of me, 'train-spotter' is not the first label that comes to mind. 'Google-stalker', yes, 'bad-person-with-a-compulsive-habit-for-flushing-uneaten-breakfast-cereals-down-the-toilet', absolutely, but 'trainspotter/model train admirer', nah, no thanks.
|Beach Volleyball. If you peer really closely you'll see Stevie in his bikini at Beach 61|
|Seriously! Stop putting spin on that ball! If I have to go into those bushes to get it one more time, I will Dr Pong you into next week!!|
So even I was surprised to find myself at Loxx Miniature Railway yesterday morning. Well not surprised to be there, me and my pal at Workingberlinmum got the tickets half price on Groupon and saw it as a perfect little outing. "Oh, your kids will love it!" our mutual friends said. "The trains! The boys will think it's amazing!", "Honestly, it's fantastic: a great place to take kids!". Yeah, yeah, as if we're taking the kids. That would spoil our fun! We were taking our cameras on a little outing; cameras that don't moan after 5 minutes that they're bored and want a snack. Two glorious hours we had! And we snapped away like mad, stuffing images onto our memory cards like we'd never have the opportunity again. It's nice doing these things with someone just like yourself. S starts to complain after a while that I can't seem to enjoy experiences unless I am viewing them with one eye closed, a camera stuck to my face, and a constant 'snap, snap, snap' soundtrack.
|Sandstation (beside the O2) I've seen this! I've seen this! Well, that's me peering through gaps in the fence cause S wouldn't pay the entrance fee and said we'd go 'another time'....grrr...honestly it's amazing!|
|I can't tell what the joke is here, unless the guy who built this section thought everybody had an extra toe on each foot...."and this little piggy was a special little extra piggy and cried 'weee, weee, weee, weeee', all the way to the Kinderarzt"|
Anyway, it was great fun. I am surprised that I haven't heard of it before and now that I have I seem to be coming across more and more blog posts about it (all with better photos than mine). It's right at the top of the Alexa shopping centre in Mitte on the third floor. You can find it by following your nose. We were the only people there on Thursday morning, well just us and the smell of chip fat that followed us around and was seeping out of the exhibition and there to take your tickets at the front desk.
|No, this can't be Berlin: why if it was there would be at least 3 Berliner Kindl beer stands in this photo.|
|Night time in Berlin. I may have been criticising the rather tragic clouds they had fashioned for the sky, but I was hugely impressed by the brilliance of the thunderstorm.|
They have managed to construct a mini Berlin with lots of humour in a huge room with dreadful lighting. It was really hard to keep the lights from appearing in the background of all the photos and it seems like an impossibility to take a photo of the Fernsehturm without strip lighting kind of spoiling it. But aside from that, it's great. There are trains galore, and the airport section is excellent. You can see planes taking off and 'flying' into giant cubic clouds, and see President Obama getting greeted off his plane on the runway. There is even a row of airplane seats for you to sit and watch all the action.
Meanwhile in the main display area you can admire all the standard Berlin sites and enjoy some of the ones you might not have seen. I really, really want to visit Spreepark in Treptower Park where there was a funfair and some fairy tale houses and so on. It looks amazing except the real thing closed down years ago. You can see parts of it in the film Hanna - which is a really good film if you haven't seen it.
|President Reagan: "Folks, it's time to draw back your iron curtains and let some capitalist sunshine in"... or words to that effect. Man, I missed my calling as a speech writer...|
Other highlights were listening/watching JFK and Reagan give speeches in front of the Reichstag, hunting for nudists in the Tiergarten, and the kite flying on the hill. It would be a great day trip for kids it has to be said but at a normal price of 12 euros for adults and I think 6 euros per child (above 100cm tall) it might be better waiting for another Groupon deal.
Loxx Miniature Railway, Berlin
My other Groupon adventures:
Unsicht-bar - eating in the dark restaurant
Panoramapunkt - sightseeing from the top of Kollhof Tower.
Die Welt hot air balloon - sightseeing from Berlin's famous hot air balloon
Like I just stepped out of a salon - getting a Groupon haircut - eek