Miniatur Wunderland and the Hamburg Christmas Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s the time of year when friends ask “Where are you vacationing this summer?” as openers of conversations.  The answer one of my students gave me this week was “Hamburg, Germany.”  He is a big model railroading enthusiast, and Hamburg has the world’s largest model railroad, Miniatur Wunderland.  One of my favorite Christmas topics is train gardens, but I had not heard of this miraculous sight.  Right now, there are eight unique areas with over 13,000 meters of track with nearly 1,000 trains.  The current design requires 46 computers and over 230 employees.  I am including a video of the trains with a link to the website.

Although the Miniatur Wunderland does not advertise any specific Christmas trains or train activities, I learned that Germany is proud of its traditional Christmas Markets, and Hamburg’s especially interesting.  Opening this year on November 25, the event is hosted by world-famous Roncalli Circus performers.  Each evening, Santa visits, arriving on a sleigh in the sky. I watched a video, and I can’t exactly figure out how Santa is flying, but it’s quite the spectacle.

The market advertises beautiful hand-crafted gifts, including traditional German Aachen Spice Cookies.  I looked up a recipe, and I am suggesting that Jeremy and I will need to experiment with the cookies.  I suspect that they will be close to a molasses/gingerbread taste.  We’re going to have to find a German baker who will guide us through the process, and I have one of my mom’s friends in mind.

 

 

One comment on “Miniatur Wunderland and the Hamburg Christmas Market

  1. writeln says:

    Dear Natalie, dear Jeremy,

    I liked your post aubout my home city and I am a big fan of the “Minatur Wunderland”. So please allow me to add a remark about Christmas at Wonderland.
    Every December Santa Claus appears there to fulfill his misson.
    At the US section there is also a special “Christmas Train” on track.
    You can find some pictures at my blog:
    http://blog.cupofcoffee.de/?p=3540

    The traditional markets have opened aigain now an we are all counting the days.

    With kind regard form Hamburg
    Sascha

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