Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Well, that about wraps it up for Earth

They really are big on the model village thing in Shenzhen. Not content with representing their own splendid country in miniature form, they've only gone and boiled down the whole world into 48 hectares of scale models and rides. Or rather, lots of nice places from Europe and some things they've seen in Hollywood films.

As with my trip to Splendid China, there was a more meaningful reason behind my visit than just wanting an excuse to pretend I was sixty feet tall. Alright, it was mainly about that, but I've also been putting a lot of thought into where I want to go next, now I'm through with this part of the world and my second tranniversary is fast approaching.

It didn't make my mind up, but it did strengthen my convictions.

Window of the World


If you live in a major European city, it won't be news to you that Chinese tourists really like to visit these places, and this is by far the most impressive and detailed section of the park. My sarcastic impulses have been almost completely usurped, as their recreations of monuments, squares and streets were really pretty good.

I don't know if this is supposed to be a real square in Belgium or a generic Euro-street, all I've seen of the real Belgium so far is service stations. But doesn't it look nice?

I didn't make it to the Vatican when I was in Italy, and they still wouldn't let me in. Was it something I said?

I didn't have a camera last time I went to Venice, so maybe this can make up for it. It's still a contender for my favourite place

I always forget how much I liked Florence too. Why didn't I stay in Italy for longer? Where was I running to?

Oh yeah, now I remember. The scaled-down Acropolis doesn't lose much from the original construction site. I couldn't get out of Athens quick enough

I went to the real Eiffel Tower when I was twelve, so I can't remember a lot about it. But this one-third replica is still pretty impressive. I assumed it just seemed taller because I've grown.

I wonder what they've got to represent the entirety of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Any guesses?

Oh brilliant, didn't expect to see that again. What have you got for Holland? Couple o' windmills?

Well what else are they going to show? This is a family park

To be fair, England gets Stonehenge too.
Sorry Scotland, you're not important enough to China


My memory must be failing me again, I don't remember a lake and lush vegetation when I went to the real Abu Simbel in the middle of the desert

These pyramids aren't exactly as I remembered them either, but I was there pre-reformation

It's health and safety gone mad


Maybe I missed a turning, but I didn't see much representation for Asia at all, apart from this Singapore Merlion, which achieves the impressive feat of being even more rubbish than the real one.

But to be honest, after two years I'm Asia'd out, and I was more interested in getting inspiration for new places to visit, like:

North America

I've been thinking about some combination of Canada, the United States and South America for 2013 (north to south or the other way). I didn't realise the famous landmarks were so close together, that'll save me a lot of time and money.

Yes, I do think it's big and clever to be pedantic about a children's theme park.

I spotted a couple of inaccuracies in their Manhattan skyline too. (Three if you count the Rio Jesus, but then again He is everywhere).

There's no easy solution for the park's owners - they've been criticised for keeping these buildings up, but surely it would be more offensive if they flew a couple of remote control planes into them for the sake of accuracy? Just take it as a snapshot of New York before it happened, alright?

Of all the detailed miniatures, their Grand Canyon has to be the least impressive. It's not even a ditch. Overall, the USA section of the park does feel like it was put together with less enthusiasm than the rest - I wonder what that's about?

South America

I keep unfairly and inaccurately dismissing this mighty continent as 'another South East Asia,' but it has loads of the stuff I'm interested in

Though the Nazca lines, pyramids and megaliths could threaten to re-ignite my enthusiasm for ancient astronaut bullshit and turn this into a paranoid conspiracy blog. The internet doesn't need more of those

Not sure what country this is

Venezuela flash flooding simulation. Maybe I won't go to South America after all, it could be danger-

Today's relevant soundtrack: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World (Alien Voices dramatisation)