Welcome back to the marvelous world of Madurodam! It’s a theme park of Lilliputians, complete with moving trains, bridges, sailing ships and of course windmills. It’s not everyday that one gets to see a jumbo jet taxiing at Schiphol while crossing Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam then seeing the tulips in Keukenhof, all in the same morning.
Funny how I was just watching Jack the Giant Killer last weekend and suddenly here we were. It seemed like an eerie coincidence that we found ourselves Godzilla-like over a mini-version of Amsterdam on our return visit to Madurodam.
It was a beautiful, almost Spring-like Sunday, and we were early enough to beat the tourist crowd that slowly streamed in. Since it was actually still Gay Pride Weekend in Amsterdam, and neither of us were inclined to participate in the gay festivities, I had the brilliant idea of going to The Hague which just so happened to be where this little theme park could was located.
And it wasn’t only mini-replicas of the best-of-the-best that were there, but also tiny, little citizens of all shapes and colors. I even saw for myself that rarest of rare humans – a grey man! (That was the only thing that struck me as strange). It was for me quite a huge playground, and a great way to spend a few hours on a Sunday.
I’d always wanted to go back there since our first visit many years ago when we were still living in Rotterdam – I loved how well-crafted everything was, I suppose justifiably given how expensive the entry tickets were (and don’t get me started on how much they charge at the restaurant!). When we were there this second time, I couldn’t help but reminisce about Nayong Pilipino (Philippine Village), a theme park from my childhood which had a similar microcosm-of-society concept that though not as high-end (nor as well-done) had the same idea — a whole country to explore in one day.
There were so many moving parts in every corner of the park that even if there weren’t any actual people, it still felt quite real. With every moving train and sailing ship, every rising bridge and turning windmill, even at my age I could feel my inner child stirring. The whole place was so well done, it made me wish that it all came alive after everyone was gone.
I wouldn’t want to be left cleaning the place, though.