Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grand Maket

More than a year after hearing rave reviews of this place, we FINALLY ventured down to the south side of town to see the miniature Russia exhibit "Grand Maket".

What the heck were we waiting for? We already have plans to go back at least twice - once with the kids and once just the adults. Including the short snack break, we were there more than two hours and everyone wanted to stay longer but daddy knew traffic might be bad and it was naptime.

The exhibit captures the environment and a bit of the culture from every major region in Russia, and has trains, cars, trucks, tractors, buses and maybe metros (we never saw them but there are 2 metro stations so maybe we weren't patient enough) running around. There's also planes, helicopters, hot air balloons, boats and more that are grounded; i.e. not moving. The terrain goes from the taiga to the mountains, from beaches to permafrost. Realistic down to the traffic jams and crazy construction, the exhibit absolutely blew us away. We even got to joke that we no longer lament never getting to Kizhi, as there was a miniature island with replica wooden buildings and I am sure Terry could have caught it at an angle that could have suggested we were actually there, sort of.

On the way to the exhibit there's a windowed workroom so you can see the engineers putting together trains and other parts of the exhibit. At the exhibit itself there are plenty of places where you can push a button and make things happen, from starting construction workers digging and jackhammering, to felling trees in the forest, to lighting up a lighthouse.

Here's a sample of what's to see...