Europe In 80 Minutes


You know that Jules Verne classic Around The World In Eighty Days? I’ve always wanted to live that story ever since I first read it as a teenager.  But we all know it’s not possible to lug enough clothes (and bags plus shoes) around for that amount of time without professional help.  I can barely stay sane packing for a 30-day trip, much less 80!  However, as I enter the grounds of  Mini-Europe this afternoon in Brussels, I’m starting to think this concept makes sense.  You could basically do Europe in 80 minutes…if you don’t mind seeing all the great sites in miniature.


From Greece


to Spain


to Hungary


to England, you can shortcut your way through Europe :


There are over 300 intricately crafted models to (1: 25) scale  of structures that I’ve either seen in person or on postcards.  I have to confess when I first entered the park, I felt a little guilty for spending my last afternoon at a tourist trap. But by the time I get to the second model, I am hooked. The details of each model are amazing.  And I think it must be fun for those of you who recognize these places below from your own travel:



Here are comparison pics of  some of the models and the actual places from my recent trips:










The park brochure recommends 2 hours to visit but I am here for over 3.  Mainly because I’ve loitered too long at the interactive pit stops, such as this one of  Kinderdijk where I’m trying to get the water pumping in the canal by spinning the water wheel:


In fact, the park crew is waiting for me to leave so they can go home!  I follow these ducks out of here…


and it’s time for dinner, back near the Grand Place just like at lunch.  When I walk through this main square after dinner, the moon is out and so are a million people. Every inch of the square is carpeted by tourists enjoying a warm night.  I’m not looking forward to my long flight home, but maybe this will help me ease my anxiety…

1 Comment

  1. Peter Bui

    That’s pretty cool and the waffle sure does look good.

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