Not a lot of travel this year.
The big trip to Australia and New Zealand depleted my travel budget for this year, so there's not much of other vacation travel. In addition, there have been no business trips to speak of for about a year now, so there's not much other travel either. So I'm a bit grounded at the moment. But I went to Denmark for a couple of days and managed to visit Legoland in Billund.
I visited Legoland in Germany in 2002 and expected something similar, basically an Lego-themed park, but Legoland in Billund is slightly different. While the park in Germany was designed with a Lego theme for the whole park (and I assume that is true as well for the parks in England and in California), the original park in Billund seems to have started out as the 'mini world' built from Lego bricks with a normal Lego-theme-less amusement park growing around it. In Germany, you can tell that you are in a Lego park even in those areas that are outside the 'mini world' by the widespread use of the six typical brick colours (red, green, blue, yellow, black and white) and a certain 'brickyness' of design. In the original park in Denmark, there is, for example, a 'western town' with typical blockhouse buildings, with almost no Lego elements at all. So instead the expected 'corporate identity' identical 'look and feel' across all the theme parks, the park in Billund still shows that its history somewhat differs from the other parks.
To a certain extent, this park looks like a prototype for the later parks. Part of this impression comes from the fact that the sculptures and buildings in the 'mini world' look a bit rougher than the ones in other parks. The reason for this is probably the time they were created. If you look at miniature buildings in other parks, you notice that they use many unusual and rare kinds of bricks and colours, which allow a close approximation of the look of the buildings represented. In Billund, most of the buildings use 'classical' elements (i.e. bricks, plates and roof tiles), with special bricks mostly as decoration, but rarely as structural elements.
Which, surprisingly, makes it more interesting. Not only do the things look more Lego-ish this way, they also look more do-able. While the more detailed structures provoke an automatic 'nobody can get these elements and colours by any normal methods' (i.e. by buying brick sets in normal toy shops) response, the structures in Billund actually make you think: 'I could by a couple of dozen standard sets (blue tub or whatever) and actually build this'. Admittedly I still wouldn't have the talent, money or patience to actually do this, but at least it seems possible.
(And I actually regret not having taken a couple of dozen pictures of the Lego Concorde, since that is something I'd like to build, (or at least have) even though it'd take quite a lot of sets to get that many white bricks.)
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