Tropical Island Berlin: A Taste of the Surreal

Berlin has much to delight lovers of the surreal and bizarre, but there is little that can top the totally weird Tropical Islands Resort. Strictly speaking the Tropical Islands isn’t really in Berlin. It is located about 60km south of the city in a giant hanger that is said to be the world’s biggest freestanding hall. That’s just the beginning, because this huge hall was built to house an airship that was itself never built.

Tropical Islands Berlin -

source: Tropical Islands

If this isn’t X-files enough, the story then starts to get really strange. After the hanger was built but not used, it was bought and had a man-made tropical forest  and fake tropical Island installed.

In the middle of winter, with snow falling on the ground, you can enter this huge, white lozenge in the middle of a field and you will find yourself in surrounded by birdsong and tropical rainforest.

The building itself is so large that the statue of Liberty can stand upright in it (if you believe the Washington Post) and the Eiffel Tower could lie on its side.

Deep and dark it was, the palms overhead eventually obscuring the sky, until they stopped obscuring it and a great cerulean-ness came into view. A cerulean screen, of course, dotted with Magritte-style clouds and mounted over a tropical sea called Tropical Sea. Germans of all ages frolicked in the sand nearby, while others camped overnight in canvas tents (just $30 a person for a pallet with high-thread-count sheets). The attraction, in addition to the sea itself, with its stainless-steel ocean floor, is the pair of sandbars floating on it. Both are magically transformed each evening from entertaining schmaltz islands to islands of schmaltz entertainment

If that isn’t enough to weird you out, I’m not sure what will.

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