Autumn 2013 Holiday Week 02…

This is Part 2 of our Autumn Holidays wandering around Switzerland. (See Part 1 and Part 3.)

So this second week we were a little more adventurous and went to the Pilatus Seilpark (Rope park). This was Tobias’ first time at a rope park. He had wanted to go to one for a while already. So we got there just after lunch and got hooked up with harnesses and gloves and helmets. Then it was off to a short introduction course. The instructor stays with you as you try your hand at the very first course – it is a must for everyone to go through this so they know you are definitely using the equipment correctly and safely. It was nice to know that they really do make sure of this. There were a few instructors around and you could call on them anytime for help. While we were there, someone did require assistance and they were quite quick to come to her aid.

Tobias only managed the first two courses as this was his first time and he has been (over the last few weeks) bravely trying to get over his fear of heights. i’m proud of what he managed. They have 10 different courses of varying difficulty and height. Do take note that certain ages can only do a few of the courses.

Top: You can see other courses behind him. Bottom Left: Climbing the monkey ladder. Bottom Center: Crossing the shaky log. Bottom Right: Swinging ropes.
Top: You can see other courses behind him. Bottom Left: Climbing the monkey ladder. Bottom Center: Crossing the shaky log. Bottom Right: Swinging ropes.

Oh the price is a bit steep if you only do a couple of courses and are done. We did those two courses a few times each and stayed for about 2.5 hours. We also did some tubing at the end, just rented one tube for half an hour. (Unfortunately, they took down the webpage on tubing from the Pilatus website so you’ll just have to see our picture of it.) And of course, as with most Swiss places, there is a family price, even for just one adult and one child, which is great.

It is a fairly long but quick run downhill on in a tube lined with rubber mats. Really quite fun!
It is a fairly long but quick run downhill on in a tube lined with rubber mats. Really quite fun!

Then we spent a quiet day at home, playing board games and building cardboard airplanes.

We used some parts from a Makedo set we had bought in Singapore.
We used some parts from a Makedo set we had bought in Singapore.

Our next stop was a much calmer Tropenhaus Frutigen. We went to the Tropenhaus Wolhausen with some friends in Spring and had wanted to come to this one as they specialised in fishes. And we found out during our visit that it was just one type of fish – sturgeons – and they also make caviar.

Each Tropenhaus has a unique restaurant which serves the food they grow there. And we had wanted to try the Wolhausen one but when i called the day before our visit to reserve a table – there was none. The same thing happened to us at this Frutigen one. But we waited a day and booked a table for the next day. So be warned – if you wanna eat there, book early (at least a few days before). The food we ordered was unique but taste wise it was just okay, nothing too fabulous. But maybe it was because i skipped their speciality – caviar.

Top: Chicken Nugget and Banana Chips with an unusual dip. Middle: Sturgeon Fingers, Chips and a great housemade tartar sauce. Bottom: The restaurant. This is called the Terrace & there is another part which looked more classy.
Top: Chicken Nuggets and Banana Chips with an unusual dip. Middle: Sturgeon Fingers, Chips & a great house-made tartar sauce. Bottom: The restaurant. This is called the Terrace & there is another part which looked more classy.

The exhibition room was crowded as they had too much going on, i felt. They had an exhibit on energy and the earth. An exhibit on the sturgeons. And an exhibit to celebrate the local railway company’s jubilee – BLS. When i say exhibit, i don’t mean just one panel but many panels and objects, all spread out and crisscrossing each other. It is very unusual for a Swiss museum to be like this (we have been to a fair number to date). Anyhow, Tobias found the exhibit about the sturgeons most interesting.

Top: It is in a wonderfully pretty location. Bottom: giant fishes!
Top: It is in a really pretty location. Bottom: giant fishes!

Then you can see the fishes in their tanks outside (if you go in winter, do take your coats with you through the exhibition area so you don’t freeze outside). After which we walked back into the tropical enclosure to see the tropical plants and a few fowls.

Camera 360
Clockwise from top left: star fruit, chilli, pineapple, papaya

It is a nice way to spend an afternoon. The amazing thing is that we met a pair of grandparents with their two grandsons while waiting for the train home. They had also just been to the Tropenhaus and guess where they live… the boys live in Ruttenen (the next village from us) and their grandparents live in our village. Talk about travelling far to meet neighbours 😉 The older boy is the same age as Tobias and they would likely see each other again when they get to Oberstufe (secondary school).

They had lovely orchids too!
They had lovely orchids too!

Our next outing was to the Axporama with Daddy. It is run by the energy company Axpo. And is fairly out of the way to get to – only one bus goes there but it is situated there so that school groups can tour both the museum and the nuclear power plant itself, which is only a 15 minute walk from the museum.

Top: There is a castle (Swiss' standards) right next to the Axporama, which you can just spot behind the trees on the right (the red spot).
Top: There is a castle (Swiss’ standards) right next to the Axporama, which you can just spot behind the trees on the right (the red spot). Bottom: The nuclear plant across the river.

Well, we arrived around noon and there was no one there. We had the entire place to ourselves. The lady did say Saturdays are usually quiet as they mostly have school groups or company groups come during weekdays.

Left: This is the top floor. Right: Generating your own energy.
Left: This is the top floor. Right: Generating your own energy.

It is quite a small museum – only 2 half floors. But it had interesting hands-on exhibits about energy. The bottom floor tells a lot about the earth and the energy we consume as human beings. The top floor lets you try out different ways of generating electricity and explains things like new energy, bio-energy etc… The most interesting exhibit for us was to role-play as the energy company and we had to mix and match different sources of energy, making it work economically while supplying a city with a day’s worth of energy. There were perk periods to take note of and there was a limit to how much we could spend. Each energy source is priced differently and of course only generates a certain amount of energy so once you have it at maximum output you can’t get any more out of it. We failed – we went burst 10 minutes before day’s end – hahahhaa 😉

Some of the exhibits dealt with actual production of energy. Others tells you what and how much energy we consume.
Some of the exhibits dealt with actual production & the how-to of electricity. Others tells you what & how much energy we consume.
This is the energy mix and match exhibit.
This is the energy mix and match exhibit.
They have a few other interesting exhibits outside too - like this giant ball track.
They have a few other interesting exhibits outside too – like this giant ball track.

So there you have it – our travels in Week 02 of the Autumn hols.

Stay tuned for Week 03…

syc

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3 thoughts on “Autumn 2013 Holiday Week 02…

  1. You live in such a unique, beautiful country. Thanks for sharing all your travels. It’s so fun to see what you’ve done, where you’ve gone…and what you’ve eaten. Yum!

    Like

    1. i know – it is an amazing country & so very different regionally even… i always say to people – Switzerland is exactly as the postcard shows 😉 i’m very grateful to be living here & more than happy to share our travels 🙂

      Like

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