Spring Break 2015… Part 01…

We had our 2 week-long Spring Holidays, which started on Good Friday, 3rd April and ended 19th April. It was a nice break from the routine of school and other lessons.

As usual, we don’t sit at home for long – we love to explore. So off we went.

Our first stop was the Laténium on Lake Neuchâtel in the French part of Switzerland. We went with some friends. It is a wonderful museum, situated right by the lake. So it boost amazing views and on the day we went, the weather was perfect; windy but bright and sunny 🙂

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i like the actual building itself. Lovely design and materials used.
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Isn’t that view just lovely? 😀

The permanent exhibits traces the history of the area, from about 1600 AD to the Ice Age, with many valuable and interesting archaeological finds from its very shores on display. We (that is my friend and i) were particularly interested in the Celtic displays. There is always lots about the Romans being in Switzerland but one rarely hears about the Celts.

The kids had audio guides which was wonderful for them and for the adults cos we did not have to explain every exhibit to them and could wander at our own pace. There were also several hands-on exhibits which made it interesting for them.

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The kids playing one of the ancient games with stones, this is still played today.

i loved the wealth of displays as well as information available. The exhibits were nicely arranged and in a good order.

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There were quite a few of these little exhibits which recreated the daily life of long ago.

We also saw the special exhibit about the Pharaohs which i believe is on loan from the Museum in Cairo.

The large park outside with replicas of old buildings and burial mounts gave lots of space for the kids to explore and run around. There’s a fun little playground for small ones.

We were a little disappointed that the replica of an old cargo boat was not on display on the water as indicated. But i think it’s because it’s just after winter and they have not brought it back out.

There is a large pool (no swimming in it) which showed the level of the lake as it was in ancient times; a whole 2.7 meters higher that it is today.

Here’s a nice little article which tells you a lot more about the Laténium. If you are visiting, it is good to know that the exhibits only have text in German and French. So if you don’t read either, please get the audio guide; it only costs CHF 5/. Also good to know that the museum cafe is tiny and only serves cakes, re-heated pizzas, packaged snacks and drinks.

We spent a couple of days at home, cleaning and doing what needs to be done. And then went off to France with some friends for the day; just across the border to Le Parc du Petit Prince (The Park of the Little Prince).

This delightful park is based on the famous children’s book, ‘The Little Prince‘, which is one of my favourite books.

If you have not read it, you really should. Especially if you intend to visit this park. i challenged Tobias to read the book in the 2 days before we went to the park, because i knew he would appreciate it and would then understand the different parts of the park as we went through it. He did it and it did help him so i recommend you either have your children read it or read it to them before you visit.

The park has attractions for all ages; there are rides and wonderful playgrounds for little ones. Lots of outdoor spaces for families to just spread a blanket and enjoy the sunshine. Food is always round the corner with various kiosks and a restaurant spread out over the park.

Here are some pictures of what we did enjoy at the park:

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i like the drawings of the Little Prince they have on the walls. There is an automatic ticket machine. But we chose to go to the counter as it was our first visit. And the first thing which greets you as you come out of the entrance tunnel is B 612 with the Little Prince standing proudly on it.
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Traditional fun-fair rides to entertain the children as well as lots of various little play areas. There is also a fun zip-line and big swings (not pictured).
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Meeting the different characters in the book; such as the Boa Constrictor who swallowed an elephant, the Baobab Tree, the sheep and of course The Rose!
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Explore the inside of a bi-plane. It is next to the main restaurant and the Big Movie Theater. Or take a ride on the little train. If you are going to the Big Movie Theater, note the times for the one English film and the one German film. The rest of the films are in French.
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Flying high with these 2 rides; the Balloon of the King and the Aerobar of the Drinker. Note: The Balloon only flies if the wind is below 25km/h. 
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At the top of the Aerobar of the Drinker. We actually took this ride twice! You can get a drink at the kiosk right next to this ride and take it with you on the ride. It goes 35 meters up, it felt higher though.
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This is the beautiful view which rewards you for flying high!

We also enjoyed some indoor attractions as such the cargo plane (where you get to feel what it is like to be in a plane during a storm), the mail plane (where we had to step on the right cargo to get to the right place), a short documentary showing the changes a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly, the underwater adventure ride to take photos of rare fishes and a little interactive room where the fox teaches you how to tame him. However, it was mostly in French and we simply guessed at what was happening. Of course, lots of visuals helped us.

Oh i must not forget the very fun room called “Planet to Planet” where we spent time jumping on lots of trampolines. There is a tall jump which you can do one at a time into a big soft form pool if you were brave enough.

We did not go to the Astronomical Questions because it was going to be in all French and we just didn’t think we would understand enough. The Volcano of Passions was closed when we were there, but i think it’s another restaurant.

There was also an opportunity to Draw a Sheep on a long wall but the kids weren’t interested in that. We did get to see real cute sheep in the meadows. But the foxes were not out. And now i know why – the mama fox just gave birth to 4 little ones! It says so on their website.

We also did venture through The Labyrinth of the Fountain. We started out thinking it was going to be easy but ended up having to take a shortcut out of it so we could make the show at the Big Movie Theater in time.

It is a nice little park to spend a day at. It isn’t extremely big but big enough to be interesting for all in the family.

Then we went off to Liverpool – but i will save that for Spring Break Part 02.

syc

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