Over the past few weeks we have spent a whole lot of time wandering and discovering, museum hopping and fountain finding.
It seems that the further we explore the more we realize that there’s a whole lot more to this beautiful country than the Alps (although they make a pretty impressive backdrop!)
In this post I thought it might be a nice idea, not only to share our findings but also to serve as a reminder to us of all the great things we did during our time in Switzerland. We’ve had so much fun!
So, join us as we discover this gorgeous country …
‘Bridge Market Stroll’
Actually our markets visit was an accidental stumble-upon experience in Lucerne. We came across them while we were heading for a coffee shop. (as you do on a Saturday morning) It was a single alley of markets that ran the length of the walkway just past the Chapel Bridge – a very cool bridge that boasts being the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe!
I absolutely love a good market, they’re different everywhere you go. I’ve been known to get terribly (& intentionally) lost for hours while I take in all the delicious sights and irresistible smells. I love the hustle and bustle that you get at a good market and the insight to local produce, both staples and delicacies.
Even though this market was small in comparison to most, it was bursting with delights of all descriptions … flowers galore – daffodils, tulips, lilies … an array of cheeses that almost gave me eye strain…
… salamis of every shape and size, big glass jars of pickled veggies and occy, delectable breads, pastries … Oh my! It was all very easy to get caught up in, and that we did.
The stallholders were charming of course, some French some Italian, some German – all passionate about their produce and all very good at selling it! Needless to say we walked out a whole lot lighter in the wallet but by golly we had a yummy antipasto platter for dinner! (Didn’t we Tanja?!)
A ‘must do’ while in Lucerne is the Transport Museum. A whole lot of fun for young and old alike!
The scale and magnitude of the exhibits is extremely impressive with every area of transport covered. Our highlight (even before we entered the building!) was discovering how they made some of the tunnels in Europe – A question that we all had from our tunnel time in Madeira!
It’s a place that you could easily spend a day in, big enough for a couple of days if you so wish, and the chocolate tour is entertaining, just don’t expect to come out too full (sadly)
We loved the model trains, the interactive (& enormous) outdoor play area, and with Jed at the wheel the flight simulators were a hit!
We had half a day up our sleeve so after a tip from our local Basler buddies we jumped on the bus and headed for the Tinguely Museum.
It’s said that Jean Tinguely (1925–1991) is one of the most innovative and important Swiss artists of the 20th century. This museum is dedicated to his life’s work.
It’s a fun, interesting and interactive museum, key elements that make it excellent for kids as well as adults! Tinguely is famous for his moving mechanical structures and also known for his use of recycled materials to create his masterpieces. These two elements work together perfectly to create a fantastic exhibition. It also opened up another topic for some great discussions around what makes art and the freedom of creativity. (homeschooling & life lessons 101!)
The main exhibition while we were there was ‘Méta-Harmonies’ or ‘Music Machines’.
I read this on the website and I think it explains it perfectly,
‘It clanks and bangs and creaks and squeaks and sometimes even a tone sequence can be heard above the racket. The four machines that Jean Tinguely called Méta-Harmonies make a chaotic, clamorous din that sounds anything but composed. ‘My contraptions do not make music,’ wrote Tinguely, ‘my contraptions use sounds and I play with those sounds; I sometimes build
sound-mixing machines to mix sounds and then let the sounds go, give them their freedom.’
In short, it’s a collection of BIG, colourful, loud music-making structures that had us enthralled for some time. As well as a myriad of cogs and wheels and old junkyard scrap, we spotted dolls, an old piano, a merry-go-round horse, ladders and even a mini Michelin man! It was a treasure hunt of a different kind.
Now we’re heading for Bern, but I’m going to save that for the next post. Too many cool experiences to fit in one!
… TBC …
* My little tip for future Swiss travelers – buy a Swiss Half Fare Card with a family pass. Basically, after the initial cost of the pass, I paid half price for all train and bus travel within the country, the kids travelled for free. Plus a huge bonus was that most of the museums we visited were also free entry for us all. A big plus especially in Switzerland where everything is double the price of what you would normally pay elsewhere!