Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

Thursday May 28th, 2015

Gurten Park – in Wabern (Bern)

My kids and I have often been in Bern within last few years as a close friend lived there. In fact, Bern had been our main destination for many school holidays. And we could never skip Gurten on a sunny day and it remains one of our most favorite spots in Bern. Bern is close enough from Lausanne to do a day trip (around 1h one way by train or car), and we could totally spend a whole day at Gurten alone.

Gurten for Bern is like Ouchy or Sauvabelin for Lausanne, it’s the place where the locals let go the busy city and breath the fresh air. It is located at the top of the hill above Bern, and not accessible by car. There is a train station (Wabern, Gurtenbahn) at the foot of the hill as well as car parking. Then everyone goes up the hill by climbing the stairs (free) or with the funicular “Gurtenbahn” (for a small fee).  Strollers can be brought in at the end of the funicular, and as far as I know, most (if not all) areas are stroller- and wheelchair-accessible.gurten-viewbelow

Once you get to the top and out of the funicular, you will be greeted by a view to the city of Bern, lots of greenery, and grazing highland cattles. Ahhhh…

A few steps from the funicular stations starts a huge space for younger kids, with tons of fun activities. My kids usually directly go to the kids cars (fueled by CHF1 coins. In the warmer months only)

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My oldest also love this hands-and-feet-on public art “Tinguely-Maschine” (below) where she can move a ball through the complicated tracks by using the tools correctly. This involves lots of pulling, pushing, pedaling, and lifting. A really amazing thing.

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There are also a huge climbing frame for the bigger kids as well as a smaller one for the tots.

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And then… this super cute paddling pool “Aquaris”. The water may look very green but that’s because the pool quality is maintained naturally and organically. Yes, kids may sometimes chance upon a frog here.

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This raft alone makes me want to be a child again. How fun it is!

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While we have only tried the parts of the park that were designated for younger kids, there are so many other things that people of all ages can enjoy here, including walking and bike tracks, outdoor live music and many festivals during the warmer months. In winter, when there is enough snow there are sled tracks and children ski schools. We always eat a picnic there but there are restaurants and food carts to go to when hunger strikes.

There is also a mini train that my kids have always had to sit on, but somehow I couldn’t find a photo in my computer. But you can see the photo of the mini train and many more on their website, or check the video below of the play area of the park.

 

 

The best of all, is that you don’t need to plan too much to go here. Just pick a sunny day to go to Bern and go up from the city!

 

Gurten_rauf

 

More info:
Gurten – Park im Grünen
3084 Wabern (Bern)
+41 31 970 3333

Wednesday May 27th, 2015

This & That Week #22 – May 2015

Sorry for not posting much lately. The last 2 off-days happened to be Thursday and Monday – the days my son goes to his Jardin d’enfants so there went my blogging mornings!

There are a few things I’d like to mention here:

  • Again, many awesome events this week and weekend including the Food Truck Festival, the popular UNIL mysteries, Museum Night at the Swiss Riviera, nature festival, running race in Lutry, and more – here!
  • La Fête des Voisins in Lausanne is on Friday 29th. If you want to know your neighbors better this is a good chance!
  • Picard starts in Suisse Romand… in Prilly! – via 24heures
  • Experience “Jardins des Iris” under the stars, 4 and 11 June 2015. Bring a flashlight or lantern! (By reservation. Adult only event) – More info

 

Hope to be back tomorrow with a new post! x

Thursday May 21st, 2015

Just a quick note

Hey there!

I only a have a few minutes to write now, so just a really quick note to thank you all who have been following Lausanne Mom on facebook, especially as yesterday we hit the 1,000 likes! WOOOHOOOO!

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It’s amazing to know that there are so many of you who like this blog, and at the same time it feels weird and scary to know that so many of you read what I wrote. I really have to be careful of what I write! 😉

Thank you again and I will come back with more stories and blogs next week. As for the rest of this week, don’t forget that we have a long weekend again, as Monday is a holiday – Lundi de Pentecôte. We have loads of events this weekend, and this will continue throughout summer. Many outdoor sport events for families, too. I have updated the blog’s Event Directory up to end of July and will keep updating it the next months. Do let me know if interesting events for kids and family in the area if you happen to know one!

For now, I wish you a great end of the week, a happy long weekend and let’s keep our fingers crossed that the weather doesn’t turn to be too bad!

You can check the event directories – like, NOW!

Monday May 18th, 2015

Chemin de Fer du Kaeserberg in Granges-Paccot

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Last week was my son’s birthday week. This guy has been in love with trains since he was just a baby. So as his birthday treat, on Saturday we went to Chemin de Fer du Kaeserberg in Granges-Paccot near Fribourg city.

We took the combined offer from RailAway, which gave us (the adults) 20% off train ticket price, 10% off bus ticket price as well as 20% off entry tickets to the museum. Both kids travel and enter for free as they are under 7y and my daughter has a Junior travelcard for the train.

Kaeserberg was easily reached by public transport. The bus started directly from the bus terminal at Fribourg station and the bus trip last less than 10 minutes. Then a few minutes on foot.

The Kaeserberg building was sleek and very modern. The lovely lady at the ticket counter spoke English with us and kindly gave us English guide books.

Visitors go in groups that each starts every 30 minutes. The maximum number of visitors per time slot was 40, so that if the place was full, you have to wait 30 minutes for the next one. When we were there on Saturday 2:30pm, there were only us and another family of 4 – a total of 8. But we saw that the later group had more people.

The visit began by a short film about the founder, the creative team and the work behind Kaeserberg. The film was in French with German surtitle – unfortunately no English. I think the film itself can be enjoyed without the audio explanation, but I hope you won’t miss when they mention how much material was needed, and that it took them 17, yes SEVENTEEN years, to finish the project.

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After the film we moved to another room where more explanations were given, again only in French with German translation. In this room we could see the different trains and the complexity of the network, electric circuits and how the train station was maintained.

And then we went to the main attraction, the Swiss railway model at a 1:87 scale. My photos here don’t do justice to what you can see by yourself.

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While the stars should be the trains, the whole model deserve a lot of praise. So beautifully crafted and truly depicted the scenes around Swiss railways. We don’t have car and take trains all the time, so that we know how real they looked.

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We spent a lot of time admiring the trains and scenes – The mini tractors, containers being lifted by cranes, cows grazing, a group of Nordic walkers… There was also a Knie circus complex complete with their animals. Even the sound that the miniature trains made when they moved on the track was similar to the real moving train sound we usually hear from a distance (our house is approx 500m from a railway).

The main area consisted of 2 floors, so that we could see the network from different angles. There were also stepping stools for the kids as well as several sets of binoculars that we used to spy on the details.

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We spent a total of 1.5 hours inside, then a few minutes more on the snack and drink area (self-service) for coffee and biscuits before hopping on the bus back to Fribourg station.

Conclusions: Great place to visit, especially for those train-loving souls. It would also work well on a rainy or cold day as everything is indoor! We’ll definitely come back, as my son already asked when we were leaving “Mama, could we come back tomorrow?”

Lastly, Kaeserberg also offers space to rent for events, both personal and professional. More info here.

Chemins de fer du Kaeserberg
Impasse des Ecureuils 9
Case postale 29
CH 1763 Granges-Paccot (Fribourg)
Phone +41 26 467 70 40
Fax +41 26 467 70 41
Email info(AT)kaeserberg.ch

Note that they don’t open everyday (usually on Wednesdays, weekends, and public holidays)

Thursday May 7th, 2015

This & That Week #19 – May 2015

It’s happy time this weekend in Lausanne, with a dance festival and the Lausanne Carnival (more info on Event page).

And Sunday is Mother’s Day in CH. Do you have a nice plan for yourself? Or your family usually surprises you? My answer would be “no” and “no” but honestly I don’t feel very motivated these days. If I could just sit and read a book for a couple of hours I’d be happy :) My kids will surely bring some hand-made gifts from jardin d’enfants and school so that at least I’ll get something :)

But in any case let just hope that the weather forecast will be wrong and it will be dry on those days!

There are a few more info I’d like to share here:

  • Landslide alert on avenue Louis-Vulliemin (Lausanne Cité) – via 24heures
  • Open House – École de Musique de Pully, Sat 9 May 2015 from 10am (info)
  • Flower show: 60èmes floralies at Les Jardins du Château de Vullierens, until 14 June 2015
  • New Ludotheque le potiron in Renes – Yay to toys!
  • Peppiland giant bouncy thingy is currently in Moudon, until Sunday. chf10/kid
  • TedxLausanneWomen, 28 May 2015

And finally the video that made a huge talk since published 2 days ago. It was made and distributed by Lausanne Police. Brutal yet effective. Just don’t watch with little children.

 

Tuesday May 5th, 2015

Domestic Violence – Where to Seek Help

This is not really a happy post, but after reading an email from another mother in CH (she had a son) who was being abused by her husband, I felt the need to do this post. God forbids this ever happen to any of us. But sadly, we keep hearing about domestic violence over and over again. Even worse, in the last few years 2 of my dear friends were affected, showing me that this horrible condition may be closer to me than I would imagine.

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So, what to do? Please seek help, IMMEDIATELY. Most likely, even if you think you’re the only victim, it also affects your children. Go for a counseling if you are still confused of what to do. And call the police if you think that your life may be in danger, which is also a good thing to do if you want to file complaint.

I made a search through the web and found these places where the victims of domestic (or workplace) violence can go:

  • LAVI Centre (Centre LAVI)
    Rue du Grand-Pont 2bis, 1003 Lausanne
    Phone: 021 320 32 00 (24/24)
  • Shelter Malley-Prairie (24/24)
    (Centre d’accueil Malley-Prairie)
    Chemin de la Prairie 34, 1007 Lausanne
    Phone: 021 620 76 76/77, info(AT)malleyprairie.ch
    www.malleyprairie.ch
    www.violencequefaire.ch

Recently I also discovered that there is a special shetlter for male victims, though it’s located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. You can hear the podcast (in English) here.

For sexual abuse, you should go immediately to the CHUV. And you can also go to those places even if you’re not the one being abused but suspect that someone else is.

Be safe!

*Photo courtesy of hyperscholar, used under Creative Commons

Monday May 4th, 2015

Summer Holiday Activities in Lausanne and Around (2015)

ouchy-summer

Now that the warmer (albeit wet) weather is here, it’s time to think of school summer holiday! :)

For those not yet familiar with the school here, school kids in Switzerland have holidays often, approximately every 6 weeks (find the list here). This may create headaches to many parents, especially ones who are employed. Chatting around, I found that most employed couple rely on help from grandparents or families (who sometimes fly from another side of the planet). Or hire a temporary nanny when they can afford one. Or they take turns taking off days from their office. But considering the active life of kids, even the stay-at-home parents need programs to keep those little ones and teens happily occupied.

Below I complied different kinds of activities and camps that are offered during the school holidays in Lausanne and surrounding areas. Please click the links for more info.

As a general rule, the winter holiday after Christmas and the Relâches (February) are considered ski holiday thus most of the sport camps offered concentrated into this. For other holidays, activities are more varied.


Passeport Vacances

Passeport Vacances are offered for 5-11° Harmos (9-15y). Offers include 300+ activities and entries to museums, swimming pools and public transport. The passport is offered by 40 communes in Lausanne and around. Will be on sale starting 11 May until 5 June 2015. If it didn’t cover your area, check with your commune. There are many other regional passeports offered throughout the canton

Offers from the city of Lausanne and surrounding municipalities (Le SJL, le CVAJ and la FASL)

Note that these may be reserved for children domiciled inside the municipalities. Check current offers here on the banner on the left hand side

Educational themes

  • Pop In’s – Full or half day, 3-12y. The page is not yet updated, but I think it will come soon here: (info)
  • L’écoline in St.Sulpice – Full or half day, there is also one bilingual French-English week, 3-9y (info)

Languages

  • Key English School – Full or half day English camps, 3-15y. Vaud locations are: Lausanne-Riponne, Lausanne-Malley, Bussigny, Blonay, and Vevey (info)
  • Migros école – English or German courses for teenagers (info)

Creative and Artistic Expression

  • Art Classes by Naomi Middelmann in Lausanne – 5-12y, mornings only (info)
  • Têtard in Lausanne (or Leysin) – (info)
  • Atelier poterie by Migros Ecole – 6y+ (info)
  • Bricks 4 Kidz – Half or Full day, 4-13y (info)
  • Painting and Drawing by Atelier Ardersia in Pully – 6-15y, mornings only (info)

Music, Dance and Theatre

  • Melody Music and Art by Emily Hornsby-Martinez – 9am-12:30pm, 3-12y (info)
  • Corps et Masque in Lausanne – 8:30am-1pm, 6-12y (info)
  • Danse Evasion – 9am-4pm, 4-14y, in Cugy (info)
  • Brightlights Summer Creative Camps: “Cruise Around The World” in La Tour-de-Peilz, 7-12y (July 6, 7, 8 & 9 and August 17, 18, 19 & 20, 10am-2pm. Info: brightlights.drama (AT) gmail.com

Make-up

  • Maquillage pour adolescents by Migros Ecole, 13-16y (info)

Sports

  • Intersoccer – Soccer for 3-15years, mornings only (info)
  • Swimming in Pully – mornings only, 4-12y (info)
  • Playball in Nyon area – mornings, 3-8y (info)

Circus

  • KidsUp in Lausanne – Half or Full day, from 5y (info)

Even more activities

  • See this post for family-friendly places in Switzerland, including links to blog post about our visits
  • See this extensive list on Loisir.ch
  • Check the current offers from RailAway

Do you know other activities and camps I should list here? Leave a comment!

*This is not a sponsored post

Thursday April 30th, 2015

Ten Reasons We Love Our First Two Years at Public School

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One thing that I quickly learned when my daughter starts going to public school was that schooling options could lead to a lengthy arguments among parents. Even one of my friends, who sends her child to a private school, rolled her eyes when I mentioned that I loved our public school. But I think it’s just how parenting always is. There is not one option that will suit every single child, and as parents believe in their choice it could be a discomfort to accept that other parents love a different choice.

I fully understand why different child needs different type of education, and how families differ in their expectations. This blog post is by no means saying that everyone should send their children to public schools. I’m merely trying to sum up what we love about our public school, based on the first 2 years (1-2P HarmoS, which is equal to kindergarten, age 4-6):

Public schools in Switzerland have no ranking

Most of you should have heard it, Switzerland does not have best/favorite school labels. This eliminates the need to live in a certain area to qualify for a specific school. It certainly helped when we decided to buy a house.

Public school is free

It was a no-brainer for us to send our daughter to public school. There is no way we could afford private school tuition in Switzerland. Having this decision, we cross fingers that our daughter would thrive there, otherwise we would home-school. It’s important to note that we plan to live in Switzerland for a long time, so we don’t have worries about different systems and levels if we moved to different countries.

Free school also means broader social demography. We enjoy knowing that our children mix with children of different backgrounds, not only with those financially very stable.

School registration is easy

When our kids reach the school, their names popped up in the system and we automatically received letters to register them for the following school year. The letters came in January, and we were to reply by end of February. We also had to have a certification from the pediatrician that we should send to the school nurse before the school commences in August.

The school sent us the confirmation including the name of the teachers and classmates sometime around May. We also received an invitation to come to the class to meet the teachers and fellow classmates before summer holiday started.

Learning pace in the first 2 years (1-2P HarmoS) is slow

My daughter was born in September, so that when she started school at the end of August, she was almost 5 year-old. I know that in many other countries, at this age she was supposed to be able to read. I was glad that the teacher did not teach reading either during the first year of school. While we love to read and both our kids love books, we prefer not to teach them reading too soon. My daughter showed readiness at age 6 (2nd year of school – 2P HarmoS), thus we started at home and soon after the teachers picked it up and she started reading at school too.

The most prominent thing for the first couple of years seems to be the rules of the society. They learn politeness, how to take turns, to listen, to ask questions, to keep their belongings, desks and classroom in order, to lead the class (in my a daughter’s class a “chef” is picked everyday from among the pupils)

I observed that in the first 2 years, the children do a lot of crafts and play. And when we met the teacher at the last 3/4 of the first school year, we found that they had low to moderate (in my opinion) targets. The 4-5 year-olds are only expected to tell how many dots are on a face of a dice, or counting to 10 (when my daughter could count at least until 29). On the next meeting (halfway of second year) the teacher mentioned that our daughter could already read sentences while some of her friends had only started with the sounds.

Do we worry about this “low” standard in the first years? Nope. We know that the last PISA study results suggest that education in Switzerland is really good (#9 worldwide), and even better, the pupils were among the happiest in the world. Having these results, it seems that the slow pace works. Perhaps pupils study better and happier as they are not overworked.

It is important to note that (we heard) the pace of study accelerates quickly in 3rd year of school, when homework starts as well as more difficult assignments for the students with high potentials.

The school provides French teacher for non-native speakers

Although our daughter was born in Lausanne, and spent many years going to day care and jardin d’enfants, she hadn’t spoken French when she started school. She is always a quiet and shy girl, and while she seemed to understand French, it was obvious that she needed help. And she was not the only one needing it in her class. Together with 4 other non-native speakers in her class, she had one morning per week with a French teacher. The class last almost the whole first year and by the second year they had no more problem with their French. Now I have started asking my daughter for some French words I didn’t understand :)

The school is close by

In our case, the school is extremely close, as in I-can-reach-it-in-30-seconds close. It’s only 5 row-houses away and on a dead-end street. Sometimes I can even see my daughter having her recess from our bedroom window. As after a few months of school, at the age of 5.5, she started going to school and coming home by herself. This year she will go to a different building for the 3P class, but again, it’s close by (5 minute on foot), and I’m sure she will be happy to walk there by herself. Note that our commune is small, we feel safe here and children go everywhere by themselves. I may act differently if we lived in bigger city like Lausanne.

The kids return home for lunch

I love this. Some of you may just rolled your eyes hearing this 😉 I know this is like the worst for employed parents, and I’m sorry if it was the case. Yet in our case it’s perfect. Both our kids are introverts, especially the older. Being able to go home at lunch everyday, after very active mornings, is exactly what she needs. I am an introvert myself so that I know how important it is for introverts to be able to “retreat from the world” and go “inside the bubble” to recharge. And I’m happy to be home to meet and prepare lunch for them, although it does mean that my “child-free” mornings are short.

They move and go out often

Even inside the class the children move a lot. They don’t sit on the same desk all day. From what my daughter told me, the children are usually given a few tasks to complete, but they can do it at their own schedule and pace, as long as they finish it within the deadline. So while sometimes they will gather on the carpet to learn something from the teachers and hear stories, other times they will be everywhere in the class – some will play games while others draw (by hand or on the computer) and craft.

The class go to the playground for their recess when the weather is nice. Except during winter, they also hike to the local forest (approximately 1km from school) where they collect falling branches to make a cabane. In the last 2 years they had been to museums twice, four times to the ice skating rink, had annual sport day with physically disabled pupils, watched many shows at school including circus, theater, marionette and a concert by Gaëtan. We had to pay a small contribution for trips, usually CHF10/trip and it included transport (bus or train), entry fee, and equipment rental such as the ice skates.

Nearing Christmas they helped decorate our commune’s Christmas tree, did a lantern parade around the commune and sang Christmas chorals at the senior home.

Public school helps us to integrate

While not directly related to the school itself, I think it’s one of the perks I have to include. I don’t think anything works better to integrate ourselves in our little commune than sending our kids to the public school. We started meeting other parents, make new friends, have small chats with other parents at local Coop. This goes even better when volunteering is involved. The class welcomes volunteers, especially for their trips. They also welcomes parents who can spare some time to come to class and give a talk to the pupils. The kids remember these parents who came to class and they tell their parents about it. We learn more about our neighbors and they about us, through kid gossips :)

With the neighbors, we also build our “village” – we started backing each other up. They know that I am a SAHM and once in a while asked my help when they couldn’t be home in time for lunch or after school, and they did likewise for me. This is always easily arranged as we come across each other all the time.

No more playdate to arrange

Again, another perk. As most of my daughter’s friends live nearby, they just show up on our door to ask her to play. I don’t have to call a friend’s parent to arrange anything nor to bring her anywhere. It’s also very common to let the kids as young as three to play by themselves in the area around the house. I usually use this opportunity to garden or clean the garage so that I can hear them if they needed me, but I don’t feel the need to keep my eyes on them all the time. It’s so nice to have a couple hours of break and to give them independency.

There – 10 main reasons why we love our public school. As far as second year now, we don’t have anything that we really dislike. We send the children there clear from expectations and comparison to other systems, and were satisfied by what we received so far.

Of course these may not be the same to what other parents may have experienced. I have heard complaints and problems, from the teachers to school bus to bullying to inflexibility of school systems. Some so severe that families chose to moved to a different country. I will try to engage more parents to write a blog or sum up their experiences so that you can hear different perspectives. As for this post, I have to conclude it here – otherwise I’m afraid will end up writing a book! :)

I hope this post is useful for you and do tell me how you find your children’s schools, either public or private. You can write on comment below or email me at info(AT)lausannemom.com.

Tuesday April 28th, 2015

Sensorium in Rüttihubelbad (near Bern)

This post below was previously published in March 2013. A friend visited this museum recently and I asked her if she could add something to this post. This is what she said:

“There’s still the musical instruments. The level with the smelling stuff has a new exhibition added about bees. Outdoors there are as many exhibits as indoors *perhaps more* so it’s absolutely lovely in summer. barefoot paths, gorgeous playgrounds. Great restaurant. The double swingset alone is worth admission.”

So I think I have to bring this post back. A really great place, I promise!

During the February school holiday, the kids and I spent one long weekend in Bern. Since last year, we’ve been doing many few-day trips to Bern as my close friend live there, and the kids always ask to visit her. As a result, we’ve been to many places in Bern and as the weekend was really cold (-10°C, yikes!) we needed something indoor that would be fun for both my kids (4.5y & 21m)

I consulted this list, and decided to go somewhere new (to us) – Sensorium. It’s located outside Bern, in Rüttihubelbad (Walkringen). I can tell you now that I made one fantastic decision! The museum was super fun, and was for all ages. And it was free for under 6s, so that I only had to pay for myself (CHF18), while the three of us went it! Yay! *cheapmom*

Everything that they had in this museum was hands-on. For example this photo below, shows one of the many balance discs, with my daughter hopping on it. Even my son (a toddler!) was super excited and it was very difficult to drag him to leave this area.

sensorium-disc

That was, until we came to to this (photo below), which obviously was my kids’ most favorite part of the museum. My daughter took off her shoes, got blindfolded, and walked on different type of surfaces (wood, metal, sand, rock, etc), while I guided her. Btw, to convince her to do that, I went first with her as my guide – it was fun! My toddler only did half of the track while blindfolded, he just hated not being able to see. But they both made many many rounds afterwards — it was so much fun.

sensorium-blindfold

In this part (photo below) we tested our senses of smell. We opened the numbered jars and sniffed them, and if we could not figure out what smell it was, there was a list (the green one on the wall) that we could refer to.

sensorium-smell

And there were these mirrors. Can you see how much fun my little monkeys had?

sensorium-mirrors

There were many many more to see, smell, hear, touch, feel… we easily spent 3 hours there. The 2 kiddos were never bored!

sensorium-rocktower

There was a rest area, with tables and seats, where you can sit, drink and eat (We brought our snack and drinks). There were cold and hot drinks that you could purchase there, but no real meal. For that, you could go to the restaurant of Rüttihubelbad (same complex as the museum) that also offers breakfast or brunch packages (museum ticket included in the price).

We used public transport to reach this museum, and it was really easy. We took Tram #6 (if you come from Bern central station, take the S7 train) until Worb Dorf, and there we switched onto a Post Bus. Just make sure you check the schedule in advance as Post Buses don’t run often. We didn’t, and missed the bus by minutes(!), and thus had to wait almost an hour for the next one (it was a Sunday, and the buses only run once an hour). But there were cafés in the area, and we ended up having yummy sandwich lunch and coffee in a convenient store directly at the Worb Dorf station.

I highly recommend to visit this museum, especially if you go to Bern area. From Lausanne it takes around 1.5h by car and a bit more than 2h by train (take the IC train that has a family coach so that your little ones can entertain themselves during the trip).

Have fun! And don’t forget to comment below if you had been there or after you go there!

For more info, check the link below:
Sensorium
Rüttihubelbad (Walkringen)

Friday April 24th, 2015

Blue Butterfly – Science Theater Project

I’m probably very late with this post, as this play I’m going to talk about will premiere in only a few days. But I figured I should still post about it, as this is something that feels close to my heart.

And… there is a ticket giveaway!

The Catalyst, a theater group at the EPFL/UNIL, received a competitive grant last year from the Swiss National Science Foundation to create and perform a new play based on scientific research. This new play, called BLUE BUTTERFLY, will soon start in Geneva (29 April – 2 May) and then in Lausanne (8-10 May)

bluebutterfly

From the press release:

BLUE BUTTERFLY is the story of a young family grappling with demanding careers, an abnormal child, and fundamental forces of nature. Natalie and Simon are struggling scientists who have turned to TEDx talks and TV to thrust their research into the spotlight, while their brilliant but dangerous seven-year-old daughter gravitates towards her grandmother’s mystical beliefs. Their research into cancer, parasitism, and maternal-fetal immunology echoes the complex dynamics of a family blind to their own dysfunction. When life spirals into crisis, we must ask ourselves: what do we want to believe?

My husband is and I was* research scientists. Cancer? Parasitism? Yup, been there done that. I totally understand how demanding it can be, juggling bench work, research manuscripts, grant proposals, and family – why else would I quit?* But having an abnormal child, a dangerous daughter who has mystical beliefs? MYSTICAL BELIEFS! For scientist parents? Whoa! Betrayal at its best!

It gets better, as the actors are scientists themselves. My peers! I had probably met some of them in conferences (or when I come to pick up hubby at UNIL Génopode). I’m used to see scientists speaking on a stage, but in a play of this scale, this sounds awesome. And with the grant they received, they were able to hire theater professionals to up their game. Brilliant.

Just watch this teaser video on YouTube.

“I’ve never seen a piece like it”

Ailin Conant, Theater Director.

Interested to go? You should book your ticket ASAP as the performances in Lausanne are almost sold out. The ones in Geneva still have tickets as room capacity is larger. If you want to try your luck, you can win a pair of tickets (for the one in Lausanne on 10 May or one the shows in Geneva). As usual, you have to leave a comment, and let us know: “If you could be a scientist, what field of science would you choose? Or if you are a scientist, in what field do you work?” Don’t forget to let us know which venue you prefer (Lausanne or Geneva). Comments are accepted until Sunday 26 April 2015 at 11:59pm. Winner will be be picked randomly by random.org on Monday 27 April 2015. Winner will be announced on this page and contacted by email.

 

BLUE BUTTERFLY
29 April – 2 May at the Théâtre Pitoëff, Genève
8 – 10 May at La Grange de Dorigny, Lausanne
The piece is performed in English (with surtitles in French)
Recommended for ages 13+

For show information and to book tickets visit bluebutterflyplay.ch

For coverage and interviews by medias, click here

Event page on facebook

 

 

*I have a PhD in Molecular Cellular Biology and had worked with aging, cancer, and stem cell research. I decided to leave after baby #2 in November 2011.

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