Chemin de fer-musée Blonay-Chamby

Lately I have been somehow very lucky with museum-related contests. First I won two tickets to Kulturama, then a Museum Pass through an Instagram contest, and the last one was a special trip to Chemin de fer-musée Blonay-Chamby from Club 24heures ( I am a subscriber of the newspaper). Many of you should know by now that we love museums, are fans of trains, and I had put this museum on my summer list, so this trip was perfect!

The train museum is located in Chaulin, but to reach there, one must take the special trains either from Blonay or Chamby. Or take MVR train from platform 7 in Vevey and switch in Blonay. But as in our case it was a special trip arranged by Club 24heures, we took a steam train directly from Vevey.

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What You Must Know: Photographs of Identifiable People in Switzerland

With the warmer months now here, and especially the outdoor swimming pools opened, I feel the need of a re-post as this is a topic that needs to be known and remembered.  (Original post dated June 2015)


photo-people-CH

On Saturday 24heures ran an article on regulations of photographing people in public space, in this case within the area of public swimming pools. Yes, that includes photos of own children. Based on this regulations, dated back to decades ago, it is forbidden to take photos at all – though the article also explains that in practice it really depends on the circumstances (Does the child wish to be photographed? Does the child know the photographer? etc)

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Museum: nest – in Vevey

Only a couple of weeks away from its first anniversary, nest is one of the new museums in the area. If you didn’t get it directly from the name, nest is dedicated entirely to the story of Henri Nestlé, the founder of Nestlé company, and of course all the Nestlé activities and products.

Own by Nestlé, there were many similarities with the other Nestlé-owned museums in the area – the Alimentarium and the Maison Cailler – though nest was the most modern and high-tech of all three. The building by itself was really beautiful – industrial but airy with lots of modern architecture.

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Musée du fer et du chemin de fer – in Vallorbe

We went to Musée du fer et du chemin de fer (Iron and Railway Museum) in Vallorbe in February. It was a beautiful day and we spent the morning bathing at the Centre Thermal Yverdon, then take a bus to Vallorbe.

As most specialized museums in Switzerland, the museum was on the small side, but very well kept. As the name already indicates, it host many iron-related items from the Roman Empire era, to the more current use of iron, railways, and the development of railways in Switzerland.

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Château de Morges et Ses Musées

Our spring activites in Lac Léman area always include the Tulip Festival at Parc de l’Indépendance in Morges. We’ve been coming back there almost every year. But on May last year, for the first time, we also went inside Château de Morges — a beautiful medieval castle sitting just at one end of the park, directly by the lake.

The castle is now also a museum. Since 1925, it is dedicated to the history of military. In the first rooms we saw many mini figures arranged in large glass boxes to show different war scenes, including many important wars in history. These were all beautifully made by hand almost a century ago.

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Swiss Museum Pass – Our Experience with Breakdown of Real Cost

Swiss Museum of Transport – Lucerne

Our family loves museums. We love them so much that we regularly spend our holidays in big cities, so that we could visit museums. Last year, as we only had one big holiday in Asia, and would spend the other school holidays inside la Suisse, we decided to try the Swiss Museum Pass.

We bought a family Museum Pass through the Swiss Train, directly at the station. As I was a holder of CFF Half-Card, we had a special price of chf 269 (instead of the normal price chf 288).

Now, a year later, our museum pass has expired. I am writing this post to let you know how we had used it and what we felt about it.

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Maison Cailler – The Chocolate Museum in Broc

I believe Maison Cailler is one of the most popular museums and tourist attractions in Switzerland. Not surprising as Swiss chocolates are hard to resist for most people.  Thankfully its popularity means Maison Cailler opens everyday of the year, with the exception on Christmas and New Year’s Days. So we picked a Monday to go there with our annual museums pass, as many other museums in the area are closed on Mondays.

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Espace des inventions – T’es sûr-e ? + Les portes de la fantaisie

On the last day of our annual Museum Pass validity, we squeezed in Espace des inventions. It then became the only one we visited twice within one year. And I think it is worth at least one visit per new temporary exhibition. We always had fun there! As usual, when we were there, there were 2 temporary exhibitions running. I begin with the one on the upper level…

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T’es sûr-e ?

T’es sûr-e ? is a science exhibition, it will run until 15 July 2018. The target audience are children from 7y, which I felt to be correct, though I think older ones (9-12y) may find it even more interesting due to the science.

As always in this museum, everything was hands-on. The “experiment stations” were superbly done. Each came with a scientific question and a set of answers. We were supposed to select our answer (or best bet) and test whether it was correct by doing an experiment.

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Alimentarium – in Vevey

alimentarium-building

Last month (January 2017) we finally went to Alimentarium. We had passed the area a few times before, but this time we went inside. I came with a high expectation. I had been to many Swiss museums and loved most of them. I also knew that Alimentarium had just undergone a renovation and re-opened in June 2016.

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Child-care Options for School-aged Children

This is an updated post (originally published June 2015). Last update: 13 February 2017.

after-school-drawing

Shortly after I published my blog “Ten Reasons We Love Our First Two Years at Public School“, I received a question from Miya, a local mom.

“How do working moms negotiate the strange hours for 1p and 2p? Here, it’s Mon-Wed mornings, Thursdays till 3 and Fri off. Our local UAPE costs more than if we put our son in private school.”

I have to agree with Miya in regards to expensive child care in Switzerland. A few years ago I was talking to a friend who lived in Germany, I almost fell off my chair when she told me that their day-care cost EUR190 PER MONTH for a 5-day week, while I used to pay CHF125 PER DAY. While the quality of Swiss child care is outstanding, the price IS astronomical.

So how do the employed parents deal with the before-, between- and after-school care when they sent their kids to public school? Here are some possibilities that I gathered from own experience as well as other parents I know.

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