Sunday, March 4, 2012

Warm and sunny, just how I like it!

The weather the past few weeks has been giving us a break - it's been beautifully warm and sunny, day after day.  We took advantage of it to do some day trips this weekend.  Saturday we walked on the Sentier de Sous Terre, on the north side of the Rhone.  The water is beautifully clear and blue.  There was a lot of evidence of homeless camps around, though - mattresses stuck in corners and caves everywhere.  At the beginning of our walk was an archeological site - Saint-Jean-hors-les-Murs, an old priory.  The kids were most interested in the lizards scampering around on the warm sunny rocks.  The lizards were never in any danger of being caught, but the kids tried anyway!

We got to the same area we were last weekend - La Jonction, where the rivers Rhone and Arve meet.  But this time we were below, right down by the river.  There's a pumping station there, which pumps sewage to a treatment plant.

Here's the view from the bridge

On Sunday, we had planned to rent a car and head out to Lac de Joux, one of the largest lakes in Europe that freezes.   Luckily, I called the tourism office first, and though the lake is still frozen, it's starting to melt and is too dangerous to walk on.  We should have gone last weekend!  So we headed to Nyon instead.  It's a nice little town on Lake Geneva with a castle and nice waterfront.  We took a few buses to the train station, then the train to Nyon.  It's just about a 15 minute ride, very smooth and quiet - I love the trains and am looking forward to a longer trip!

The castle is within easy walking distance.  Unfortunately our timing was off - we got there around 10:30, and the castle and other local museums were only open from 2 till 5.  So we wandered around, had our lunch, and hung out at playgrounds and the beach.  

Most of the castle was taken up with an exhibit of old porcelain - not interesting at all for the kids, and just slightly more interesting for me.  But there were the towers and the interior walkways which were great, and at the top of the castle was a former prison, with scary little rooms.

I don't have pictures of the Roman museum, but we went there too.  It was the first Sunday of the month, so all the museums are free!  I like that, not only that they're free, but I feel perfectly OK just running through the exhibits if the kids aren't that interested, and just catching the highlights.  My main takeaway from the Roman museum was - the Romans actually used cranes to build things!  They had cranes that look quite similar to what we have nowadays, with block and tackle, and slaves powering the cranes.  Amazing.  There was a very knowledgeable archaeology student who talked to us at length about the excavation, the ruins, etc.

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