I apologize for being such a lousy correspondent lately.
It is not that anything bad has been happening. Far from it. Life is just chugging along, but not much of it is either very amusing or very noteworthy.
I will share two good family outings you might enjoy if you have kids or guests or friends you need to entertain. or if you just like these sorts of things. I would go to them even if I didn’t have kids.
The first is des Grottes de Han, a rather bizarre set of attractions in nearby Han-Sur-Lesse, Belgium.
I came across this because a friend recommended it. If you look at the website (which is in French, Dutch, English, and German), you will see that the place is a combination of caves formed by an underground river and a wild animal reserve.
Sort of a strange combination, I’ll admit. The whole village of Han-Sur-Lesse (the Lesse is the river) is focused on accommodating and feeding visitors who have come to see the caves and the animals. And we had a really good time.
Han-Sur-Lesse is barely an hour from Luxembourg Ville by car. So there is no real reason to stay over night. But I wanted a little vacation, and, as it turned out, we arrived too late on Saturday to do both the caves and the animals (lunch took longer than we expected). Our tickets were still good the next day, so we came back and took the tour of the animal reserve before driving back to Luxembourg. (We stayed in nearby Sohier.)
My photos really don’t do the caves justice. Stalactites and stalagmites and the darkest dark ever and a subterranean river–what’s not to love?
I do love me an animal attraction, and this one also did not disappoint, although my pictures aren’t very interesting. As usual, I was far more busy squealing with delight than I was with documenting the moment.
Really. That’s the best I have. But, trust me, it’s nice. And the animals all appear calm and happy. They have better pictures on their website and on their Facebook page.
Perhaps the best thing about the whole place was the custom-composed theme song they played at the start of the wildlife tour. Go here, and click on the little PLAY icon. Now imagine a train full of tourists who can no longer get the tune out of their heads. Heh heh heh.
The second place I thought was fun was the Eifelpark in Gondorf, Germany.
The Spouse has been globe-trekking again for work, so this past weekend I was Single Parent. The children were, oddly enough, once again NOT interested in any hiking. But the weather was so nice, I could not bear the idea of a weekend watching endless episodes of Sponge Bob. So I gave them some carefully culled brochures for local attractions I was willing to take them to, and they voted for the Eifelpark.
When we lived in Bratislava, we often took the kids to this little amusement park in eastern Austria. The Eifelpark is much, much smaller, but it has that same great Germanic kid-friendliness. And only an hour from Luxembourg Ville.
I did not get a picture of the “Eifel-Coaster” (one of those summer toboggans) because I was riding on it. But it was great.
As you can see by the photos, the place was practically deserted. I can’t say how it would being in the height of summer, but we didn’t have to wait to do anything. If I understand correctly, the rides are closed during the winter months, but you can still see the animals at a much reduced price.
Did I mention you can feed many of them? The place is ankle-deep in boxes of Wildtierfüttern and Bärenfüttern, reasonably priced at 1EUR/box (we bought 6: three of each).
So there you have it: two fun things to do.