We had some very dear visitors from our very dear home country, and therefore decided to do something special over the weekend. We had autocratically chosen the destination area beforehand, me and my husband, but now we were discussing what to do once we reach the destination. We were aiming at Lake Geneva area, and I (of course!) had all the ideas ready. Some nature destinations would be fun, said my mother. History! Said my dear husband. Swimming! Shouted our little princess. Meanwhile little Prince Charming was driving over and around the participants of our little conversation with his toy cars. I would like to visit an aquarium, said my brother, who had so far been the silent member of our conversation. We all fell silent. Yes, why not. But is there an aquarium in the area?
It turned out there was one in Lausanne, called Aquatis. A quite big one, actually. The largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium in Europe. So we settled the program for one day. Getting there, visiting the aquarium and later settling in to our accommodation. At this point little Prince Charming’s favorite truck fell of the couch breaking into pieces… and the conversation was over. Time for some preparations. And sleep.
We arrived at Aquatis shortly after lunch time and parked our car into a huge Parkhouse. Besides the aquarium there was a hotel and one (or two?) restaurants in the building. Where’s the Fish? asked my little Prince Charming and ran around the corridors in the building, without seeing any. But he didn’t care. Punching the elevator buttons and running around wildly after a few hours in the car was definitely fun.
We paid our entrance fee, which was a whole lot of money, and walked up the stairs entering the dark hallways with some cool projector shows projected on the roof, floor and the ceilings. Waterfalls, lakes and rivers… it looked pretty amazing. Where’s the Fish? asked my mother without realizing she was standing right in front of a monstrous water tank where they had some really BIG fish swimming around. Still don’t know what they were but trust me, you don’t want to run into those while swimming in the lake!
Aquatis was really a pleasant experience. They use projectors and lighting in between the big aquariums to create atmosphere and give information. I naturally couldn’t concentrate on reading and watching everything. You know, the almost-three-year-old hanging along. He loved the fish and everything with shades of blue, but his concentration is just not THAT mature yet. But we did see plenty of cool-shaped and cool-colored fish plus other creatures who more or less live in the water. We also did see plenty of snakes, lizards, frogs and so on. My sweet little princess even spotted a purple frog!
Where’s the Fish? asked my dear husband and was pretending to swim through a glass-made tunnel that went under a big tank full of water. I guess the fish were sleeping, or located elsewhere. Around the tunnel the water was empty. But then we spotted something that didn’t (in my opinion!) quite fit in. There was a monstrous roaring model dragon up in the ceiling. The kids were of course scared to walk under it. Why did they have to spoil the whole place with something so unrealistic…? I wondered while escorting my little ones forward. Maybe there was an idea behind the dragon, but it sure escaped me. But then…
There’s the Fish! Screamed my sweet little Princess staring at a diver inside of one of the water tanks. Our jaws dropped, because it looked hilarious. Poor man was just washing the glass walls of the water tanks, but it almost looked like it was a part of the show. The kids waved at him and he waved back. I was wondering how long can he actually stay under water without an oxygen bottle. He didn’t seem to be in a hurry… and he was definitely being photographed more than any other fish in the whole aquarium! (Somehow we were the only ones who managed to skip taking pictures of this magnificent fish…)
Our round was almost over. We still walked through a rainforest which was naturally hot and moist. My dear husband found his favorite fish, a ray, from the Rainforest River. And there was still the souvenir shop. Seriously, did you ever survive through a souvenir shop full of soft toys with two kids? Without buying anything? I assure you, we can make a zoo out of soft toys in our house… on our way out we spotted some WATER and some jets of water and my sweet little kids instantly turned into fish. Why not? I thought, acknowledging that they would get wet… so we sat down and enjoyed some cold drinks from the restaurant while kids were amusing themselves and getting wet.
And how did my brother, the father of the whole idea, liked the aquarium? He didn’t say that much. But I think he enjoyed.
Some Tips for planning your visit:
*Visit Aquatis on Monday if you can. They have something called Happy Mondays, which means reduced entrance fee
* If you go with little kids, you need approximately two hours to go through the venue.
* Bring extra set of clothes and a towel for the kids in case they turn into fish like mine did…
* Want to make the most out of your stay? Unlike me, read the WORLD-part from their website before you go. It even explained the dragon (or was it a dinosaur…?)