A Drop in the Ocean of Knowledge: Neuchâtel Ethnography


Ethnographic Museum, Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland You never quite know what you’re going to get with museums in Switzerland.  Sometimes they are surprisingly fascinating.  Sometimes they’re pretty good.  Very rarely are they without any redeeming features, especially if they’re about ethnology. I think it’s probably a bit mean to say that there were no redeeming features in Neuchatel’s…

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Food Glorious Food: Vevey’s Alimentarium


Alimentarium, Vevey, Switzerland If I were to show you an outline drawing of a nest, with a mother bird bringing food to two little chicks, what would you think of? I grew up on Nestlé products – I drank Nesquik for breakfast, Nescafé was always in the kitchen cupboard and Milkybars were a special treat.  The little logo of the…

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Spirits of Old Japan: the Yokainoshima Exhibition in Lyon


Yokainoshima, Spirits of Japan Exhibition, Confluence Museum, Lyon, France If there is an exhibition on about Japan – I want to see it.  I have an old, old fascination with the country, and its wonderful culture, and this exhibition at the Confluence Museum promised to be fun.  After all, it was advertised with this lovely photograph: Gee, ain’t they cute?…

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It’s the Confluence of Life: Lyon’s Museum of the World


Confluence Museum, Musée des Confluences, Lyon, France When planning a trip to Lyon, you will be struck by the hype for the Museum of the Confluence.  It’s a striking new glass building, opened in 2014, perched on an island on the Rhone, and it has a glossy modernity that promises an attractive museum-going experience.  In France, where so many museums…

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Walled in Gem: A Day in Aigues Mortes


Aigues Mortes, France The little walled city of Aigues Mortes doesn’t get much of a write-up in English guide books – it comes across as being a somewhat dull afterthought in the Camargue region.  Therefore, when I disembarked my bus, I was surprised to see how bustling it was – it was full of French tourists. So. The French are…

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Blood and Freedom: the Museum of the French Revolution in Vizille


The Domain of Vizille – Museum of the French Revolution, Domaine de Vizille – Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille, France Not far from the tranquil city of Grenoble is a museum dedicated to the history of one of France’s most bloody chapters.  The château that houses it is linked to significant pre-Revolutionary events, and also served as a summer…

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