Friday, January 25, 2013

Boys + Cars = Happiness

I know this might seem like a shocker to anyone who knows me well, but I took the boys to a car museum for our field trip today, and I actually loved it! Now...before anyone starts thinking that my brain has become warped after spending every day with two tween-age boys, allow me to introduce you to the Château de Rochetaillée-sur-Saône. (Refer to the bit of loveliness above...)

As the original structure was built in the 1100s, I figured that a visit to the current building (reconstructed over hundreds of years after fires and floods and plagues and who knows what else beginning in the 1500s) would fall in line nicely with our current history lessons of knights and castles and feudalism. I have to say, the building was absolutely stunning. Of course, seeing cars dating back to 1890, many of which are the only models of their kind in the world, was also quite impressive! And, as always, the best part was seeing how much fun the boys had as we discovered all sorts of quirky things in the collection. Here's a sampling of some of what the château-turned-automobile-palace had to offer. I admittedly liked the oldest things the most--including bikes and buggies...But the quirky 20th Century variety were also fun!
This car was calling my name--
we even matched!
Apparently tricycles can be
for adults too!

We couldn't decide which tandem was
cooler: the side-by-side...
...or perhaps the 3-seater! (Enhanced,
of course, by some antiquing...)

Seeing these seriously makes me want to get one.

And I really always wanted to
ride one of these!

If the Jetsons had a car...

Not sure what this was--Smart Car prototype?

What boy didn't want to be a fireman
when he grew up?

I hope you're not pictured out yet, because there was one last surprise that we came across. Even though the founder of the museum was actually arrested by Nazis in 1942 (and subsequently released--he lived to the ripe old age of 100), his collection actually had a real piece of Hitler's personal entourage.
You can't really tell, but there were even bullet holes in several of the windows. Unfortunately, the little explanation posters didn't give us any clues as to what might have happened...

We also came across some bits of local Lyon history, like the original "funiculaire" from 1900--basically an uphill trolley/bus. And having been on the current car they use for the funiculaire, I have to say that the wood-panelling on this lovely creature is sadly lacking in its modern counterpart.

But, all in all, this was one of the best social studies trips to date! History, castles, old things with beautifully rusty parts--what more could you ask for?


  1. This looks so cool, Donna. I'm glad you are having a great experience.

    1. It WAS cool! I wish I had taken more pictures--there were literally hundreds of automobiles of all varieties in this place. It was amazing!

  2. Replies
    1. It was lots of fun! Getting out of the house is always a good idea no matter what we end up doing, but if there is some serious enjoyment involved, bring it on! :)