Monday, April 21, 2014

Chasse à l'oeuf: Chateau Voltaire

Every Easter, at the marvelous Chateau Voltaire in Ferney-Voltaire, France, there is an egg hunt...

...and like the Chateau itself, the egg hunt is pretty fabulous.

Longtime readers know that when we first moved to France, we spent the first few months in Ferney, and I quickly became a bit obsessed with the Chateau. I'd run or walk past it everyday, peering through the bars surrounding it, wishing that one day we could go and walk the grounds.

And then that first year, back in 2010, on Easter, while walking after a run across the border through some Swiss vineyards, we saw hordes of people at the Chateau.

As we neared the gates that I had so often looked through, we saw that these people were all walking around the grounds of the estate!

{Oswin finding her first egg}

And then we realized it was an Easter egg hunt for les enfants...

...and that we were, at the time, sans les enfants.

And for a moment I got a little sad, because I so wanted to frolic around the Chateau and take a million pictures.

And then we said, eh, let's just try to get in.

And they let us in!

It was amazing. It was the best Easter I had ever had. They even jokingly gave Doc a bag of candy and asked if he had found any eggs.

Well, this year, we have an enfant.

As you all know.

And there was no way we were missing the chance to go back to the Chateau, especially since now we would not be the creepers sans les enfants.

Oswin was tired and not quite as excited about it (at first) as we were, but we promised her it would be worth it for such a fabulous first Easter egg hunt, and into the car we went.

It took her a bit to wake up and get into it, but by the time we were looking for eggs in the small forest behind the Chateau with all of the other families, little miss was awake and staring at everything in awe.

Not because of the splendor of the Chateau, or the gardens or the pony rides off in the distance, but because of the people!

So many people! (At least to her!)

No cows! (There were lambs...)

Big people! Little people! Running! Playing! She loved it.And although she is too little to partake in the running and playing, she loved watching all of the bigger kids get their hunt on. And thanks to Papa, Oswin actually "found" 5 eggs on her own (and by "on her own" I mean, not).

And sidenote: if you've never seen a physicist at an Easter egg hunt before, I highly recommend it. They are unable to turn off the analytical parts of their brain and get really into it. At least in my sample of one physicist, this was the case...

But I digress.

The egg hunt was a smashing success, and what little girl wouldn't love the Chateau as her first egg hunt? I can't wait for her to be old enough to remember coming to the Chateau (if we're here long enough), or to marvel at the pictures like we do. One of these days we'll go in for the real tour and I can drool all over the gilded gold and velvet everything that you can see inside the Chateau, that is, if you push your face up to the glass windows...not like I would know...

Ok I do know. It's all kinds of gilded gold and velvety in there.

If you're ever in our area for Easter, or Paques as it's known in France, definitely check out the Easter Egg hunt at the Chateau. For the cost of 3 euro you too can lurk around the grounds and pretend you live there!

Hope everyone had a great Passover or Paques, whatever you celebrate. Up next are highlights from this year's Paques Parade!

A la prochaine friends...


1 comment:

  1. heheh. i giggled reading this. sounds like a perfect egg hunt :)