Tuesday, April 8, 2008

CERN-day CERN-day CERN-day!

Ha ha ha - get it?


CERN-day... like Sunday - like the announcer on every ad for a monster truck rally or demolition derby ever?


On Friday Mr K mentioned that CERN was having their once-every-four-years-or-so Open House over the weekend. Early Sunday morning we woke up and stumbled out the door to meet our ride. Olivier was kind enough to offer to drive, so Dani, Stéph, Mr K and I all piled into his car and we set out. CERN is located near Geneva and the border with France and has several entrance points. After stopping for a little breakfast, we arrived to find ourselves parking nearly one zillion kilometers away and catching a special bus to get to the entrance. It was packed and we found out we would have to wait in line for around four hours to get tickets to COME BACK LATER to go underground - eek!

We huddled up for a conference and it was decided we should head into France to try our luck at a different entrance. A few members of our party who shall go unnamed (ok pretty much all of us) mentioned we might have neglected to bring passports along but our driver said it was no big deal - we would just go through an unmanned border crossing - and that is exactly what we did. The lines were much shorter when we got the CERN - we only stood in line a little over an hour to get our tickets. We had almost 4 hours until it was our turn for the tour, so we did what any self-respecting tourists would do - we high-tailed it out of France to get lunch... in Geneva...at McDonalds. All kidding aside, there was a reason for this - by the time we got our tickets it was about 5 minutes past 2 in the afternoon and the officially-lunch-time-of-Switzerland is noon until two. After that, nearly everything but McDonalds and Kebap places close, so we actually didn't have much choice in the matter.

After lunch we went to a nearby botanical garden to wander around and enjoy the sunny (but cold) afternoon. Mr K took some really nice pictures I invite you to check out.

We finally got back to CERN and in line again for our tour. Other than being completely in French, the tour was really neat, though I have to admit I was much more excited about getting to wear a plastic helmet than trying to follow what the guide was saying. that's why I'm going to be able to tell you nothing about CERN other than that thingie is HUGE and also they had fun souvenirs.

I'm hoping Mr K will post a more coherent blog on CERN later on - hint hint. Feel free to bombard him with comments so he feels like he has to!


Kasia said...

Your trip sounds like tons of fun! Guess what? (no, no chicken butt ;) ) but yesterday in MOntreux we as well ate in McDonalds ;) So hopeless ;)

Jen said...

You got to go to CERN? How cool is that?!? Even if you didn't understand a lot of the commentary, how neat to be able to say you've actually seen it!
Can't wait till next weekend - I'll be in touch soon to coordinate the details!