How do you broach the topic of War with your children? What do you include or omit to try and help them engage more? What age do you start learning about this?
Well, we've decided to pull in the experts from The Battlefield Experience to help... taking a full day tour of the Somme with Jackie Bedford to try and add to our previous learning in Ypres (WW1) and Juno Beach (WW2)
Inspired by both the scenery of the Alsace Region allied to the fact it is National Poetry Day back in the UK. Both girls have enjoyed writing poems, splashing around in the autumnal leaves and taking in the vivid shades of colour that have come into focus since we left the South of France. That's the great benefit of homeschooling, we all get to really enjoy, discover & share in the learning experience... just like our others across the past year in Europe - see here for more on our Educational Explorers pages
As you enter this intricate web of small rural byways that criss cross river lined valleys, you certainly get a hefty sense of 'enchantment'... a sense of poetry that matches the beauty of the natural environment... It's as if nature has created it's own brand of 'Autumnal Magic' with wild deer roaming freely whilst green woodpeckers swoop into conifer laden forests.. With over 5,000km of footpaths, there are plenty of tourism routes to explore such as the Beer Route, the Fortifications Route or even the Route of Legends.
After an arduous drive northwards from Villefrance-sur-Saône (a sweet provincial town set in the heart of Beaujolais country..), we trekked through Dijon and upwards towards Colmar... Having visited Strasbourg earlier in the trip, we loved this fusion of French/German heritage across the architecture, food and people in Alsace. Sadly the motorhome sites in/around Colmar were full.... but every dark cloud has a silver lining and it's meant we've enjoyed a wonderful 24hrs in Kaysersberg... a mini Colmar without the crowds!! Arriving late in the evening, we found the motorhome aire (right beside the old town) and headed in for a closer inspection so Lottie could take these below photos! (it's been brilliant to see a growing passion for photography develop over the course of the year)
Heading north from the Gorge du Verdon (after another brilliant family adventure hiking up to the spectacular viewpoint at Point Sublime) We've headed northwards in the hope that we'll eventually get to see the famed Aiguilles de Midi.... but not before some spectacular winding mountainous roads through the breath taking Haute Alpes region.
Arriving early in the morning following a trip from the serenity of a lakeside overnight at Aix les Bains, we took the utterly compelling 'Route Blanc' over towering aqueducts and mountain hugging roads, we dropped into Chamonix... home of the impressively snow capped peak of Mont Blanc.. and a chance to compare this experience with one of our family favourites when we took a cable car onto the top of the Pyrenees at Pic du Midi
Just every once in a while we find somewhere that blow our minds.... and the Gorge du Verdon has certainly done that!!! Part of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, this viewpoint is truly breath taking, perhaps on the same scale as places we've previously visited in Norway (i.e Trolltunga / Voringsfossen) or Sierra Nevada (i.e Alpajurras)... the drop of perhaps a 1000ft was sheer and without any hand rails.... As we say to both girls each time, it's about having a healthy respect for danger but also ensuring you live a little too... so with hands held tightly we ventured closer to the edge! (much to their grandparent's concern!) Wow, what a truly inspiring view!
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