The whistle-stop three-day trip to Geneva began with a very early start for our 14 physicists and two staff and, after arriving and checking in, they were straight out to explore and learn.
The first stop was the History of Science Museum where they saw a plethora of old apparatus and equipment, and were wowed by classic Swiss-made engineering, including astrolabes (an ancient astronomical instrument for navigating using latitude), electron microscopes and a surprising and quirky collection of glass eyes. That afternoon they visited an escape room, where they worked in teams to solve physical and mental problems and escape from one of three themed rooms. Having worked up an appetite, it was time for some utterly delicious gourmet burgers at the aptly named ‘Holy Cow’ restaurant.
Day two dawned bright and early with a trip to the CERN Visitor Centre. A guided tour around the compact muon solenoid detector (which is designed to detect particles that may have existed at the beginning of the universe) was fascinating and really stretched the girls beyond the GCSE and A level syllabus. The fact they stepped briefly into France was also quite fun! Back in Switzerland, they spent the afternoon on a glorious boat ride to the Old District of Geneva, where they visited the St Pierre Cathedral, a site of importance in the history of the Reformation, and had the joyous opportunity to listen to the most stunning choir. A stop at a bookshop café (and a cuddle of the resident cat!), followed by an evening of pizza and bowling rounded the day off perfectly.
On day three, the group spent the morning on a tour of the National History Museum, including seeing their famous two-headed tortoise, Janus, who was incredible to behold. Too soon, it was time for their flight home, but they will definitely have happy and wonderous memories of the trip for years to come.