Deeply dippy

On Friday we went in a family field trip to Dorchester to see Dippy the Dinosaur in tour. Dippy usually lives in the National History Museum but is on his holidays. Dorchester is his first stop as Dorset is famous for its Jurassic Coast and therefore is his spiritual home.

Dippy was made in 1905 and is one of 10 plaster of Paris models. The original is in the Carnegie Hall in US. The whereabouts of only 9 models is known. The last is at large somewhere in the world!

Dippy only just fits in the museum. There are only 10 inches to spare here. And actually it makes you appreciate the size of him more than when he is on display in London

We took the opportunity to look round the rest of the museum too.

Here is the famous Weymouth pliosaur.

As gran- gran said she won’t be going for a dip in those waters anytime soon!

Inigo found a dinosaur costume and enjoyed looking at all the fossils in it

Next up was the oosser. A type of scarecrow – but used to scare people not crowds we thought he looked like some of the monsters in the book “where the wild things are”

And we met Mr Punch. The Big M said he hits people on the head with a stick and says “that’s the way to do it” which doesn’t seem very nice!

And we also saw loads of skeletons – they were found at the entrance of Maiden Castle.

We completed a jigsaw inspired by them

A very good outing!

A day of modern history

Another busy day in Berlin.

Up with the lark and off to breakfast. First there. Quickly polished off a bucket load of fruit, some yogurt and a sausage or two and then we hit the mean streets. Time waits for no man.

We purchased travel cards on the U-Bahn and set off for Alexanderplatz location of the tallest tower in Germany.

Given that the weather was a bit grim the queue was non existent and within 10 minutes we were 368 m above pavement level (the highest publicly accessible building in Europe). The lift took 40 seconds and was very cool as you could see up the shaft as it ascended.

The weather changed from cloudy to sunny so we had amazing views and even got to spot our hotel.

When we returned to earth the queue was out of the door!

Back on the tube

Next stop Checkpoint Charlie.

When the Big D was last here there were real soldiers standing guard – today its manned by actors and there’s a paid for photo op. All quite surreal but very sobering when you see remnants of the wall and see the cobbles that mark its footprint.

Then we toddled off to the Brandenburg Gate.

It is an amazing structure and I immediately recognised it from an episode of Go Jetters (and they say TV is dumbed down!).

The last time the Big D saw this landmark he was viewing it from behind The Wall from the vantage point of a West German viewing platform.

We then took a stroll through the park via an amazing playground with swings and slides and climbing frames

to our hotel where we finished up the day with a relax at the pool and supper in the club room. Nice.

Here comes the sciency bit

We woke up in good time this mining and made our way to breakfast where Inigo and I ate almost our entire body weight in watermelon.

Then after a quick pit stop at the room to dress for the -3 temperature outside we left for the day (stopping momentarily to stroke the bear in the hotel lobby)

We walked to the u-bahn station, purchased our tickets, validated them, caught the train and travelled four stops to the Technology Museum.

It was HUGE. We saw trains – loads of them, planes – loads of them, ships – tonnes of them, jewellery making, suitcase making, paper making etc and then stopped for a bite to eat at the museum cafe and a rest!

However one of the highlights was pushing a replica mine train

After lunch we headed to the sciency bit which was AMAZING. We learnt about pendulums that discovered the axis of the earth. In Berlin the pendulum takes 30 hours to complete a circuit whereas in the North Pole it takes 25 hours and at the equator much longer.

We learnt about optical illusions and magnets and forces and electricity and sounds. It was incredibly interactive and we whiled away most of the afternoon pressing buttons, looking in mirrors, standing on platforms, shouting down microphones and building towers (and that was just the Big M&D).

Then we headed home for a chillax at the pool

And a bit of a splash around

All in all quite an exhausting day. No wonder we went to bed so easily!

Ich bin ein Berliner

Sadly so far today I haven’t eaten any doughnuts but I have landed in Berlin.

Aside from the evils of Stansted

we had a good and mercifully short flight and then we made our way to the hotel. We caught a cab – which was quite cool as the regular back seats had in-built booster seats so no car seats necessary – German efficiency in action!

Once at our hotel we checked in – and then checked out the view

made sure that it had good enough floors for playing trains

Had a spot of lunch and then went for a stroll. It must have snowed relatively recently as there are still snowy remnants on the ground and the lake in the park was frozen.

We found a great playground and enjoyed the slide

Then we headed back for a schwim and jacuz.

After which we went for super in the club room. Inigo was quite the executive

until he found the tomatoes and watermelon

Then time for bed… but you can always squeeze in a quick game of trains