Monday, April 9, 2012

The Jura and Siky Ranch

To say we got a little caught out yesterday would be an understatement!  We have heard that in spring the hillsides in the Jura are so covered in daffodils you can't walk without stepping on them.  Sounds amazing and the Jura is really close, but not a specific spot it is small mountain range accross 3 Cantons (Basel-Land, Bern and Jura) and 2 countries Switzerland and France.  A Canton is the equivalent of a State, but we are not talking the size of a State in the USA or Australia.  All of Switzerland is only 41,000 sq km (16,000 sq mi) not even as big as Tasmania the smallest state in Australia and Switzerland packs 26 Cantons in that area!  We searched on the Internet and found some great photos of springtime flowers in the Jura.  But did anyone leave us a clue to a more specific address?  No of course not!  We did discover a private Zoo in the Jura, Siky Ranch with tigers, that looked fun for the kids so we decided to head for there and hope that we would stumble across the vistas we were really looking for.  After the kids found the eggs the Easter Bunny left (and Pippi ate most of them) and some more hot cross buns for breakfast we headed off.

When we were leaving it is was still only about 6 deg but it was supposedly warming to 10-12ish, so we were warmly dressed but not rugged up.  10 minutes from home and there is whiteness on the hillsides,  heavy frost Scott assured me (I had already made Scott go home to get a proper jacket as he had come out with a light jacket), continuing on and the light rain turned to sleet, then snow!!!  Yep it was 1 deg and snowing, it is amazing what a few hundred meters in altitude does to the weather....  Well I always over pack especially if we are out for the whole day and I had put in wet weather pants for the girls (not snow pants) and their warm winter jackets but no hats or gloves!!  We still had a look around Siky Ranch but it was freezing and we were not quite that prepared, so we missed the show (it was too cold to wait around another 2hrs!) which I think would have been a highlight, the Tigers were lovely.  Unfortunately it was a bit snowy and wet to enjoy the playground and the train was not running yet as we were pretty much the only people there!

 Pippi bonded with a baby goat

The Tigers were great and as with all Zoo's we have been to in Switzerland you could almost get close enough to touch them!

Pippi also liked the ducks and geese which were in pens but could easily get in and out and were roaming about everywhere.

 Xanthe had some fun on the bikes, but got very wet.

After heading to the Restaurant and warming with some hot chocolates and hot chips we decided to continue driving and see if we could find these daffodils.  No success, but the Swiss Countryside is very beautiful, and we did find a few spots in the hills (very close to home) that looked like given another 1 or 2 weeks they really will be covered in spring flowers.

We drove through lots of lovely villages, past many castles and ruins, and through fabulous countryside with walking trails everywhere.  We also saw an amazing ropes course and toboggan park that we would like to take the girls back to on a warmer day.  We are lucky our girls enjoy driving, they read books, listen to music and books on CD and actually like looking at the scenery.  We also pack lots of snacks, today they enjoyed bananas and sandwiches.

Also they weren't quite what I was looking for but we did see some daffodils......


  1. that scenery looks and sounds so amazing! no scrubby bush anywhere by the look of it. charlie just planted some daffs out the back so we won't have to travel too far to see some - as long as they flower!

    1. The scenery is amazing, and definitly no scrub anywhere! Hope those daffodils grow, we have some in our garden (I think every garden in Switzerland has various bulbs in spring), we planted some last October and they have recently sprouted, it is a long wait.... Plus there are loads of other ones we didn't plant, which was a nice surprise.