CERN and Mont Blanc: Dark and Frozen Matter: Switzerland and France
6 days for £2,498 11 May and 15 September 2021
One of the world’s most important centres of science and innovation, Geneva is also a charming lakeside town with a fascinating history. The tour focuses on CERN, where they operate the famous Large Hadron Collider, and Mont Blanc to investigate receding glaciers and what they reveal about history. Accompanied by particle physicist Darren Price and science journalist Laura Spinney.
During your stay in Geneva you will also explore the old town, visit the Museum of the History of Science and learn about watchmaking at an historic workshop.
In partnership with Kirker Holidays
DAY 1: ARRIVE INTO GENEVA
Flying direct into Geneva, You will be transferred to the 4* Hotel N’vY in the centre of the city. The afternoon will be free and you will enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant.
Day 2: OLD TOWN AND AN INTRODUCTION TO CERN
This morning you will start with a walking tour of the old town centre of Geneva, including the Cathedral where John Calvin preached in the 16th century, and a visit to a traditional watchmaker where you will learn more about one of the city’s most famous crafts.
After lunch, you will take a scenic cruise on Lake Geneva. This evening particle physicist Darren Price will join to give a talk on particle physics and his work at CERN.
DAY 3: CERN AND THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER
Today is devoted to the CERN complex and free-of-charge guided tours. Where you will gain an insight into the work which takes place here. Darren will accompany the visit to the lab itself and we will see the Universe of Particles exhibition inside the Globe of Science and Innovation – a 27 metre high wooden dome – as well as the Microcosm exhibition, opened in 2016, which displays a range of interactive exhibits including a model section of the Large Hadron Collider, and a simulation of a particle accelerator.
You will return to Geneva in the afternoon and say goodbye to Darren before meeting our second expert speaker, glacial archaeologist Laura Spinney. Laura will join the group for dinner and set the scene for tomorrow with a talk on the archaeological remains unearthed by receding glaciers.
DAY 4: CHAMONIX AND MONT BLANC
Heading out of the city for the day accompanied by Laura Spinney, you will travel into the majestic Alps which provide Geneva’s striking backdrop. You will visit the charming small town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and take the mountain railway to the Mer de Glace where you will visit an ice cave carved into the glacier itself. You will enjoy a traditional fondue lunch and there will be an option to take a cable car up to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. At over 3,800 metres you will have stunning views over the Alps.
DAY 5: GENEVA SCIENCE AND DIPLOMACY
Today you will start at the Museum of the History of Science, located by the lake, which opened in 1966 in the neo-classical Villa Bartholoni. The museum houses exhibits relating to astronomy, microscopy, meteorology and electricity, including a collection of old scientific instruments from the 17th to 19th century, such as microscopes, telescopes, thermometers and astrolabes. You will continue to the Palais des Nations, built for the League of Nations and still an important UN centre, before reaching the Botanical Gardens, where you will enjoy 69 acres of grounds which are home to more than 14,000 species including rare medicinal plants.
DAY 6: AT LEISURE THEN DEPART
This morning will be free for independent sightseeing before you are taken to Geneva airport for the flight home.
NO FLY OPTION
If you would prefer not to fly, we can book a Eurostar/TGV train journey for you from London or Paris.