To the Stone Ages and back is a very typical expression my father-in-law often uses. Not that is a more common phrase in German – it is an expression only he uses. Today I want to use it too. Maybe something to my husband like
“Love you to the Stone Ages and back” – Our day at the Paläon in Schöningen
I told you in my post about Madame Tussaud’s and the Filmpark Babelsberg about our trip to Berlin. On our way back we first had a stop at Karls Erlebnishof in Elstal. I won’t set a link here. Long story short – we all did not like it. Maybe it is so well known and popular because it serve all the clichés people living in cities might have about country life. Actually it is a leisure park around a place where strawberries of a German farm are sold. Leisure park also might be sounding bigger than it is.
Basically it is a big indoor market surrounded by 4-5 restaurants and a big playground. So we thought the children could play there while we could a bit relax having a coffee or two. There are some attractions for the kids where you have to pay a small fee but all other things are free. But we did not imagine that shadow was obvious one of these fee-based attractions. All the free playgrounds were directly under the sun.
So we decided just to have breakfast in the market hall. But that turned out to be very expensive because there were hardly any price tags – or other offers. A cup of coffee was even more expensive than it would have been at Starbucks. The rest of the market hall was a collection of kitsch and commerce disguised as arts and crafts. For me as an artist and crafter unbearable.
So what to do with the rest of the day?
When we go to Berlin on the highway we drive past a signpost of the Paläon in Schöningen. As our son is fascinated by prehistoric things we drove there to find something real exciting for all of us. Between 1994 and 1998 spears were found during archeological digs which turned out to be 300.000 years old. They are the oldes preserved hunting weapons of mankind and gave new insights in the life of homo heidelbergensis. Additionally the fossils of wild horses were found.
Have you ever been to a museum with 3 boys in tow? Ok, 2 boys and a husband – but sometime the greatest acts the most childish. My husband is not really into museums or those boring things. Our smallest son is 2 years old so sitting in his buggy all day is not his favorite thing to do. So I had a hard effort persuading to go there. When we came there we saw a camp with stone age tents outside the museum.
After buying a family card for a very small fee we got the advice to visit the summer camp outside for a special museum tour. And this was very awsome indeed because it changed my husband’s mind about boring museum visits completely. In the summer camp you can check out how it was to live back in those prehistorcial times.
First of all we began craving hunting weapons out of wood – using a piece of firestone. What we were ought to make was a boomerang. Therefore we had to strip the bark of a branch sharpening it at each end. While my son and I were not that successful my husband managed to get a very proper boomerand within just 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards the staff will take you outside to try hunting with you boomerang. Instead of real rabits you will hunt pieces of wood in the size of a rabbit. It turned out that my husband is quite good at making boomerangs while I was more lucking in using them. Did I mention I am a vegan? I just asked myself why not taking the branch to dig up some kind of tuber vegetables.
Next step is a distance with different kind of soil conditions. You will have to try stalking an animal there. What to say our son was the best in stalking. I guess that is what he pratices every sunday morning in our sleeping room. This is followed by using spear throwers – again it was suprisingly me who won that battle while we were all equal at archery. Archery was also the most funniest thing we did that day. So we thinking about doing this sport more often as a family in the future.
We would have been the perfect team back then
But after hunting the catch needs to be cooked. So in the last tent you will learn different prehistorical ways of making fire. Again my husband used the firestone and tinder as he had done it several times before. Damn it cooking men are sexy and I guess they were even more back then. The most important lesson I learnt that day is that we are not only a good team today we also would have been a good team back then. At least we could make a living somehow.
We visited the museum afterwards. Even inside the museum there are many things for trying out and touching the history. After all we can totally recommend visiting the Paläon when you come to Schöningen. But be sure to come during the summer time because the summer camp is totally fun.
Did you ever visited the Paläon. Or do you know other museums where history comes to life? Tell me in the comments please.