Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Schloss Freudenberg

The whole group in front of Schloss Freudenberg.

The kindergarten organized an outing for the pre-schoolers and their families at the Schloss Freudenberg which is known to provide a 'journey through Schloss Freudenberg's "Field of Experience towards the Unfurling of the Senses and Thoughts" (Erfahrungsfeld zur Entfaltung der Sinne und des Denkens).'
We all awaited a wet day and longed for the sun to shine because we have learned that there would be loads of activities not only inside the castle but also outside the castle grounds. Well, although the sun was not shining, the day was not wet. The kids excitedly explored the grounds, went on a climbing spree and tried on the elements displayed all over the place.
The most fascinating adventure would be the Barfussweg (barefoot path). Actually, it is recommended to go to this path barefoot, but since it was cold, we simply let the kids walk without removing their shoes; though there were those courageous moms, dads and kids who decided to go through it barefoot! Well, I had to promise my kids that we'd be back this summer so they'd get to do it barefoot, too.

And then there is the wishing stone, where you use a wet brush to write down your wish on the stone and when it dries, your wishes would go up and would come true :D
We all participated in a guided tour through the castle's 'thoughtfully designed 'imperfection' to awaken the senses, visitors to Schloss Freudenberg can enjoy over 80 different interactive 'experience stations' to explore "how the eye sees, the ear hears, the nose smells, the skin senses, the fingers touch, the feet (under)stand, the hands (be)hold, the brain thinks, the lungs breathe, the blood pulsates, [and] the body vibrates".
IC uses her sense of touch to guess what's inside the different pots.
MC and Robin used the violin strings on a steel form with a some scattering of sand to create this form.

Huge black and white and colorful discs rotate on the walls, creating dynamic images; a maze in the complete darkness rises and falls; steel bells are suspended from a ceiling, their clappers almost reaching the floor; metal plates on thin stems emerging out of a sand floor can be played with cello bows, creating music and tone paintings. Outdoors on the 16 hectare grounds, an Aeolian harp (named after the Greek god of wind, these harps are 'played' by the wind) graces a hillside next to a stone labyrinth; a barefoot-path made of smooth pebbles, bricks, stones, wood, and other materials snakes through a section of forest past a humming hole; the playground is flanked by mounds of carefully assembled logs and ropes; there are stilts, balancing discs, and a giant set of duet swings. Read more here and click on the information in English.
The kids are allowed to touch, to smell, to create, to draw, to blow, to pinch, etc -- they were happy because they get to really participate and nobody said 'no'. Of course, they are not allowed to push and pull wildy :D

But there is something we missed doing: the Dunkel Bar (Dark Bar) and the Nacht Mahl (Dinner), this places are inside the castle and a must-experience thing. In the Dunkel Bar, you get to be served with drinks in a very dark place, were you would only see your drinks being served to you as if they are floating in the air. The Nacht Mahl is only available during Fridays and Saturdays per appointment. You would be served by the blind and the only thing that would help you recognize your sumptious meal would be the smell, the texture and form as you bite and chew the food in your mouth. I am sure this would be an experience! Actually, we missed loads of activities, like going through the dark passage, but we did promise we would come back this summer, right?

The whole visit is a real frontal assault on the senses; thus it is also best to let the kids play around before settling down on the drive home or else they would be simply too awake to sit down.


Anonymous said...

What a great concept! I wish we had similar options here in the Philippines.

raqgold said...

megamom - this is really a great place to visit with kids. at mas masarap sempre kung summer time :D

Analyse said...

the last part seems to be a lot of fun nga, sayang.. you've got to wait till summer kiddos.

raqgold said...

hi analyse, i cant wait to experience that dinner and drinking in the dark. i wonder what they would do with spills, hehe

Heart of Rachel said...

Looks like a fun and exciting activity. Glad everyone had fun.

Daisy said...

I like the wishing stone concept. Painting the wish in water and letting it evaporate -- great thought.

Anonymous said...

What a fun place to visit! Mary would love it--- I would, too.

Heart of Rachel said...

I came by to let you know that I have an award for you on my blog. Take care.

raqgold said...

daisy - painting the wish in water is a novel idea. one kids made us laugh by letting us know his wish 'he wish never ever to hear from his mom that he needs to tidy up his room,' hahaha

marysmom - did you know that my husband had more fun than the kids, hahaha

rach - thanks, am checking out my award. take care, too