I got my bike out for the first time this year! So we celebrated with a trip down to Hauterive which is an easy ride for the novice cyclist along the gentle lakefront cycle route away from worrying cars.
Actually when I say first time this year, my bike didn’t see the light of day last year, or once I fell pregnant the year before. Lacking confidence in my cycling ability I thought it was best to avoid cycling while even more malcoordinated thanks to pregnancy. I have missed it so much more than I realised. Luckily I still remember how to do it despite being a little wobbly at first and E thoroughly enjoys being on the back in her seat. Neuchâtel is brilliant for cycling as there are so many tracks about the place: up in the forest and down by the lake. The only problem is getting up the hill if you don’t want to cheat and go in the bus or up the funicular.
I love Hauterive as it has so much to offer. There is a brilliant playground with a large stretch of well-maintained lawn next to it; this makes for an ideal for picnic spot. There is also a fountain by the playground meaning fresh drinking water and somewhere to wash the dishes. You can even have a kick about or go for a dip in the lake (albeit when the weathers a bit warmer).
E points out every train that go past (a little trainspotter in the making) and down by the beach there are often some ducks about to annoy. E even managed to find herself a few good sticks and some stones; souvenirs are the most important factor for her in an outing at the moment.
It was really peaceful looking out over the lake and it felt like summer for a moment. Then E decided it was time for an ice cream so we went in search of one.
Next to the beach is a little stand-alone self-service café with plenty of tables and a mini go-karting track. E loves to grab an ice-lolly and go on the cars although she can not quite manage to coordinate a steering wheel and the acceleration pedal alone yet so I have to sit on the back and go around with her. This is easy enough and I really quite enjoy it too.
If you carry on a bit further along the lake front in the direction of Neuchâtel then you come to Hauterive port which is a great spot to inspect the boats which are currently being prepared to go back into the water. There is also a restaurant called Le Silex where you can go for a hot drink and warm up in the winter or grab a cocktail on the terrace in the summer. They also do quite nice food. They have 2 dining rooms but the smarter one is a bit stuffy for us with the kids. Last time we went we made the mistake of reserving in the smart one and when we asked to move into the main dining room they moved us happily without question. Then we relaxed and had an amusing time choosing from their menu which lists just how far your food has travelled to reach your plate. They were really brilliant and actually let us choose from the smart restaurant menu while sitting in the causal section. The waitresses were also really brilliant with the kids.
You could really spend a whole day playing around the lakefront up there as another 5 minutes in Neuchatel direction and you’ll come to the Laténium Museum where we spent a good afternoon recently.
It really is a brilliant spot. Last summer we were sold a second-hand bike trailer for the kids at an excellent price and since my outing I have managed to set it up and attach it to my bike. I think we may be making a few more trips around the lake. I can’t wait to take both kids out next time the weather is fine.