Sunday, July 3, 2011

Switzerland, A City View: Cheese, Chocolate & the Olympics

Probably the most anticipated day of the trip. Can there be a bad day when it includes a cheese factory and a chocolate factory tour? For most people not, but of course I managed to get a stomach virus so it was definitely not my best day... This day took us to La Gruyere region of Switzerland, a day trip from Bern.

We went at a normal pace rather than a Lauren pace but it was also a bit rainy so that worked out. Our first stop was Gruyère for the cheese factory. We had planned a trip up into the town which is really beautiful but it was raining so hard we decided to skip it. We ate lunch in the factory restaurant instead.

From there we took the train to Broc Fabrique for the Callier chocolate factory tour. It has changed a ton since our last visit. We started out seeing some old films on chocolate to pass the time while we waited our turn on the tour. The tour itself was quite interesting and completely animated with lights and sounds to bring ambiance to the story. It started from the discovery of chocolate and led us through to the current factory. There was a bit about how chocolate is made, without giving away any of the secret recipes of course. Following the tour and buying a few souvenirs, the kids played in the Calliers playground while we waited for the next train.

Here's what the girls have to say about what they liked best:
Morgan: I liked learning the history of chocolate because it was interesting.
Maia: I liked the tasting of the chocolate and the movie theater part.
(They are still girls of few words when put on the spot.)

We returned to Bern exhausted but in time to prepare dinner and to play a couple games of foosball before calling it a night.

We checked out of our hotel and took a few final pictures of Bern before heading to Lausanne. It was a an hour or so which was a nice rest for me as I was still a bit under the weather. Our main point of attraction was the Olympic Museum.

We took the metro down to the lakeshore where we had some food by the lake. From there we walked along the water spotting some really fun paddle boats. I'd love to have something like that on one of the Madison lakes for weekend enjoyment. We continued our walk until we came upon the Olympic Museum. We weren't allowed to take any pictures inside the museum but we did get some fun ones on the outside.

Here's what the girls have to say about what they liked best about the day:
Morgan: The torches were the most interesting part.
Maia: Everything!!!

When we finished at the museum it was time to head to Luzern for the night. I have always loved the beauty of that city and in past visits have wanted to stay there. We arrived to find that we were upgraded from the Rosli Guest House to the Baslertor Hotel about which I certainly wasn't going to complain.

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