≡ Menu

Switzerland Day 5: Chocolate and Cheese

{ 1 comment }

SWITZERLAND-4737

After exploring  Château de Chillon and finally getting our fondue fix, we hopped back on the train on Wednesday to see the Callier Chocolate Factory and spend the day in Gruyères.

SWITZERLAND-4742

SWITZERLAND-4743

We took the famous Golden Pass train line to the town of Broc Fabrique. The Golden Pass trains were a bit nicer than the standard trains, but the views along the ride were really spectacular.

SWITZERLAND-4745 SWITZERLAND-4747 SWITZERLAND-4750 SWITZERLAND-4757

We passed the town of Gruyères on our way to Broc. We’ll come back to Gruyères in a little bit. SWITZERLAND-4758 SWITZERLAND-4759

And yes, the grass was really that green.

SWITZERLAND-4764

Swiss dairy cows! They eat a very specialized diet of different types of grass to produce just the right flavor of milk for cheese and chocolate.

SWITZERLAND-4771

See the long white building in the back? That is the Cailler of Switzerland Chocolate Factory. Our first stop for the day.

SWITZERLAND-4768 SWITZERLAND-4774

When you get off the train in Broc Fabrique you immediately know you’ve arrived in the land of chocolate. The air even smells delicious.

SWITZERLAND-4778

Callier is now owned by Nestle, but the base operations are still run out of a beautiful old fashioned mansion with a large circular fountain- one of the oldest, most authentic places for Swiss chocolate.

Once inside, we bought a tour ticket for 10 Swiss Francs and shopped a little before we stood in line for our tour.

SWITZERLAND-4780

SWITZERLAND-4781

SWITZERLAND-4782

SWITZERLAND-4785

SWITZERLAND-4787

The tour is one part cheesy, two parts awesome. It’s a full audio tour with animatronics and special effects in each section of the tour. A deep voice (think Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple) starts the tour with: ” Once upon a time when the Aztecs brought the cacao beans…” and just gets crazier from there.

SWITZERLAND-00746

AND we did learn some pretty interesting facts about chocolate along the way.

SWITZERLAND-00747 SWITZERLAND-00750 SWITZERLAND-00753

SWITZERLAND-4801

After the audio tour you enter a room full of all types of cacao beans.

SWITZERLAND-4789 SWITZERLAND-4790

Then you get to see an assembly line of how the chocolate is packaged.

SWITZERLAND-4796 SWITZERLAND-4797

It was fascinating to watch how the robot hand was picking up each of the individual little chocolate pieces.

SWITZERLAND-4798 SWITZERLAND-4800

After all of that, you are rewarded with the highlight of the entire tour.

Two words: Tasting Room.

SWITZERLAND-4805 SWITZERLAND-4808 SWITZERLAND-4810

We gorged on chocolate until we had sufficient stomachaches and made our way back to the station just in time to catch our train to Gruyères (just a few stops over).

SWITZERLAND-4823

SWITZERLAND-00730 SWITZERLAND-00735 SWITZERLAND-00740      SWITZERLAND-00762 SWITZERLAND-00763

Once off the train, we walked across the street to La Maison du Gruyère -the Gruyère Cheese Factory.

SWITZERLAND-4818

 

SWITZERLAND-4814 SWITZERLAND-4816

 

When you take a tour of the factory, you are given a sample box of different types of aged Gruyère and an audio receiver to listen to the guided tour. Here’s Tam listening to how the specifc type of dandelions that the cows eat affect the taste of the cheese.

SWITZERLAND-00764

After learning about the history and the cows, we got to see the room where you can watch the cheese makers in action. The process is really neat – one that has been a tradition in the town for hundreds of years.

SWITZERLAND-00767   SWITZERLAND-00769   SWITZERLAND-00773

The factory produces up to 48 wheels of Gruyère cheese per day. Each wheel is aged for months before being packaged and shipped.

SWITZERLAND-00777

SWITZERLAND-00783

SWITZERLAND-00781

After the tour we did a little souveneir shopping. I really wanted to bring home a box of their famous meringues, but they were way too fragile for my crammed suitcase.

SWITZERLAND-00782

After the cheese factory tour, we walked down the street and up a hill to the medieval village of Gruyères.

SWITZERLAND-4825

SWITZERLAND-5329

SWITZERLAND-4826 SWITZERLAND-4829 SWITZERLAND-4831

We were starving for real food after all the cheese and chocolate, so our first stop was to this little cafe for lunch.

SWITZERLAND-4836   SWITZERLAND-4838

And liquid reinforcements, obviously. It was unseasonably warm that day, and the hill up to the village left us a little parched.

SWITZERLAND-4839

And sweaty. Yuck. SWITZERLAND-4842

And delirious, apparently.

SWITZERLAND-4847 SWITZERLAND-4848 SWITZERLAND-4849

After lunch we walked through the little village up to the castle. SWITZERLAND-4853 SWITZERLAND-4855 SWITZERLAND-4858 SWITZERLAND-4860 SWITZERLAND-4861

We barely missed the last tour of the castle for the day, so we walked around the outside of the grounds. The Gruyères castle was constructed between 1270 and 1282.

SWITZERLAND-4865 SWITZERLAND-4896

SWITZERLAND-4908   

We also made friends with some Swiss sheep.

SWITZERLAND-4882   SWITZERLAND-4878     SWITZERLAND-4890

SWITZERLAND-4867 SWITZERLAND-4889 SWITZERLAND-4887       SWITZERLAND-5332

On the opposite side of the hill, you can see several villages and the surrounding mountains.

SWITZERLAND-4902

SWITZERLAND-4904

SWITZERLAND-4901

Once we had stormed circled the castle, we walked back through the village and came across a rather odd museum and bar in the middle of the medieval village. Any fans of the “Alien” movies reading this blog? Youwill be pleased to know that the Museum H R Giger is in Gruyères. This Giger Museum is home to the permanent collection of the works of H.R. Giger, the award winning Swiss designer of Ridley Scott’s blockbuster “Alien” movies.

SWITZERLAND-4862

H R Giger Museum in Gruyères

SWITZERLAND-4863\

SWITZERLAND-4864

Next to the Museum is the amazing Giger Bar whose interior is like the insides of an alien spaceship and the furniture and decor adopt alien themes as well. Obviously we had to go in.

SWITZERLAND-00797

SWITZERLAND-00784

Jacob was so frightened by the alien babies in our booth

SWITZERLAND-00788

SWITZERLAND-00796

SWITZERLAND-00793

And we even got to try the famous Gruyères meringues! SWITZERLAND-00794 SWITZERLAND-00795

After a drink and dessert, we walked back down to the train station to head back to Randy and Tam’s for the night.

And just like the ride there, the train ride back did not disappoint. Check out that sunset.

SWITZERLAND-4928 SWITZERLAND-4935

Next up in our Swiss adventures: Exploring Lausanne

AND In case you missed the first four days of our trip:

Jessi & Jacob Go To Switzerland: Day 1

Switzerland Day 2: Lausanne & a Boat to France

Switzerland Day 3: Hiking in the Swiss Alps

Switzerland Day 4: Castles, Fondue & Freddie Mercury

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge