It’s Travel Thursday time #TBT . Travel TBT is a throw back to my previous travel posts that I wrote on my previous blog which I have since closed down. So this is another instalment from when I was living in Switzerland, I used to take trips on Saturdays to interesting places close by. The awesome thing about Switzerland was that you didn’t need to have a car, trains pretty much covered every corner of the country. So this is one of my Saturday trips when I went to a chocolate factory, I mean – this was meant to be a dream trip, chocolate and Switzerland go together like x and y. It was a fun trip which I thoroughly enjoyed even though I got sick.
Lausanne has been cold, like bitterly cold this past week, the temperature has stayed in the single digits, I am dying. Luckily, my apartment, the office and the lab are warm, so I can walk around in a t-shirt with a long sleeved tee underneath and a scarf and I feel comfortable and not so cold. But honey, when I step outside…gaaddayum! It hits you like a ton of feathers, honest to goodness everytime I step out the door I let out a young scream, it just comes out voluntarily I have no control over it.
Cold weather aside, I haven’t taken an out of town Saturday day trip in a minute and I was starting to feel like a local and was spending my Saturdays around Lausanne. So this week even with going clubbing the night before, I managed to drag my ‘only had 5 hours sleep’ self to Maison Cailler which is in the town of Broc in the canton on Fribourg. Cailler is a chocolate brand here in Switz like Lindt, I don’t think it is sold anywhere else but in Switz, hence it is not that popular amongst us foreigners.
The whole journey to Broc took just under 2 hours, and I spent about 45 minutes of that time waiting at train stations for my connecting trains (not cool in 2 degrees C temperatures). When I got to Broc I walked for about 10 minutes from the train station to Maison Cailler.
I paid 10 francs for the chocolate tour, and luckily they had an English version of it. We were first given some history about where chocolate came from and how it has evolved over the years. It was a walking tour and each time we would get into a different room where we would get a brief history lesson. What I loved was the lingering smell of cocoa beans and chocolate in the air, it was perfect. After the history bit, we got to learn about the actual production of chocolate, they had a mini processing line where we could see the extrusion, the cooling, the wrapping of the chocolate.
After the processing line, we could share our thoughts and complete the sentence: for me, chocolate time is…
I loved what the lady (I assume it was a lady) wrote, it is so fitting especially now in the winter. (Side note… what a throw back to a time when I was still young! *sob sob*)
So after the chocolate tour came the best part, the tasting room, here they had about 20 different kinds of Cailler chocolate that we could taste, and boy did I work my way around the room. My plan was to taste every chocolate, but by the time I go to the end I could not handle it, I was stuffed and frankly feeling a bit sick. The tasting room was set up such that all the ‘cheap’ chocolate was at the beginning and the high end stuff was towards the end, so by the time you got there, you were stuffed. I probably ate about 15 pieces of chocolate, thinking about it now makes me slightly sick still.
After the tasting, there was the shop and I don’t know how I did it but I still bought chocolate *sigh*, after which I went for a light snack and had a croque-monsieur (grilled ham and chesse sarmie) and a chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) on steroids – one can’t go to a chocolate factory and not have hot chocolate, its a no brainer really.
Aside from feeling a bit sick from the tasting (totally my fault), and possibly gaining a few kilograms, I had fun at Maison Cailler – it was worth braving the cold for!