Last Year’s Day Trip to Gruyère

It’s been almost a year since I last posted something here. Although 2013 was particularly a slow year for travelling around Europe, I must admit that my inactiveness in writing was because of work. 2013 was indeed a roller coaster ride for me at work with all the emergencies and crisis all over the world en plus, a major change in my work. But 2013 wasn’t that bad at all, outside work, as I said in my last entry, it was a year of celebrating friendships.

Here’s a quick rundown of one of my favorite trips last year:

Day Trip to Gruyère – 09 May 2013

Gruyère is a district of Fribourg, probably an hour and a half drive from Geneva. Yes, it’s that town where gruyere, the famous Swiss cheese, was named after. But no, we didn’t go to Gruyère for the cheese, we went there for the famous Swiss chocolate factory – Maison Cailler!

Maison Cailler is located at Rue Jules Bellet 7 1636 Broc (http://www.la-gruyere.ch/en/maison-cailler.html). I enjoyed the road trip from Geneva to Broc as we passed through beautiful fields of sunflowers, bright green fields and… cows.

Cows, green fields, river, mountains... it's Switzerland in deed
Cows, green fields, river, mountains… it’s Switzerland in deed

I remember it was a holiday then but Maison Cailler was open. The chocolate factory tour was packed though! We didn’t make any reservations at all so we had to wait in line a bit. Good thing they have a café where we got drinks and while we waited for our group to be called.

Maison Callier

The tour started with the history of chocolates, followed by the history of Cailler in Switzerland, then how Cailler makes their chocolates. The very end is the most dangerous part of the tour – a room where you can eat all the chocolates you can! Yes, now I know where my “above normal” sugar result started. In this room, you get to taste Cailler’s famous chocolates – from the cheapest to their high end chocolate bars.

The chocolate-tasting/eat all you can part is at the very end of the tour. Femina is my favourite Cailler chocolate box.
The chocolate-tasting/eat all you can part is at the very end of the tour. Femina is my favourite Cailler chocolate box.

 

If you prefer your chocolates dark, a box of Ambassador will be such a treat.
If you prefer your chocolates dark, a box of Ambassador will be such a treat.

To allow ourselves to recover from all the chocolates we had, we went to Gruyères (yes, it can be confusing but Gruyères is a town in Gruyère). Gruyères is a famous medieval town famous of its cheese and double cream (popularly paired with meringue). We parked our car down the hill and we hiked our way up (the town is on top of a hill and it’s a bit of hike but of course, you can always drive all the way to the top). Fondue is a must (although my friends hated the idea after having a buffet of chocolates… but we had to do it).

Gruyères is a famous medieval town known for its cheese - the Swiss cheese, Gruyère
Gruyères is a famous medieval town known for its cheese – the Swiss cheese, Gruyère

This medieval town is also famous for the HR Giger Museum and (a weirder) Bar – http://www.hrgiger.com/barmuseum.htm.

Across the HR Giger Bar is the museum.
Across the HR Giger Bar is the museum.

My trip to Gruyère was super fun because of the company. I don’t think it’s a trip worth taking for solo travelers – it’s more of a “friends affair” or a “family affair”. At the end of the day, if you’re going to gain extra kilos in one day because of all those chocolates and sugars, make sure your friends or family does too! 😉

~I.

 

 

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