The Big Europe Trip: Gruyeres and Bern

21 Jul

The morning started off with a bit of a hiccup when we got on the train going in the wrong direction.

It was a high speed nonstop train and we rode all the way to Zurich. I made a handy map for you – the blue line is the train we thought we were taking and the red line is the train we actually took.
Screenshot 2019-07-21 at 09.50.30(This was the day James quietly took over navigation duties).

Luckily I’d planned to get there quite early, so even with the unexpected detour we still had plenty of time to sight see.

Gruyeres was very touristy but gorgeous, with green valleys and mountains in every direction.
IMG_20190430_121918The town itself was also very picturesque.IMG_20190430_144634There was a cheese factory we could tour, but James is lactose intolerant and I don’t really like Gruyere cheese so we skipped it.

We did a tour of Gruyeres Castle, which has stood since the 13th century. They had cobblestone floors!
IMG_20190430_123156 The formal garden was also very nice. And more mountains!
IMG_20190430_130541 (1)Afterwards we went to the H.R. Giger museum (no photos allowed) and the Alien bar. The food and drinks were awful but we were there mainly to admire the decor.
MVIMG_20190430_132612The people working there were really nice, and let James behind the bar for a photo. =)IMG_20190430_134025After Gruyeres we walked about an hour to Broc. This was at the start of our walk where you could see the castle we had just visited.
IMG_20190430_152453In Broc, we signed up for a chocolate tour at the Cailler factory. Everything we did that day (the chocolate tour, the H.R. Giger museum, Gruyeres Castle, and the cheese factory tour if we’d chosen to do it) was free with the Swiss Travel Pass, so that was a nice surprise.IMG_20190430_171413The first part of the tour taught us about the history of chocolate and the Cailler brand. Then we saw Cailler chocolates being made and packaged in a mini factory (this was James’ favourite part).
IMG_20190430_164459My favourite part was the unlimited samples.
IMG_20190430_170131There were maybe seven or eight different varieties of Cailler chocolate for tasting. We tried one of each (though James skipped the milk chocolate). MVIMG_20190430_170053Unfortunately we were too full to even think about buying chocolates at their gift shop. We ended up buying Cailler chocolate at random supermarkets later in the trip, but I think it would have been cheaper here.

With James navigating, we managed to get back to Bern without incident. We arrived in the early evening, and even had time to do some touristy stuff before dinner.

Here we are at the famous Bern Rose Garden, with a beautiful view of the city.IMG_20190430_191042James and Einstein, Bern’s most famous resident.
MVIMG_20190430_191615We also visited the bear enclosures, where we saw some other famous Bern residents.IMG_20190430_193228We were also on time to see the hourly display at the Zytglogge, a landmark medieval clock tower in Old Town.
IMG_20190430_194933It was another early night for us, since we had a big day coming up – Lauterbrunnen!

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