Eating raclettes gave us a desire to try more cheese, so on Saturday Irina took us to the town of Gruyere, where Gruyere cheese is originally from. Here we visited Maison Gruyere where we saw cheese being made, got to sample cheese, and learned about the history of cheese in the area.
We then took a train to the nearby town of Broc and went to the Maison Cailler chocolate factory. We did a tour of the factory (which included learning about the history of chocolate) and then watched chocolate being put into wrappers. Here you could take a couple of wrapped chocolates, and so of course we thought that this was our free sample. Imagine our surprise and delight to enter the real tasting room, with more than 20 different kinds of chocolates. You could literally try as many chocolates as you wanted here…some of us may have tried a fairly large number! This was amazing – Swiss chocolate is so good and we loved our sampling.
On Sunday Irina and her sister Selina took us to Lucerne. They assured us that on a clear day you can see the mountains around the town, but I am unable to confirm this. We had a great time with them, strolling around the old town, over the old bridge called Kapellbrucke and teaching Selina and Irina about jumping photos.
We went to see the Lion of Lucerne and to the glacier garden, where remains of a former glacier are. We had a fantastic time playing in the Hall of Mirrors here – this was originally made for a world fair. After we finished here, we went to Kambly, a factory where they make biscuits and snack foods and where you can once again sample as much as you like. Another delightful afternoon of gorging ourselves!
We got to see Irina’s whole family again the next night, when we went to Elisabeth and Camille’s and had fondue. Swiss fondue was the best cheese fondue I had ever had – Reuben even got to help make it. We had it with bread and potatoes to dip, as well as Kirsch, a cherry flavoured liquor which you dip the bread in first – it certainly gives the fondue a kick!