About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Murten, Broc and Lausanne

Today we headed to Lausanne, making two stops along the way. One in Murten and one in Broc.

We checked out of the hotel and headed to a cafe we spotted last night. The sign advertised American style bagels and cream cheese, and it did not disappoint. We had toasted bages with cream cheese...YUM!

Off to Murten. The drive to Murten took about an hour. Murten has the finest example of medieval ramparts in Switzerland. It is located right on the edge of French Switzerland. About 25% of its inhabitants speak French. As you move west from Murten, nearly everyone speaks French. Murten is a small town of 5,000 located in the middle of rolling vineyards and overlooking Lake Murten.

We wandered around Murten for a couple of hours.

Our next destination was the town of Broc. The Cailler Chocolate Factory is located here. Cailler is now owned by Nestle. Did you know that Nestle and Cailler were two of the original chocolatiers in Switzerland. I had no idea that Nestle started out in Switzerland.

There was a long line when we arrived at the factory. We bought tickets for the next English tour and had to wait an hour. Brandon played on the playground near the cafe. Katrina and I wandered the chocolate shop and had a small piece of chocolate while we waited.

Wall of chocolate bars, and this is only a small section of it.

My favorite

We did not find the tour itself all that interesting. Part of the problem was that it was mostly about the history of chocolate, which we had already learned at the Museum of Chocolate in Barcelona. The other part of the problem was that we expected to see more chocolate making. All we saw was one automated machine making chocolates that ended up in a crate at the end of the line. We were able to take a chocolate from the crate and sample it. I was a bit dissappointed. The next window was view of a dark factory. All of the employees had gone home for the day. I thought that was the end of the tour as we made our way down a hallway...

Cocoa beans

Brandon tries to look at a cocoa bean up close.


But then we entered the tasting room. What a surprise! Chocolates were layed out on trays around a big center station. Visitors were able to slowly make their way around the station and sample any chocolates they wanted. Most of us were trying one of everything. This was a great idea until you get about halfway around and have already had about 6-8 chocolates, and you still have halfway to go! At this point most people began picking and choosing what looked best.

Right Now!

In the end it was a great way to end a dull tour. But, we were also sick of chocolate. Our first destination was back to the cafe to buy some water. We did end up buying a sample bag of mini chocolates. Brandon also bought some Nestle Crunch bars at the Nestle outlet store up the road.

It was getting late, so we headed to Lausanne. It was about an hour drive from Broc and it was raining a bit. We found our hotel, and Ibis Hoetel Lausanne Center, and checked in. It was too late to explore and we were tired anyway.

This evening we ate and Italian dinner at La Nonna, just across the street. Well, Brandon and I had Italian - pasta bolognese. Katrina had a typical swiss dish of hashed browns with spices and meats.

Today we had chocolate. Tomorrow we head to the cheese factory in Gruyeres.

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