We had an extra day in Switzerland and decided we had been through a lot of cities and towns and done too many city walks. We thought going into the Swiss countryside and visiting Broc and Gruyeres would be perfect – and it was!
After my husband climbed into the car on the passenger side and got over to the driver’s side he navigated the car out of the garage. We drove two hours south from German speaking Zurich to the French speaking Broc and Gruyeres area. The drive was beautiful. The mountains were green and dotted with alpine-style houses and cows.
We reached Maison Callier in the town of Broc. This has been a chocolate brand in Switzerland for over 100 years. Nestle purchased the company along the way in its history, but maintained the Maison Callier brand. We went through one of the best little tours we have ever been through. We were given headsets (that looked like a chocolate bar), and set off in our group through several “exhibit” rooms.
The rooms were interactive, the narration was interesting, and the whole thing was executed really well with a great element of fun. An example is they had a portrait of royalty trying chocolate for the first time, and all of a sudden the eyes get bigger and roll around in joy.
Now, the tour was awesome – but what made it the best ever was the tasting room! Unlimited, yes unlimited, tastings of the chocolates Maison Callier produces. You could eat until you were sick in this room. After indulging in the tasting room we walked around the shop and bought a wooden cow to bring home as a reminder of our trip.
After having full stomachs we set off to Gruyeres. Is the name familiar to you cheese lovers out there? This is where Gruyere cheese is made. We tried to stop at La Maison de Gruyere when we reached town, but it was 100% parked up. We knew parking is not permitted in the town, so we set off to find one of the parking lots outside town.
After parking the car, we set off to walk (uphill – so many hills on this vacation!) into the town of Gruyeres. We walked through a cow field and all the cows were mooing and were wearing cow bells. It was great! We could hear all of the bells and moos, we were in Switzerland for sure!
We walked through town, fun fact, the HR Giger Museum is in Gruyeres. He created the aliens in the Aliens movies. Outside the museum you can see some sculptures that bear a similar shape to the aliens in the movies, and the café across the street also has some Alien-influenced décor. It is so odd and out of place to see this in the middle of a Swiss country town, but this is his hometown, so this is where the museum is located.
After walking around the small town we decided to walk back to La Maison de Gruyere. There is a restaurant there, so we went there for lunch. Now, this is the home of Gruyere cheese, as you can guess that means EVERYTHING on the menu comes covered in Gruyere cheese! YES! Needless to say lunch was a cheese covered masterpiece!
We got back to Zurich to pack up and get ready to head to France, but first we had to get the car in the garage. We did that successfully and my husband crawled out of the passenger side again.
We had a great time in Switzerland, expensive, but great time. If we go back we’d spend a lot more time in the countryside. That’s another trip for another year.