October 24, 2023
Switzerland is well known for its neutrality, the Alps mountains, secret bank accounts, cheese and most importantly CHOCOLATE!!!!!! After a buffet breakfast in our hotel the six of us went on a tour of Zurich. Part of the tour included a boat tour on Lake Zurich. The lake tour was beautiful, and showed the different areas in and around Zurich from a different perspective.
Lake Zurich is approximately 2 miles wide by 26 miles long. It is so large that it takes a very long stretch of very cold conditions for it to freeze, and in fact it has only frozen over completely 25 times in recorded history. The last time it froze was in the winter of 1963, and people took the opportunity to walk across the lake.
Pictures of the lake and shoreline:
Many famous people live in Zurich. This is a picture of the home where Tina Turner lived.
There are also vineyards in the Zurich area. The most commonly grown grapes are Riesling and Pinot Noir.
After the lake cruise we started on a guided walking tour of the historic area of Zurich. But it was cold and raining, so we quickly changed plans and opted for a local coffee shop. And what a wonderful stop! We ended up in a coffee shop owned by Teuscher Chocolates! It was a beautiful cafe and the hot chocolate was delicious, as were the pastries.
On our tour we learned that some of the first modern chocolate was made in Zurich. In 1845 Rudolph Sprungli founded the first chocolate factory in the area, and then Rodolphe Lindt revolutionized chocolate production by inventing the conching machine. This machine transformed what was chewy, brittle, floury tasting chocolate into the smooth and creamy texture we currently expect from chocolate. The story of how Lindt discovered conching says that he accidentally left the mixing machine on overnight and when he came into the factory in the morning, he found a much improved chocolate mixture. A very happy accident!
So in honor of being in Switzerland - we forced ourselves to buy some chocolate!
And to end our day we tried a Swiss wine with dinner, a Pinot Noir. It was very nice, smooth and light.