To Courtelary and a visit at Chocolat Camille Bloch

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our hotel offered a continental breakfast for a steep $10.00. Instead, we reasoned we could find something good along the way. Gertrude directed us out of town without a hitch and we drove west on the Autobahn along routes 1 and 3. We encountered road construction and rain and growling stomachs. We pulled off to a side road and began looking for a small town where we could buy some bread, fruit and cheese… if not an actual local restaurant. We did, indeed, find a town and drove up the hill to find a lovely little hotel with a restaurant, but learned that they serve only dinner. Asking where we could find the town’s center, we were given a vague response. On our way back down the hill we came upon a little cheese and meat shop next to a tiny patisserie. We bought a hunk of cheese and some decent rolls, sat quietly in the car and devoured our breakfast. In the patisserie, we were a bit surprised to see something called Pfaffenhüetti; looks like hamentaschen to us. The Vogelnestti on the right are “birds nests”.


The turnoff to Bern at Biel brought to mind Rabbi Morrison D. Bial z"l as well as David Biale. Mark chose a wrong lane for his turnoff and we wandered in the city a bit before getting onto a small local road that took us along some precipices, through some tunnels and then into rolling grassy meadows until we arrived at a town that, by the sound of its name should be in Ireland, rather than Switzerland “Courtelary,” the home of Chocolats Camille Bloch.


Mark made sure we knew exactly where we needed to be for our 1:30 appointment to interview CEO Daniel Bloch before we backtracked in town to find a little restaurant for lunch. This time we succeeded.

We took our portrait for the day while we were there.


The drive back to Zurich was easy. The clouds had lifted and we experienced major patches of blue sky. Gertrude had a little difficulty getting us back to our hotel, but by then we had begun to recognize familiar corners and we only wandered for fifteen, instead of forty-five minutes.

Swiss Apples

Earlier that morning Mark had made an appointment at the Genius Bar of the Zurich Apple Store. The earliest available appointment would have been Wednesday at 11:00 AM. Because we had hoped to be an hour and a half east of Zurich at another chocolate factory at that time, we decided to take our our chances, walked into the downtown area through the train station down the first couple of blocks of the fancy Bahnhofstrasse and arrived at the Apple Store about 20 minutes before closing. Genius Martin Dikk (who had grown up in Hungary and is fluent in a variety of languages) was finishing up with a customer but offered to take a look. We waited a few minutes as he changed into his civies (took off his colorful Apple Genius tee shirt) and quickly sized up the situation. There were two issues at play. Mark had been using an old 60W power supply from Debbie’s old white MacBook which did not give enough power to continue to recharge a non-Apple replacement battery he had. He bought a new 85W supply (with two European plugs, a nice bonus) and we went off to look for a place to eat dinner. At 9:00 PM, nearly everything was closed and the streets downtown were emptying. We wound our way back across the Sihl river and found a little restaurant where we could eat al fresco as we had the previous night. After a reasonable Middle Eastern meal we walked the few blocks back to the Rothaus, checked our email and turned out the lights.

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