Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-10-09

Stayed the night in Gryon

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From: "Bron Gondwana" <brong@brong.net>
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 00:45:50 +1000 (EST)
Went to the Lindt chocolate factory the next morning - it's a little way
out of town. They have a museum there that's free. Anyway, we got on the
train only to realise we'd forgotten to bring the details we needed
(like which stop to get off at). Luckily, the two girls from the hostel
(Mindy and Nadine) were also on the same train.. I noticed them sitting
a couple of seats away when I was looking around for any information
that might help us work out which stop was ours.

So... we followed them off, then walked to the factory. Upon
wandering in we were confronted by a huge bowl of free chocolates.
Grabbing a couple each, we wandered upstairs where we were given
English guides, a book to write our names and countries in, and more
chocolate from an assorted pralines tray. Kate is saying Yum with a
bit more cause this time.

The museum itself was quite small, but interesting. The guides were
very long. We'd already seen most of the process in Cologne, but the
bits about their commitment to quality and the history of Swiss
chocolate was good.

On the way out, they gave us more free chocolates, including a little
'gift pack' that would probably cost over $10 back home!

We walked up the road, and ran into those two girls AGAIN... they had
been to the shop and showed us a bag with 20 blocks of chocolate for
only CHF 10 (AU$12.50). We walked back, and got two bags full.
Someone's going to have to carry it all now - but guess what presents
you'll be getting when we get home... some of you that is. Just the
ones we really like (or until we run out.. who knows, we may have eaten
it all by next week)

The Swiss train system is very efficient, the information desk gave us a
printout of all the connections we needed. Got through to Bex (the
little town at the base of the mountain we're staying on) with no
problems, then caught a bus up the mountain to Gryon. Unfortunately the
cograil trams aren't running at the moment because they are doing track
work. Still, the bus trip was amazing. Tiny little narrow roads winding
up the side of a giant mountain. There's snow on all the peaks around
us, and the trees are all turning orange. It's beautiful, except when
the cloud settles at this level, when you can only just see the trees
right in front of the hostel!

We hadn't been to the bank to get more francs out, and so we had to
go to the post office to change some Euros (they don't take credit
card here). Exchange rate was hardly worth going to the post office
for (we saved CHF
1.71 over changing it at the hostel). The hostel (http://www.gryon.com/)
  advertises thermal pools, but there weren't enough people interested
  in going, so we missed out.

We made dinner with some pasta sauce purchased from reception, and
various things collected from the 'community food' pile left by other
people who were leaving and didn't want to carry it.

The hostel has a great kitchen.. spice rack, lots of cutlery and
crockery, pots and pans. The spice rack includes essentials like alfoil
and plastic wrap - they have a collection jar where you can leave a coin
in exchance. Very nice.

After dinner we watched Con Air (crap) and then Austin Powers 2 (Kate
hadn't seen any of them.. unfortunately they didn't have the original).

Got woken during the night by the bells from the local church (very
close and loud, and they go off every hour!) and a girl who got up at
6:15am and rustled through her very noisy plastic bags for over 20
minutes!) Why do all these rude people need to do that, rather than
planning ahead like we did in Milan and have everything they need

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