My program went to Gruyères today, and of course I went with! Gruyères is one of my favourite places in Switzerland because it tiny and charming. It was absolutely beautiful covered in snow. Gruyères also has the best dairy products on the planet (I think), so I had no issue going back to stuff my face full of cheese and cream. There was a hot-air balloon festival going on, so we got to watch balloons take off from all over the area. Apparently people come from around the world to fly over the Alps.
Before we went to the old part of Gruyères, we went to the Cailer chocolate factory which is right next door. They had an interesting little chocolate tour that was highly dramatic but substantially less annoying than the Hershey's one (there were no singing cows, for instance). The Swiss are really good at creating dramatic displays with light and sound. They are also good at doing it with chocolate.
My evidence for the Swiss being good at chocolate displays is first the chocolate wall, and second this woman made out of chocolate that was on display in the shop. I am definitely getting spoiled with all of this good Swiss chocolate! I think I have eaten some every day.
Then we went to Gruyères. There is a playground near this church that we all went on. We may be university students, but we are clearly still children in many respects. Frankly, being shuttled around on a bus with chaperones drives this point home further.
This is the famous Gruyères meringue et crème double. Basically, it's a caramel-tasting meringue with this amazing double creme stuff. It's not dissimilar to crème fraîche, except that it is even richer. This sort of creme is very hard to get outside of Switzerland (actually, I'm not sure if you can), but it's absolutely delicious and completely worth trying if you are ever there.
There were some people dressed up and singing in the center of Gruyères near the main fountain when we were getting ready to leave. They started walking towards the car park, but I still managed to snap a picture. It was a really neat experience to be able to hear people sing, and they seemed really happy to share their culture with us silly tourists.