Monday, 15 December 2014

Sophie and the Chocolate Factory

Sunday we got up early to catch a train to Cologne. Only 20 minutes away (and 30 Euros for a return ticket) it is definitely worth a visit if you have chosen to stay here already - it's beautiful. When you leave the station on the left is the cathedral which is one of the most awe-inspiring places I've ever seen. It's crazy to imagine that somebody built this from the ground up with all the intricacies and details. Just behind it is the Hohenzollernbr├╝cke (the Love Lock Bridge) which gives you great views all the way down the river.

We wandered all the way down the river to my personal highlight of the day, the chocolate museum. Now this is not any chocolate museum, this is a chocolate museum with a Lindt chocolate factory inside. I'm not joking. I was quite literally Willy Wonka. After finding out about all the ingredients (the lighter the chocolate the more cocoa butter and the less cocoa mass there is) you get to watch the entire process, and try a few samples along the way. It wasn't quite as magical as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but I could definitely imagine Augustus Gloop whizzing through the pipes the carry the chocolate across the ceiling.

Watching the hollow figures being made was something. Each one was individually hand-crafted. A precisely defined quantity of chocolate mass is placed in one of the halves, the mould is then closed and placed in a centrifuge (yes that is an actual thing). By continually rotating the mould the chocolate is evenly distributed. After being cooled for about 45 minutes each hollow figure is hand wrapped.

Next up it was yet more wondering around markets. There was a lot more to see in Cologne and really pretty when lit up at night. I finally got my Baileys hot chocolate (okay maybe more than one) and sampled barbecued pork and cheese fondue. I think I've found my spiritual home.

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