Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Chocolate Train

Trains have always fascinated many. Runaway cabooses, passenger cars filled with drowsy diners, or boxcars brimming with wild hobos, transporting all far off to fragrant destinations. Yes, there’s something mysterious about a good train ride.

A few years ago, we took the famous Colorado Narrow Gauge Railroad excursion from Durango to Silverton-fifty-two miles of the San Juan scenic byway. The choices varied on how classed up you wanted to ride, but being the hillbillies we are, we chose the cheapest way, standard class, open air gondola seating. We didn’t want to miss an ounce of scenery and certainly weren’t disappointed with that choice. I can’t say I’ve ever seen such excitement in the eyes of my children. It seems everyone relishes a good train ride.

We hung our faces out open air windows and drank in wind and wild. The train whistle would bellow, black smoke blow, and the tracks twist and turn around yet another mountain, where aspen trees shimmered and rusty colored beavers flapped and swam under leafy forests without footprints of modern life. That day we walked away with soot on our faces but pure nature tattooed on our hearts.

To remember this trip,I bought a splendid watercolor of Durango Station, Engine 473, painted in watercolor by Russell Steel. Appropriate name, don’t you think? I had it framed and it now sits on the mantel, a memory of us, once upon a time, on a Colorado train. If you’re ever in that area, please don’t miss this exquisite experience.



Recently, I saw a program discussing The Chocolate Train. Please get me on that train! My mouth perked at the mention of chocolate, so I had to watch. Would you like a little chocolate with your train?




Switzerland is well loved for its scenery and chocolate. Throw in a train and you’ve got a first class experience called the Swiss Chocolate Train, which operates from June to October out of Montreux.

Running on the Montreux-Oberland-Bernois Railway, this train takes you on breathtaking views of the Swiss countryside, rolling through the medieval town of Gruyeres, also known for their fabulous cheese making.

In Gruyeres, the train stops for an excursion by bus to a local castle. Sound good so far? You’ll also get to experience a cheese factory. On board the train once again, you’ll head to Broc. The Nestle Chocolate factory is there. You can watch the production of chocolate and sample the goodies. Then buy all you want.

Nine hours later you arrive in Montreux, a sleepy resort town on Lac Leman and home to the Castle of Chillon.


Now how’s that for a train ride, eh? Let’s go, shall we? All aboard!

21 comments:

  1. I've never ridden a train very far. Until the economy got soft, they had the Sunset Dinner Train up in McCloud near Mt. Shasta. You could have a nice meal and have a 2-3 hour ride. In the fall, they chugged to a pumpkin patch for the kids. During the holidays, there was dancing and a small band in one of the cars. Ohh, it will be missed.

    But now, that chocolate train sounds addicting.

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  2. That Sunset Dinner Train sounds fabulous, Ronda. I think we should put the Chocolate train on our dreamy "must do" list. I'd even buy you some chocolate!

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  3. oh yeah, i wanna go on that train as well...smiles. i have a fascination with trains having grown up by the tracks..that watercolor is amazing...

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  4. Yeah, we should all go! Should have started saving my pennies years ago, but it's never too late.

    Love trains. Funny how I ended up close to railroad tracks and can hear that haunting whistle whenever the train blows through.

    Thanks, Brian. I do cherish that watercolor. :-)

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  5. If you buy the chocolate, I'll buy the wine:-)

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  6. If you buy the chocolate, I'll buy the wine:-)

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  7. Too good to pass up that deal! Let's go. Can we get to Switzerland on chocolate and wine??

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  8. Wonderful. We've always talked of "doing" Switzerland by train, but never got around to it - but you have smokers! As romantic as they are not green - but wonderful.

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  9. Count me in! I love taking the train. I had no idea there was a chocolate train to boot! Choca-choo-choo! :)

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  10. Oh, I hope you get to go, Dave. Then you could report all the delicious details and we'd be so enamored we'd have to go!

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  11. I added you, Stacy! So far it's Ronda, me, Brian and Dave. :-)

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  12. Oh my gracious! What a dream train ride! Ohhhhh be still my heart. Oh sighhhhhhhhhh. I can't eat chocolate any more but I could feast on the scenery!

    Gentle hugs...

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  13. I love trains. They have big windows through which one can see the outdoor scenery; there's plenty of space to stretch the legs; there's an opportunity to meet all kinds of people and interract.

    I even like train stations except of two instances. Once, I got off by mistake at the wrong station; it was deserted and closed for the night. The second time, I was waiting for a night train in a station in Spain, and I saw a cop fiercely beating a teenager. Someone told me the teenager was probably homeless as he kept coming back to sleep on a bench and the train station authorities do not permit this kind of behavior. Still, the beating was a terrible sight.

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  14. You would love that train ride, Amelia!

    Duta: A big yes to meeting and interacting with all kinds of different people. Quite entertaining.

    Wow, that's such a sad sad story about that poor teenager. I'm so sorry for him, and for you to have that awful memory.

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  15. I love trains! I've been on so many around the world and I'm always eager to go on more. I've had a desire to ride the orient express for years. Hopefully, one day, I'll make that dream into a reality.

    Jai

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  16. pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!!.................................................................                           

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  17. Dorraine,

    I wrote a comment here and the blog of Willie Nelson a few days ago, but they disappeared. I don't know what happened. Anyway, I wanted to say that I love that painting, and chocolate of all kinds.

    When I'm in Japan, I eat the most basic old fashioned chocolate bar called Meiji Milk or Dark chocolate. Most people choose fancier chocolate, but for me, it has to be those chocolates. The taste and the memory come back and lift up my spirit.

    I enjoy my visit to your blog. Your sense of colors is always enticing to my eyes and taste buds.

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  18. Hey Keiko,

    Yes, I've had to moderate comments now, due to stuff I don't want anywhere near my blog. Did find your comment on my website. I wade through mounds of spam there also, to get to the good stuff, so I'm always charmed when I discover comments like yours instead of junk.

    Your chocolate sounds yummy! We must have our chocolate. Thanks for adding your shiny comment to my blog!

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  19. You've given me so many ideas about trains I want to ride!

    I adore trains and have traveled in so many over long distances. The trains in India are just epic adventures.

    Jai

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