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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Weekend Trip: Gruyere the land of Cheese

Last weekend, Jesse and I went to Gruyere, Switzerland. A small picturesque village nestled into the Swiss mountains, Gruyere is famous for (you guessed it) cheese. About an hour and half train ride from Geneva, we arrived just in time to see a demonstration of how cheese is made at La Maison de Gruyere. Call me naive, but I definitely didn’t think it was so complicated! And who knew it involved ROBOTS.  Yes, the factory had two robots that made their way down the aisle and carefully rotated each wheel of cheese. I have a new found appreciation for the complex process that yields such a tasty treat!

After some tastings, and a delicious Rosti lunch, we ambled the winding road towards the old village.

Castle of Gruyere by mabufeu.

cc: mabufeu

The town is quite tiny, and is full of old cobblestone streets and shops selling meringues and other delicious pastries. Our first stop was the old castle, where we learned about its history and previous owners, including a Count that was so enamored by a beautiful villager, he dedicated an entire room  to her.  Poetic names don’t stand a chance in the face of that famous Swiss pragmatism- the room was called simply “Lucy’s Room.”

Gruyere Castle by Samuca°.

cc: Samuca°

(Shot from my Blackberry Camera!)

We were caught in a sudden downpour after our Castle tour, and took refuge in the HR Giger Museum Cafe. HR Giger is a painter, sculptor and Academy Award winning set designer for Aliens. He has an entire cafe and museum dedicated to his art work. Is it just me or does he look like these statues?

The Cafe was really cool. It was modeled after the alien ships in the movies.  I had a cappuccino and some famous Gruyere Meringues, dipped in Gruyere Creme.


http://www.routard.com/images_contenu/communaute/photos/publi/042/pt41735.jpg

We decided to pop by the museum afterward, and it was very creepy. Maybe it was the fact that the museum was hidden behind an adorable, quaint building. Maybe it was the over three floors of sketches, paintings and sculptures containing demons, aliens, bloody robots and other creatures all of them sexually explicit. It slowly dawned on me that he didn’t use the concept of Aliens to create the set, he just picked some of the images that were already in his brain and brought them to life. Maybe he’s Stephen King’s visual counterpart? Some people just have different sources of inspirations I guess.

The rain cleared up and we explored the town more before heading back home towards Geneva.

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