This weekend we got up at 5:30 to meet Sally at the train station by 6:30 for our trip to Hamburg on Saturday. After taking two trains, we arrived in Hamburg where we planned to visit the Hachez Chocoversum (a combination between a chocolate factory and museum). On the way into Hamburg, we could see the huge harbor and the ships that were docking in the port. We arrived in Hamburg at 9:30, so we took our time walking to the Hachez Chocoversum because the museum did not open until 10:15. Taking the extra time to stop for the breakfast of champions: coffee and a pastry at one of the bakeries along the way.
Group photo in front of the Chocoversum
When the museum opened we were excited to learn about the process for making chocolate. They provided a tour guide booklet in English that we were mostly able to follow as we progressed through the Chocoversum. The tour started with discussing where the cocoa plant grows and what part of the plant is used to begin making chocolate. Our guide also started with the cocoa fruit, opening it to show us the white pods inside that each house a cocoa bean.
The Cocoa Bean showing the white pods
Then, we were given the opportunity to taste a whole pod and chew the bean. We all tasted the seed, which was surrounded by a white fleshy pod that protects the actual seed. The best explanation for the taste was that it had the texture of an oyster (white pod), and the actual bean which was very hard and bitter. We went through every stage of the chocolate making process. Stopping only once to make our own chocolate bar using three different ingredients (coconut flakes, chocolate chips, hazelnut pieces, etc). At each stage, we had the opportunity to interact with the developing chocolate by either tasting, smelling, or touching. The tour was a very informational and interactive experience, and of course, sampling chocolate along the way was an added bonus. At the end of the tour, we received our chocolate bars and went through the gift shop before leaving to find lunch in Hamburg.
We decided to have lunch at a restaurant called Prego, which was a nice Italian restaurant where we had pizza and salad. After lunch, we walked around Hamburg to look around and view the different shops and sights of the town. We made our way towards the town hall of Hamburg and the old market square with the oldest building in Hamburg. There we also found a memorial for those who lost their lives in WWI.
The front of the Town Hall in Hamburg
After visiting the town hall, we made our way into the mall to look and shop around before making our way back to the train station to head home.
On Sunday, we met Sally early in the morning to begin our trip to Brocken Mountain were we took three trains and a bus. Brocken Mountain is the tallest mountain in the region, and is known for its amazing view. A view that we were unable to enjoy because the trail was covered in snow and ice.
The Beginning of the Trail
Since we were unable to make the hike up the mountain we had to make an alternative plan which was to go to the town below the mountain and look around. The town of Wernigerode is a small village town with winding streets and cute little shops. As we made our way around the town, we noticed the popularity of witches everywhere we went. There is a famous castle in Wernigerode near Brocken Mountain and according to legend is the meeting place of witches so the town has capitalized on its fame. While in town, we found a great café to have lunch and ordered the best food we have enjoyed thus far on our trip.We also found the town hall in the middle of the town. Also, while exploring Tori and Sally discovered the smallest house and the last person that lived in the house 1963.
Wernigerode Town Hall
After improvising on our trip, we made our way back to the train station to head home after a long day of sightseeing and to prepare for our visit to the Bilingual School.