We visited the nearby small town of La Neuveville.
La Neuveville has been around a while
The streets are pretty.
As are the windows.
Maison des Dragons - built 1757-1758 and named for the gargoyles on the roof corners.
We also strolled through Biel/Bienne which is located right on the border of French and German-speaking Switzerland (hence the double-barrelled name).
The historic town centre was small but delightful, and full of beautiful colours:
And interesting statues:
Nice codpiece in Place du Ring
Lady Justice wearing some funky sandals.
Lovely gilded balcony on the outskirts of the old town.
Our last day in Switzerland was rainy and overcast, so we looked for an indoor activity - what better than heading to a cheese museum/factory?
We visited a fromagerie in Bellelay where they make the well known Tête de Moine (or Monk's Head) cheese - so named due to it being first made by monks (and looking a bit like a monk's shaved head).
Domaine de Bellelay, Switzerland
Tête de Moines is a hard, cow's milk cheese that's been produced for over 800 years.
It has to be eaten in thin slivers to expose maximum surface area to the air and develop the cheese's yummy aromas/flavours.
This used to be done by scraping slices of cheese off the large rounds with a knife, like these two jolly monks below.
Frankly, this was a pain in the ass way of eating cheese, and in 1982 a clever fellow invented the Girolle:
A revolution in cheese eating.
This made it super easy to cut petal-like slivers of cheese (rosettes) and doubled as a storage container when the plastic or glass lid was fitted.
More than 2 million of these suckers have been sold and sales of Tête de Moine have hugely increased, proving the human race really is a bunch of lazy cheese eaters.
At Domaine de Bellelay we watched an interesting film on how the cheese is made and then took a tour of their small (but informative) museum. I learned a lot about cow udders.
The best part was of course the taste test at the end. You can see the pretty rosettes the Girolle produces here:
Tête de Moine, best with a dry white. Yum.
Well, here endeth the Spring Tour of 2011. For those new to the blog looking for the other travel posts from our trip, here they are in one spot:
Hope these help others in their travels! Bon voyage.