When I was a child I thought that visiting a real chocolate factory would be a dream come true. Many years later formally an adult but still very childish in manner occasionally, especially when it comes to food according to my loving husband, I did visit an actual chocolate factory. In November 2013 my husband and I visited Zotter chocolate factory in Riegersburg, Austria. Firstly, we wandered around nearby town of Graz and then in the afternoon we went on our visit of the Zotter chocolate factory. The visit costs 14.90€ for an adult but it also includes the all important tasting of chocolate.
Our visit started with a short viewing of the company’s history in a small cinema-like room.The film also explained briefly the origins of chocolate and its production. Then we were given audio-guides and a pretty ceramic spoon for the tasting. We weren’t supposed to keep the spoon but we did 🙂 You can taste everything you see and at the end of the visit you find yourself in a cafe-like room where you can make yourself one hot chocolate. There are clear signs stating only one hot chocolate per person ( we did comply to that rule). Of course, you left the factory via the gift shop but after a lot of hard thinking I didn’t buy anything. You are probably asking yourself: she left a chocolate factory without a single bar of chocolate? Yes, I did. Frankly, by the end of the visit I was almost sick with the mere thought of seeing another chocolate let alone eating one.
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Kangaroos and koalas? No, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Austria is famous for the waltz, the apfelstrudel and other delicious cakes, Christmas markets, beautiful landscapes, the movie The Sound of Music and the Hapsburg Empire that once encompassed the entire Central Europe.
I first visited Austria’s capital Vienna (Wien) with my other best friend M. (not the one that I go to London with) in 2005. We spent a couple of days in Vienna at our high school friend’s who was studying there. I even got to celebrate my birthday there and enjoy the Christmas markets. Since then I visited Vienna twice (one afternoon whilst returning from another trip) and a short business trip last year. I’ll be travelling to Vienna again next month because of my work but I’ll be sure to find some free time to enjoy the many Christmas markets.
I’ve visited a couple of other Austrian cities too but I still haven’t done any skiing or hiking in Austria which is a shame because this small country offers plenty of outdoor activities in beautiful nature.
In 2013 I went to Graz, Austria’s second largest city and visited the chocolate factory Zotter in Riegersburg with my boyfriend (now my hubby). That was a fun day even though it was a gloomy November day. I’m a chocoholic but after trying out a huge amount of chocolate (from almost 90% cocoa content to milk chocolate standard of around 30 % cocoa content) I was put off of chocolate for a few days. Luckily I soon recovered from that chocolate overdose and continued to enjoy chocolate in its many delicious forms.
Only a month after this chocoholic experience I visited the Christmas markets in Villach and Velden with my mum who also loves browsing Christmas markets and drinking mulled wine and eating pretzels and other sweet stuff. There’s something almost magical about the Christmas time in Austria; everything is so beautifully decorated, you can hear carols in the streets, the smell of cinnamon and punch wafts through the air and there’s a promise of a white Christmas.