I mention all this because I've always wanted to hop off the train after it goes through the train tunnel and start my bike ride from there. So, that was the plan. On the train the conductor looked at my ticket then looked at my touring bicycle with the four panniers (saddlebags) and said it wasn't possible because I didn't have the right bike (mountain bike) and there wasn't a road. "Okay, I'll get off at the next stop", I said. The conductor shook his head and said it wasn't possible. If you're wondering why the train makes these stops if there's no paved roads it because the area is popular with day hikers--they come up via the train and spend the day hiking. So, I ended up getting off at Les Sciernes--the train station pictured here.
Anyway, I see this nice looking building (pictured above) and see zilch signage so that immediately grabs my attention. Two workers wearing white outfits including hairnets are out on one of the loading docks sweeping. Neither speaks English but one says two words I understand; "macaron" and "international". Long-time readers of this blog know I had a fixation for macarons, the sweet meringue-based confection--NOT to be confused with macaroons-the coconut cookie. My addiction to macarons culminated with a trip to Paris where I spent a whole week doing nothing but cycling around the city visiting pastry shops to find the best macarons and chocolate tarts. (over 60 shops were visited). Hmm, this must be an industrial bakery. I go to the main door and find it's locked with no doorbell to ring.
It's then I check the mailbox and see the name "Laduree". Wow, I've stumbled onto royalty! Founded in 1862, Paris-based Laduree is a French luxury bakery & sweets maker. More than anything else, they are known for their macarons. I mention I "had"a fixation for macarons. What happened is Laduree opened a store in Lausanne (where I live) about five years ago and I overdosed on 'em and now frequent them infrequently. Anyway, when the store in Lausanne first opened a truck would make a daily delivery run from Paris. Now, Laduree has a half-dozen stores in Switzerland AND has stores in 20 other countries. There's no doorbell and banging on the glass door brings not a soul. I guess if they had signage on the building pests like me would stop and try to buy macarons or worse-ask for a tour.
The visitor's center gets visitors from all over. A group showed up with the women completely covered-up from head to toe except for the eyes.
http://www.corporatetrivia.com, then click on the "Watches & Chocolate" heading.