December 11, 2008

day 17…

day 17…

I dragged myself out of bed for a day trip to Birmingham! Caught the 0745Hrs National Express to Birmingham, and I got there about 1030. Yeo was at the station to pick me up, and after joining his housemates for breakfast at MacDonald’s, we hopped on a train to Bournville, where the Cadbury brothers made chocolate that surpassed all others of their time. They took the business from a household one to a shop, and then factory, and then they build a whole town for their workers which they named Bournville.

As soon as we exited the station, we could tell it was Cadburytown. All the lamposts were purple in colour! We walked a bit further down and we could literally follow our noses to the factory.
following the sign, we saw this at the entrance:

HUGE Creme Egg things! These were actually little buggy-like cars to travel around for staff, I think.

Inside, they showed us how the Chocolate receipe was stolen from the Aztecs, and fell into Spanish men’s hands. The secret of the receipe went to France and then to England.

Chocolate, like tea and coffee, became a wholesome substitute for alcohol, and it was fashionable to meet at Chocolate houses to discuss politics, play chess and of course, drink chocolate.

Here’s one of the high society things.

There’s the roof , and the little light inside. High-class stuff.

After that, we sat through a series of videos telling how chocolate was developed from drink to food, and how the receipe was improved. They used talking holograms to show us the journey.

It’s dark, but the three figures were moving and talking holograms against a backdrop of real stuff. Pretty cool huh?

From that, we entered into Cadabra! area, where we sat in a little car that brought us around the little chocolate beans. Kind of like “it’s a small world” Disneyland type of place.

Beanville! Sorry for the lousy picture, the cars were moving ;P

Beanville in winter! Beware of falling rocks chocs!

Wheeee! We’re Cadbury Cows! 😛

Beans fishing for….?

After this area we stepped into the chocolate-processing area, a no photography zone. We saw how the machines worked and how chocolate was made in different assortments and wrapped in foil.

Then it was off to the play area, an area where they demonstrate how chocolate is made.
First the chocolate has to be tempered. (The Well-Tempered Clavier Chocolate, anyone?)
This is done by spreading the liquid on the marble slab, spreading out, scraping it off, and spreading it again. This cools the chocolate and also makes it more viscous.

That’s Darell, trying to tamper with temper the chocolate.

Then, you could write whatever you want on the marble board!

This guy took the blame for all our scribblings. Mine’s the flower on the right. (: Each of them signed their names but I drew a flower.

After that was a chocolate-making station. Liquid chocolate came out from the tap, and after tempering, was spread into a mould.

Then it was left to harden, and after a while in the fridge,
Shells! So those Belgian Chocolate shells are all made like that. You’d get the outside, then fill inside with whatever filling (hazelnuts/strawberry creams) and then put the two ends of the shell together.

Chocolate Hearts made in the factory! Awww sweeet..

This kinda gives kids the wrong idea..

After all that it was off to the gift shop.

I thought this was cute!

5kg chocolate block!!

I think it cost over 40 dollars or something..

Went to the heritage trail after that.

Old Cadbury building, just like in the 50s.


Tired, we caught the train back to Birmingham central station. Walked through the streets, and then went to the Frankfurter Weihnachsmarkt. Wasn’t authentically German, but I had fun!
Witch’s hat! (:

And a shop selling nutcracker dolls! There were shops selling Marzipan, glass figurines, candies, Bier, Bratwursts, and… Buddhas?!

At the Bulls Ring shopping centre on the way back stands a huge bronze bull that looks like this.

Inside, however, there’s also a bull, the exact same size and make, that looks like this:

and it’s made of my favourite Jellybeans! along with the notice:

20,000 pounds for a jellybean bull! No thanks. ;P

My first time ever buying a box of Krispy Kreme! (: Got a box of doughnuts, and boarded the coach home. I reached Cardiff at about 2100, boarded the bus 23 and reached Severn Point by 2200. Home, sweet home!

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