7 July, Switzerland – ‘All Over The Place – Europe’

The Swiss certainly seem to be good at appropriating other people’s culture. Yesterday it was ‘The Hobbit’, today it was ’Sherlock Holmes’. Holmes fell to his “death” from the Reichenbach Falls, and today we took the funicular railway up the mountain to get close up and perform a rap all about them, with me dressed as “Sherlock Holmie” in bling and deerstalker. Luckily the weather held out and we got some spectacular shots of the crashing falls and snow capped mountains lining the valley before we headed down to the town of Meiringen, which is milking the Sherlock connection for all it’s worth, with shops, bars, street names, statues of the great man and a museum complete with a recreation of Holmes’ Baker Street residence.

You can’t come to Switzerland and not indulge in some chocolate, so our next stop was the Schuh Factory in the town of Interlaken. Despite the name, they don’t sell shoes – well, actually they do. Chocolate ones, in honour of the man who first set up the factory/shop in the 19th century. The manager, Thomas, was more than happy for us to eat as much chocolate as we liked and arranged for someone to show us how to make our very own chocolate shoe. I didn’t realise that it was the Swiss who invented milk chocolate, or that on average they eat 11kg of chocolate a year. Not surprising though, it is very tasty here, although you can have too much of a good thing. By the time Michelle and I were treating ourselves to an on camera chocolate fondue we were both feeling a bit groggy from it all.

To round things off we shot an introduction in the street dressed as Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa. If you did that in Britain you’d have people driving past honking their horns, shouting stuff out and generally messing things up for us. The Swiss passers-by and Chinese tourists (of which there are an insane amount round here) just quietly let us get on with it. At one point the owner of a jewellery shop we were standing in front of came out and I thought he was going to tell us to clear off. He politely asked us if we’d like him to leave his awning out to protect us from the rain.

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