Tourism in my world always includes chocolate visits. When the destination is Paris, the experience is of course exquisite and always creates sensory overload. There is only time to visit la crème de la crème among the many chocolatiers of the City of Light, and they aim to stun you with their virtuosity.
A chocolate visit is more straightforward in a place like Barcelona, where I was last month. The focus of Barcelona's chocolatiers is clearly more modest and less competitive, making this otherwise world class city feel a bit provincial chocolate-wise. But the Chocolate Museum was superb and a true high point of the trip. See above just a few of the chocolate pieces on display. You don't have to be a chocolatier to spend a wonderful and highly educational half day there!
My second trip was entirely chocolate focused: I went to the Cacao Barry Chocolate Academy in Montreal for a technical chocolate course. This is when I regret not paying attention in chemistry class! Many of the answers to chocolate challenges revolve around its chemical properties, and there is so much to learn.
I returned to Portland with new insights and a car full of new molds and cocoa butter colors: a visit in Montreal is never complete without a trip to the marvelous Chocolat Chocolat, stockist of European molds and all manner of chocolate making equipment. So testing time is happily near...