blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wednesday, 2nd December

Ritterquai, River Aare, Solothurn

Baseltor in the mist
Even though I saw it in thick fog, Solothurn didn’t disappoint; the poor visibility added to the other-worldly atmosphere. Je me souviens des jours anciens (... mais je ne pleure pas). The River Aare flows from Thun, through Bern and Solothurn, to the Rhein. The town had cobbled streets and hardly any traffic. I could smell roast coffee, pipe tobacco, grilled bacon (Speck), impressions that can’t be photographed. It is like a quiet version of my beloved Bern, but with a vast, neo-baroque cathedral at its centre, with flights of steps outside it: the St-Ursen-Kathedrale. The old city had high stone walls with a Bastion, and city gates: the Baseltor and the Bieltor. I went inside the cathedral, very Catholic-Baroque inside with a high dome, also entered the Naturmuseum to see stuffed mammals and birds, reptiles, fish, and an exhibition on bees. There was the inevitable Christmas market, this one with a live pair of donkeys, tended by two young girls who were very protective of them. I bought some Christmas gifts and a silk tie for Chris which to my annoyance he never wore.

Rathausgasse, Solothurn,
where I had lunch
My lunch in Solothurn was at a little restaurant in the Rathausgasse, not a place for tourists! Called the Pfefferkorn. I had the set meal, since no other choice was on offer, consommé soup with rice, a well prepared salad, Kartoffel-Gratin mit Rosenkohl und Speck, all really tasty and only costing 15 Francs.
Was wär' wohl wert ein Würzbaron /Gäb’s nicht für ihn das Pfefferkorn /Er wär' bloss ein armer Wicht /Und unbekömmlich sein Gericht.
(Emil Allemann)
There was a mini biscotti to finish.

Kartoffel-Gratin mit Rosenkohl und Speck

Solothurn market

Inside the cathedral at Solothurn 
Donkeys at the Weihnachtsmarkt

Other place names in Solothurn: Hauptbahnhofstrasse, Kreuzackerquai, Kreuzackerbrücke, Klosterplatz, Kronengasse, Barfüssergasse, Hauptgasse, Riedholzturn, Ambassadorenhof (which was decorated to look like an advent calendar), the Altes Zeughaus, Marktplatz, Friedhofplatz (where the Xmas market was, with donkeys), the Schmiedergasse, Ritterquai, Landhausquai, Rötibrucke.

In summer I could have gone for a ride on the Aare, on an Öufi boat.

Remnants of Chris' QNX conference
When I’d got back to Egerkingen and walked all the way up the hill from the station I had to join the end of meeting party with the QNX people, before a 2-and-a-half hour ride north, Peter and Hanspeter talking in the front seats about mountaineering in the Alps. We did 220kph on some stretches of the Autobahn that followed the Rhine valley north, before we turned eastwards near Karlsruhe.

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