An hour’s train ride out of Zurich took me to Solothurn, Switzerland. I was there to join 22 other walkers and hikers as well as a number of the Friendship Force Club of Solothurn/Swtizerland.
As a global journey, the majority of the hikers came from Friendship Force clubs located in Belgium, Canada, Russia and the USA.
Our itinerary included walks along river beds, in the Jura hills, to a mountain top and through several towns. During our stay, we were housed at a sports hotel where our adventure started each day. We became quite familiar with bus and train transport to our walk starts.
So with that introduction, let’s get started with …………..
Day 1 Walking with Swiss Friends
After a breakfast of meats, cheeses, yogurt and thick brown bread, we packed a similar combination for our lunch and met our Swiss friends at the Bus Stop. We began our journey by bus to St. Niklaus.
Our first day’s walk had a spiritual tone as we set off on foot through the gorge of Saint Verena who is said to have arrived in Switzerland in search of a relative, Saint Victor of the Thebes Legion. Saint Victor was martyred for specific religious beliefs sometime during the 500’s and Saint Verena lived out her life as a hermitress.
Next we are off on a walk around Waldegg Castle. It’s a beautiful building in the French and Italian baroque styles, with many additions, including apartments and an orangery, during the years the Bensenval family owned the property (late 1600s – early 1800s).
The Bensenval family had a close connection with French royalty,
their son being a diplomat and officer in the French Swiss guards. After the French Revolution the family fell out of favor in France. These many years later, the property belongs to the Center for Intercultural Dialogue.
We take leave of the wonderful setting around the castle, formal English gardens bordered by magnificent fields of corn, greenery and the Juras Mountains in the background.
After a lunch along the trail, we proceeded onto the Trail of Megaliths.
How these large stone came to be along this area isn’t known. They are massive and beautiful.
The day’s hike complete, we’re back catching the train from St. Niklaus to an early dinner in Solothurm. Enroute to the restaurant we got a first look at the town of Solothurn.
The ancient fountains with allegorical designs are still used today as thirsty visitors fill their water bottles before moving on. There are a total of 11 fountains in Solothurn, in fact almost everything in Solothurn is connected with the number eleven.
We dined outside under beautiful trees enjoying food from a Greek restaurant. Then, the option to walk the trail back to our hotel or hop on the bus. I elected for the walk, It was a beautiful evening and a good choice.
Thanks to our delightful Swiss hosts/friends/hike leaders Regina, Franziska, Andreas and Jürg for organizing this wonderful day.
Total walking/hiking distance for the day: 7.5 miles.
How do you like Solothurn so far? Have you expanded your walking or hiking to destinations previously unknown?
Stay tuned for Day 2.