Today, before our walk along the River Aare, we spend a bit of time with a historic walk through this lovely baroque town. There are three remaining gates to the city and we also see portions of remaining Roman wall jutting from the corner of a trendy shop.
The Solothurn Cathedral (Cathedral of St. Ursus, an early martyr of the church), was originally built in the early middle ages with changes over the centuries including a rebuild in the 1700’s.
The detailed history and design is worthy of a guided tour when you make your visit to Solothurn. As is the Church of the Jesuits, a relative newcomer built in the late 1600’s with a stunningly breathtaking interior.
We don’t leave the town center before seeing some of the many clocks, including one representing the cycle of life/renewal and death, a musical clock, and an 11-hour clock (the number 11 having a special designation in Solothurn – 11 steps to the cathedral, 11 of almost everything with a historical significance).
Leaving town, we follow the River Aare, passing cattle in pasture meadows, fields of crops as well as some industrial buildings along this lane.
The stork settlement at Altreu was a delight. In September, many of the young storks had already flown south. Those too old to make the trip stay to winter here.
Having hiked just over six miles from Solothurn, we boarded a boat on the River Aare for our return and to meet our dinner hosts.
Our day ended with small group dinners hosted by local Friendship Force members. My good fortune was to be included in a dinner in the neighboring city of Bern where we dined at the home of Urs and Ursula. We were treated to wonderful food, including dishes incorporating grapes, figs and apples from their garden. After enjoyable conversation and cuisine, we returned to Solothurn by auto. (Urs had rented an auto by the hour, a common practice when several people are traveling or large items must be transported. Otherwise, the order of the day is convenient bus/train combinations to get from town to town.)
Many thanks to our dinner hosts as well as day hosts Tamara, Kurt, Lucie and Jürg. Sleep tight and prepare for Day 4 – hiking up Weissenstein.