Swiss Sojourn

Old Oct 28th, 2021, 06:22 AM
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Swiss Sojourn

I last stepped foot on a plane in March 2020; an ill-fated, badly timed trip to Spain that resulted in a frantic race to get home when COVID hit the fan.

Spain Interrupted: Our not-so-excellent adventure

Bill’s last flight was in Sept 2019, when we spent a fantastic month in one of our favorite countries; Switzerland.

Since then, we, and the rest of the world, have been forced to cancel several trips; in our case two booked international trips for spring and summer 2020, one booked domestic trip for January 2021, and two more planned, but not-yet-booked international trips for autumn 2020 and summer 2021.

Then last May, one month post-double jab and optimistic about the world opening up again, we booked autumn flights to Zurich for a much anticipated return to Switzerland.

We read all the fine print, spoke to the airline to make sure we understood what we were getting ourselves into, scoured the trip insurance policy, and then took the plunge, booking flights to Zurich on UA and Swiss, bundled with a hotel on Expedia, which kept the seemingly ever-increasing price down to a reasonable level. We also paid the extra cost of booking specific seats on Swiss, knowing full well that we could potentially lose that money in the case of cancellation.

We worked out an itinerary, researched and booked apartments with lenient cancellation policies, then sat back and waited.

And then along came Delta, curbing that optimism, and making me regret not booking a trip during that summer sweet spot when Europe first re-opened its doors. Suddenly an autumn trip seemed less likely and fraught with potential issues.

As our travel dates grew closer, I began checking travel forums and government websites daily, looking for the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements. I took another look at those cancellation dates. I checked prices and facilities for COVID testing in Switzerland, and read up on the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag home kits, placing an order for a six pack and downloading the NAVICA app on both our phones. I purchased a new travel bag, arranged transport to the airport and began a packing list.

And then a setback…a routine dental appointment revealed a cracked tooth, which led to prep for a crown, which led to a toothache, which led to an emergency dental appointment, which led to an emergency two appointment root canal with an Endodontist in a city 90 minutes from my home.

Simultaneously, I’d discovered that Switzerland was on the verge of changing its COVID requirements…there were murmurs that we’d need a Swiss COVID Certificate to obtain entry into restaurants and other businesses, which set off another flurry of research. I scoured the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health website, looking for answers. I discovered that these new rules would go into effect September 13, and that each canton in Switzerland had a different application process, all geared towards residents, not visitors. And, because we would be visiting six cantons in Switzerland, it was unclear if we needed a special QR code for each canton, assuming we could even get one.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home.html

The sites for the cantons of Bern and Zurich supplied a straightforward online application for the COVID Certificate. Problem was, we weren’t visiting Bern and we’d only be in Zurich on the last night of our month long stay. What’s a traveler to do?

On a whim we each completed the online form for the canton of Zurich, using our hotel address and phone number, and uploading our US CDC cards and our passports. We hit the submit button and then sat back to wait. Then three days later, we also applied in the canton of Bern, as I’d read that visitors were having the best luck using the Bern site. While we’d not be visiting Bern this trip, I figured it was worth a try. Their form allowed us to provide our home address and cell phone number, whereas the Zurich form only allowed a Swiss address and phone number. And then, a few days later, we applied with the canton of Solothurn.

The Trip Advisor Swiss forum was buzzing with questions from people with upcoming trips and visitors already in Switzerland; all of whom had been caught out by the last minute announcement that they’d now need a COVID Certificate; and like us, many of them were scrambling to obtain it.

Some mentioned being turned away from certain venues, others said they’d had no troubles using their CDC cards, while a handful of others said they’d received the certificate and the QR code in record time. The implementation of a new policy before the various cantons were prepared to carry it out, seemed very un-Swiss-like. Always the optimist, I was pretty confident the Swiss would have it sorted out soon.

Amidst all this we’d already begun to finesse our travel details, making note of which trains we wanted to take, determining which routes, if any, offered SuperSaver fares, and if we’d be eligible for these fares if we booked them soon after arriving in Zurich. SuperSaver fares are good deals, but quite restricted, so we didn’t dare book any before arrival. We also decided to purchase our Half Fare Cards as soon as we landed, rather than a few days in advance as we have on past trips. Optimist or not, I still wasn’t convinced this trip was going to happen until we were on the ground in Zurich.

The SBB app was already loaded on our phones from previous trips. We downloaded PDFs of our CDC cards and passports onto our laptop, should we need them, in addition to our paper CDC cards which we’d have on our persons.

Then, on Sept 17, I received a note from the canton of Solothurn advising we could send them our passports and CDC cards by e-mail to obtain the certificate. Ummm, no. Not secure. Also on Sept 17, this announcement:

Swiss COVID certificate for individuals vaccinated or recovered abroad

As of 20 September, anyone who has been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and who is resident in or travelling to Switzerland will be able to obtain a Swiss COVID certificate. This means that people who have been vaccinated abroad or have recovered abroad, such as tourists, can also participate in social activities here. Currently, only the certificates of countries using the EU Digital COVID Certificate are compatible with the Swiss system.

The documents can be submitted electronically. Each canton must designate a contact point for persons who have been vaccinated abroad. All cantonal contact points will be listed on a federal website. A federal working group (FDHA, FDFA, FDF) will oversee implementation together with the cantons and other agencies (data protection). The aim is to find a solution that is as efficient, straightforward and user-oriented as possible. In a transitional phase until 10 October 2021, all foreign vaccination certificates (e.g. WHO vaccination certificate) will be valid for access to events or facilities requiring a COVID certificate.

As in neighbouring countries, access to the Swiss COVID certificate will not be extended to all WHO vaccines. Exceptions are being made for Swiss citizens living abroad returning to the country, non-EU citizens working in Switzerland, employees of international organisations and accredited diplomatic staff, as well as students.

https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/do...-id-85168.html

Hallelujah!

And then, about five days before our flight we checked the Swiss website for changes and found an unpleasant surprise – our Airbus 340 was now a Boeing 777. We’d intentionally booked on Swiss because of the Airbus, and its seating configuration of 2-3-2. We both prefer aisle seats, but two seats on one side is always a bonus, so we happily booked and paid for a set. The 777 however, is 10 across, 3-4-3, and while Swiss had given us the same seat numbers on the replacement plane, those seats were now a window and a middle. Hell will freeze over before I pay extra for a middle seat.

So back online to sort it out, we selected two aisle seats in the middle four seat section.

The day before our flights, we filled out the online Swiss Locator form (can’t submit until 48 hours before arrival in Switzerland), uploaded our documents to both Swiss and United, and both printed and downloaded to our phones the QR code allowing us entry into Switzerland.

We still didn’t have a Swiss COVID Certificate, but hoped to sort it out when we got there.

We were ready.

And then, my temporary crown broke.

To be continued…
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 08:47 AM
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Cliffhanger!! I'm along for the ride. Wow, It seems there's always something...!

s
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 01:11 PM
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"Hell will freeze over before I pay extra for a middle seat." LOL! Looking forward to more of your TR!
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 01:13 PM
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I also was going to say "cliffhanger" but I guess it's more of a tooth-hanger. Tooth pain is right up there in the category of worst kinds of pain to have to experience in my book so you have my sympathy and attention.

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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 01:21 PM
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I’m on board!

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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 01:42 PM
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Glad to have you all along. I wholeheartedly agree with you Trophywife. There's just something about tooth pain.

September 27 & 28 –

Before heading to the airport, we made a quick detour to pick up some dental adhesive to re-attach that temporary crown (which turned out to be a non-issue; I decided to just leave it as is).

Flights from our corner of Colorado involve driving from our home in the mountains to the closest regional airport (COS) or driving some two+ hours to Denver and leaving from DIA. COS is usually our choice as it’s easy in/easy out and relatively stress free, however, more often than not something goes awry (see above trip report to Spain for a prime example).

Although there are usually better flight options from DIA, getting there can be a nightmare – the never-ending construction on I-25 and inevitable traffic delays add a layer of stress we just don’t need. Then, once we arrive, parking is more expensive and we often need a night in a hotel prior to departure and/or upon return, etc.

This time we opted to leave from COS and take our chances with the dreaded Chicago O’Hare, thus avoiding DIA altogether, intentionally choosing a long layover, just in case COS did what they do.

Miraculously, our flight to Chicago went off without a hitch. Our full flight left on time and arrived early. And it was on an Airbus instead of the usual puddle jumper. The flight was unexpectedly pleasant – only minor turbulence, and no feral anti-maskers or inebriated passengers looking to pick a flight. The mere fact that such potential craziness even crossed my mind is testament that COVID times are insane times, at least here in the US.

We arrived in Terminal 1 and took the shuttle bus to Terminal 5 – the airport train has been out of commission for some time and is two years behind schedule.

We were given a boarding pass at COS for our connecting flight from Chicago to Zurich, but we suspected they’d want more, so we went to the Swiss check-in desk to show our vaccination cards, passenger locator forms and our passports just in case they needed to see them in the flesh. They did, and the whole process went pretty quickly as there was no one else in line.

It was here that we were told that we could use the Swissport lounge with our Star Alliance Gold cards, but we were denied entry as they were currently only accepting business class passengers.

So we had no choice but to spend our 2.5 hour layover in the not-very-appealing Terminal 5. We ended up at Tortas Fontera, which wasn’t serving food on Sundays and Mondays, just drinks. We settled in with a decent enough Malbec, for which we paid a ridiculous price, having not asked how much a glass was when we ordered (and being out of practice with airport gouging).

We asked the bartender if he’d mind us consuming a snack from the nearby grease emporium (pickins’ were pretty slim) onsite with our wine. He agreed, but then felt it necessary to tell us to clean up after ourselves as if he thought we were going to have a ketchup fight or something. We routinely return our glasses to the counter and dispose of our own trash anyway, so it seemed a bit unnecessary, but evidently there are a lot of pigs out there.

Our flight to Zurich on Swiss was near empty. Those two paid aisle seats in a row of four became two entire rows of four seats each. We pretty much had the run of the plane. Sweet.

Service was very good, as was the food, and we were able to actually get 3-4 hours of prone sleep. The flight seemed short at just over 7 hours; and we arrived 40 minutes early to a very quiet Zurich airport.

I finally began to believe that we just might pull this off.

We immediately sought out a pharmacy in the airport, hoping to score those much coveted Swiss COVID certificates. We provided our CDC cards and passports and they were happy to oblige for 30 francs each, even assisting our sleep deprived selves in scanning the QR code to our phones.

Even though we didn’t technically need the certificates until October 11, we figured having them would make our lives much easier. They would prevent the need to whip out our CDC cards every time we wanted to dine in a restaurant, hoping that each business was up-to-date on the Federal Office of Public Health guidelines for travelers, and if not, that we could convey those guidelines in a country with four national languages, of which we are proficient in none. I’d printed out the official announcement from the FOPH website in English, but the hassle factor seemed enormous.

Our itinerary for the next 27 nights:

Grenchen, Solothurn – five nights

Grimentz, Val d’ Anniviers – five nights

Muralto, Locarno – five nights

Celerina, Graubünden – four nights

Tifencastel, Graubünden– five nights

Rapperswil, St Gallen – two nights

Zurich – one night

The whole idea behind this particular itinerary was to incorporate areas we’d not yet explored, as well as revisit a few favorites. It involved more moving around than we’d normally do, but I suspect that was partially COVID induced; an attempt to fit in as much as possible after our travel drought.

Because we booked a bundle through Expedia (airfare and at least one night in a hotel), we were limited to a stay of 27 nights and one of those nights had to be in our arrival or departure city, hence the last night in Zurich, something we’d not normally do.

Neither of us was feeling very well upon arrival, so we passed on coffee, but stood in line quite a long time to get our Half Fare Cards (120 chf each for 30 days) and our train tickets to Grenchen, about 12 km from Solothurn, our home for the next five nights (23 chf each).

The train journey took about an hour and 15 minutes, no changes. Our Airbnb was advertised as a seven minute walk from the Grenchen Sud train station, but alas, those were Swiss minutes, and as is so often the case, there were hills involved; it took us easily twice that dragging luggage.

We were zapped. We had barely enough energy to walk back down to the Coop to gather breakfast provisions and a ready-to-bake pizza, which sufficed for dinner.

But, we were in Switzerland!

To be continued…
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 02:50 PM
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Looking forward to this report. We haven’t been to Switzerland in 20+ years but it is calling us back.
The gorgeous scenery is memorable for sure and we are looking to return.

Hope you include photos……
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 03:15 PM
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There will definitely be photos...
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 04:23 PM
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Switzerland

Can’t wait for more - especially the photos !!Â
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 05:30 AM
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September 29 –

There’s just something about waking up that first morning, knowing you have several weeks of Swiss bliss ahead. And this day brought sunshine.

We’d slept intermittently for 12 hours, no thanks to the church next door - whose bells - which rang religiously every 15 minutes - sounded like they were right inside our apartment. The owner told us later that the neighborhood had been pleading with the local government to do something about the bells, but had not had any luck thus far. I found it odd that not a single review for this apartment mentioned those damn bells.

The apartment was spacious and comfortable, but not particularly cozy; the bed tiny, the kitchen downright large, but it felt like the kitchen of someone who’s never cooked, and lacked some items considered essential for those of us who cook all the time, like pot holders, decent knives, another skillet or two, a few more kitchen towels, etc.

Solothurn and environs was new and completely unfamiliar territory for us, so we thought we’d start with something easy on my wish list, a trip to the Camille Bloch chocolate factory in Courtelary.

We’d found a combo deal on the SBB site that included one way train transport plus admission to Camille Bloch for 18.50 chf each, so we bought tickets and hopped on a train. When the conductor came by to check tickets, he seemed confused, and asked where we were going. We told him Courtelary, confusing him even more by completely mutilating the pronunciation. Turns out that in our travel induced fog, we’d failed to change trains in Biel, and needed to detrain in Neuchâtel and backtrack. Oops.

The conductor saved the day by whipping out his phone and redirecting us, then selling us a ticket from Neuchâtel back to Biel (6.50 chf each) without penalizing us for missing our stop…and was kind enough not to fall over laughing at our horrible mispronunciation of Courtelary. So, that combo deal turned out to cost more than full price, but so it goes. Once back in Biel we caught a train to Courtelary, the ride quite pretty.

Our visit to Camille Bloch included an underwhelming museum, two interesting chocolate making demos (the guy switched to English just for us, bless him) lots of samples of products made primarily of hazelnuts (too bad we don’t like hazelnuts), and a pretty good lunch in their bistro - lentil soup for me, a salmon crepe for Bill, a glass of local Pinot Noir for both - 30 chf.


Camille Bloch

Camille Bloch

Lunch at Camille Bloch Bistro

Then it was back on the train to Biel where we changed to a train to Solothurn (10.40 chf each) aka “the finest Baroque town in Switzerland, where Italian grandeur meets French charm and German practicality”.

I fell in love immediately, what a beautiful town.

Here we spent the afternoon, exploring everything that crossed our paths - St Ursus Cathedral, which reminded me of the Dom in Salzburg, that ceiling, those intricate walls, just wow.




St. Ursus

St. Ursus


St. Ursus

St. Ursus

St. Ursus

We stumbled across what I assume was an autumn fair, quite busy, vendors selling food, trinkets, etc. We walked along part of the old city wall, took photos and just took it all in.


Solothurn

Solothurn

Solothurn

Solothurn

Solothurn


I was seduced into a bakery (Feinbäckerei Studer) by the Nusstorten in the window; I bought one to try later heated in our apartment and served with a dollop of cream (a bargain at 9.50 chf and absolutely delicious – not genuine Engadiner Nusstorte of course, but I think I liked it even better – so buttery).



Solothurn Bakery

The skies grew dark, it rained a bit, yet we continued to explore, and eventually found ourselves at Zunfthaus zu Wirthen, where we had an alfresco glass of Pinot Noir from Neuchâtel (11.60 chf and lovely).

Then the skies cleared, sending me on yet another photo frenzy.



Solothurn

Solothurn

Solothurn

Läderach, a chocoholic's dream (that would be me)

Solothurn when the sun appeared

Solothurn

Solothurn

Solothurn

Solothurn


Solothurn

Solothurn


We eventually took the train back to Grenchen (3.50 chf each) and collapsed.

To be continued…





Last edited by Melnq8; Oct 29th, 2021 at 05:37 AM.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 05:47 AM
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I also fell in love immediately with my first (only) visit to Solothurn! It's sooo pretty!!

May I ask you a photo storage question? I travel only with my Android tablet, with limited storage, so I feel the need to post photos daily, then delete everything. I guess you store the whole trip's photos on your laptop? Then you post them afterward from all you've stored? Or do you store them on a memory stick? Thanks for any help!!

s
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 07:20 AM
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Hi swandav -

Bill and I always travel with a laptop (he's the pack mule, so carries it in his backpack). Every night I download my photos (either from phone or camera) to the laptop and organize them by city and date. Then when I get home I transfer them to my desktop, where they're stored indefinitely.

When I traveled with my niece in 2019, I didn't want to haul around a laptop or a full camera, so I transferred my photos every night from my phone to a USB. Then when I got home I transferred the photos from the USB to my desktop, where they are stored indefinitely.

You should be able to transfer your photos from your tablet to a USB as well. Then store them however you wish when you get home. Bill suggests you use a USB3 or higher stick (faster) and then whatever adaptor fits your tablet and/or your phone.

Or you could use a big SD card if your phone allows it. This way you can save your photos to the SD card, which increases the storage in your phone.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 07:26 AM
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Solothurn is gorgeous!
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 09:10 AM
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It sure is noncomformist2 - especially when the sun is shining.

September 30 –


If you like the sound of church bells 24/7, this Airbnb is for you. Between the bells and jet lag, we were feeling a bit sleep deprived.

****NOTE: The day we arrived, Bill encountered an ATM in the airport with a 4% surcharge. Say what? So he tried again at a different ATM in the Zurich train station, same thing. Then he tried again when we arrived in Grenchen, same thing. What the heck was going on? When it happened again at a fourth ATM (all different ‘brands’ mind you, bank, Post Finance, SBB, Credit Suisse), he went ahead with the withdrawal, still baffled, but thinking that Schwab might reimburse the charge, as they do with other ATM surcharges. But then we noticed the 4% did not show up as a separate charge, so Schwab couldn’t even see it; it was bundled in with the cash withdrawal.

This had never happened to us on our many visits to Switzerland; ATMs and credit cards have always had very similar exchange rates. But this time, at least on that first withdrawal, that upcharge led to a crap exchange rate, $1.08 for the credit card vs $1.14 for cash.

I posted this on TA and it was suggested we’d been the victims of DCC. I resisted, as we consider ourselves well versed in the DCC scam. This felt different.

Until…we both scoured the screen during an ATM transaction later in the trip, and there it was, a tiny box tucked away at the very bottom of the screen giving the option in CHF, the default option was USD. Sneaky. Sure enough, we had been DCC’d.

Note that this was not the case with every ATM. Some used CHF as the default option, which is what we'd come to expect in Switzerland. DCC is not new of course, but this appears to be a new technique in Switzerland to upcharge those using foreign debit cards.

So beware all you tired, jet-lagged travelers...take a good long look every time you withdraw funds from a Swiss ATM.***

We decided to explore Solothurn’s local mountain, the Weissenstein, at the southern end of the Jura mountain range, which separates Switzerland from France. We caught an early train to Solothurn West, and a connecting bus to Oberdorf – 3.70 chf each (the bus sailed right on by as we were looking for our ticket on the SBB app, but another came 15 minutes later).

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/...ankets-of-fog/

There’s also a train to Oberdorf Talstation, which gets you closer to the gondola up to Weissenstein, but the bus runs more frequently.

From Oberdorf, we then walked up the hill to the Talistation, then caught the gondola to Weissenstein (14 chf each return). From there we walked to Hinter Weissenstein via a well graded, stroller friendly trail, then returned via the Hammerwagli, a prettier route that led through the forest.

The loop trail brought us back to the Weissenstein Hotel, and from there we continued walking up to the Roti Overlook, which turned out to be quite the uphill trudge. The day was beautiful and it was busy up here, lots of walkers, cows and cow poop.


Weissenstein Hotel

Weissenstein trail options

Hammerwagli

Hammerwagli



Trail to Roti Overlook

View from Roti Overlook


Say what?

Walking back down from Roti Overlook


My cell phone welcomed us to France and then Germany and then Switzerland again during the four hours we spent at the top.

We walked many miles up many hills and thoroughly wore ourselves out. We then returned to the hotel to check out their lunch menu, as well as the one at the restaurant that sits below the hotel, but opted to pass as both appeared to be offering set menus, neither of which appealed.

Although Solothurn Canton is German speaking, we encountered a lot of French, making those first few jet lagged days even more confusing.

We took the gondola back to Obersdorf Talistation, then walked back down to the bus stop to catch a bus to Solothurn as it was an hour’s wait before the next train (2.80 chf each).




It was after 3pm by the time we arrived in Solothurn, half-starved and wanting something quick and easy. I Googled doner kebab, and got a promising hit, so we followed the GPS to an Imbiss, where we showed our Swiss COVID Passes, took a seat and tucked into some pretty good food - doner kebab for Bill, Falafel for me (22 chf).

Outdoor dining in Solothurn was in full swing; whether due to the nice weather or a result of COVID and people not wanting to eat indoors (or unable to without a COVID Pass); but with outdoor dining comes smokers, and nothing puts us off more than cigarette smoke.

Feinbäckerei Studer was calling me, so we popped in to pick up another Nusstorten for later. We then settled in at a table on the terrace at the historic La Couronne Hotel, where we sipped a lovely German dry Riesling (Three Friends, 28 chf for four glasses) and watched the world go by under the shadow of the magnificent St Ursus Cathedral. The perfect end to a perfect day.


Solothurn

Solothurn

Nusstorten

Solothurn

St Ursus with blue skies

Lovely dry Riesling overlooked by St Ursus


Then a train back to Grenchen to crash; we’d been out for over 10 hours and had logged over eight miles.

To be continued...





Last edited by Melnq8; Oct 29th, 2021 at 09:13 AM.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 12:59 PM
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I feel like I’m traveling with you, without the jet lag! It has certainly been awhile; thanks!

We have been encouraged by the recent trip reports posted here and booked tickets to Spain in late February. Fingers crossed!

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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 01:20 PM
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Fingers crossed indeed martha, I hope it all works out.

Oct 1 –

I’d found a promising walk from Solothurn to Grenchen via St Niklaus - Verenaschlucht - Einsiedelei - Ruttenen - Oberdorf - Lommiswil - Rutenen - Allmend - Studen, and today’s blue skies convinced us to give it a go.

Unsure if we wanted to undertake the entire 17.5 km, we caught a train from Grenchen Süd to Solothurn West, where we connected with Bus 4 to Rüttenen, Grünegg (3.70 chf each).

From there we walked to the serene and fascinating Verenaschlucht - Verena Gorge - where we explored the hermitage and chapel that dates back to the 15th century, and is home to an actual hermit. It was absolutely gorgeous.

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/.../verena-gorge/



Verenaschlucht

Verenaschlucht

Verenaschlucht

Verenaschlucht

Verenaschlucht

Verenaschlucht

And then we walked...and walked...and walked... along the foot of the Jurassic, through pungent pasture, cornfields, forest and small villages; the landscape so green it made my eyes hurt; flowers in bloom seemingly everywhere.

We met a Swiss cat and a huge horse, and came upon the ugliest church we’d ever seen, the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lommiswil, circa 1967. The interior of the church looked downright naked after St. Ursus, but was interesting with its circular stained glass windows. And the cemetery – I have a thing for Swiss cemeteries, and this one did not disappoint.











Church of the Holy Spirit in Lommiswil

Church of the Holy Spirit in Lommiswil

Church of the Holy Spirit in Lommiswil

Church of the Holy Spirit in Lommiswil

Lommiswil cemetery

Lommiswil cemetery

Lommiswil cemetery






We walked until our feet screamed for mercy. We’d kept our eyes peeled for a bergrestaurant, hoping for a nice lunch and a rest, and although we saw a few signs for them, all were uphill from where we were, and we were just too tired to seek them out.

We threw in the towel when we reached Selzach, surprised that we’d only seen a handful of people during our nine mile walk.

From Selzach we took the train back to Solothurn (2.80 chf each) for an encore late lunch of kebabs followed by more of that lovely dry Riesling at La Couronne, which I’ve since read is Switzerland’s second oldest hotel.

Then it was back to Grenchen via train (3.70 each), for heated Nusstorten with whipped cream, Coop purchased Grimbergen Dark beer from France for Bill, and laundry in the basement of our Airbnb.

To be continued...


Last edited by Melnq8; Oct 29th, 2021 at 01:26 PM.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 02:53 PM
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lovely to travel with you again at last, Mel. So glad that you overcame all those challenges to get there, and thanks for sharing what for me are completely new parts of Switzerland with us.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 02:57 PM
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Glad to have you along for the ride annhig.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 03:52 PM
  #19  
 
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Following along! We just booked a trip in/out of Zurich next summer - first time back to Switzerland in (I think) about 18 years. Not quite sure where we are going yet, and we won't have as much time, but I'm already inspired!
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 04:07 PM
  #20  
 
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I loved Solothurn, too, Mel, and that Verena gorge was a perfect, lovely walk (we don’t walk as far as you )

Those bells are only charming through the day, though!
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