Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Solothurn, Switzerland!

On our last morning in Switzerland, we got up and out to visit with the cows again.
 This time we got to watch the farmer lead the cows out to pasture by bike!!

Soon we hopped in the car and headed to Solothurn, Switzerland.

This is another fairy tale place for me. It's where my grandpa was born, baptized, and lived before coming to the United States when he was seven. It's a medieval city, surrounded by a stone wall. It's absolutely beautiful.
 As I mentioned in a previous post, we asked Aunt Lizzy for the names and streets of each family landmark we wanted to find. Here we are on the street where grandpa was born and lived.
Dark and fuzzy, this picture shows us in front of his home. Riedholzplatz Nr. 24.
 This picture looks down his old street toward the center of town. The building on the right is a museum that is currently having some work done. Unfortunately, that meant that the wooden doors made by my great, great grandfather were not there for us to see!! Maybe next time.

Those beautiful cobble stone streets made my heart go pitter patter.

Aunt Lizzy told a story of how Grandpa went missing one time when he was only two or three. Scared, his mother and her dress-making employees spread out and searched the town. One of them found him in a fountain playing. Every time we passed a fountain I had to wonder if it happened to be the one he enjoyed playing within. There are many fountains in Solothurn; he had lots to choose from!

The front gate:

 The story is often told of how Grandpa walked along this slight ledge on the wall, around the whole city, and in his wooden shoes. He had to have done this before seven... what a dare devil! It's about 30 feet off the ground!

 I had to try it myself. Granted, I wasn't in wooden shoes and chose a much safer place to try it out!

 Ian must be terrified I'm about to fall. Look at that face...

 Annie also chose a safer ledge to practice!!
 Here's the ledge in all it's glory.
Next we went to see St. Ursenkathedrale, which is where Grandpa was baptized. What a beautiful cathedral.
 We tried to go up to the bell tower, but it was closed. Grandpa had similar railing ornate posts to this in the house he built with my grandma later in life. Marianne wondered if he might have chosen this design in connection to Swiss designs. Perhaps! This railing can still be found in the home; my cousin Julie lives there now.

 The fossils in the outside railings fascinated me!

A picture from below of the wall, just to really show how daring Grandpa was. I wonder if Ian has some of that in his blood, too, come to think of it!

 I love this beautiful clock tower!

 Next, we found another landmark. Our great, great grandfather did the woodwork in this restaurant.
 Imagine the time it would take to produce work like this. We certainly come from a line of artists...

It was a lovely morning full of meandering the streets of Solothurn and trying to imagine what life must have been like for my grandpa. We felt blessed to be able to soak up a place he spoke about so fondly and often.

Before we made our way out of Solothurn, we had to get some ice cream for lunch!! We were on vacation, so why not :)
 Ian finally broke free of the stroller for some footloose time on the streets before our long car ride.

Happy boy! 

 Who knows, maybe this was the fountain Grandpa played in? Now his great grandchild was, too.

We hopped back in the car for a long car ride back to Hannover, Germany.

Farewell, Switzerland, until we meet again!


  1. Very cool about the railing! Let's say the connection was intentional :) Also, isn't that the cathedral where my dad stuck a knife in the alter 'cause Aunt Lizzy thought it was marble and he thought it was wood? My mom would remember...

    1. That is a great story, Julie!!! I wish I could have been there to see that.

    2. That is a great story, Julie!!! I wish I could have been there to see that.