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Sharing favorite Swiss villages/towns

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Suzanne
Suzanne
344 posts
top member
Mar 29, 2020 - 9:13 AM

Hello MySwissAlps forum!

What are your favorite Swiss villages and towns that are not frequented often by tourists?

I love Solothurn for it's farmer's market on Saturday mornings and I just love the quaint little town because you hardly see any tourists there. It's located about 45 km from Bern. There is a direct train from Bern to Solothurn and it takes just 30 minutes to reach the city center. You can check out this timetable for your train connections: www.myswissalps.com/timetable

When you are in Solothurn, please go to:

  • Confiserie M. Suter for an afternoon snack of coffee and cake www.suteria.ch/de/
  • Memos in the Solothurn train station for budget friendly take away kebabs and pizzas - located on the other side of the main train station...on Zuchwilerstrasse
  • Solothurn Cathederal
  • Waldegg Castle
  • Farmer's market on Wednesdays and Saturdays (8:00 am- noon) located in the town centre - Hauptgasse

In the summer you can go swimming in the Solothurn river which is incorporated with the local swimming pool: www.badi-info.ch/a/solothurn.html

Make sure you have a drink at "Hafebar Solothurn" ( Kreuzackerquai, Prisongasse 4, 4500 Solothurn)

In the winter you can go sledding at Weisseinstein www.seilbahn-weissenstein.ch/

Here are is a live web cam of Solothurn: www.ga-weissenstein.ch/livecams

I look forward to reading all the responses!

Take care everyone,

Suzanne

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Apr 9, 2020 - 6:27 AM in reply to Suzanne

Hello Suzanne,

With all the stay-at-home time I have these days, I'd be willing to give this a "go" using somewhat the same format as you have used to introduce forum visitors to Solothurn. I have two places in mind, one about half the size of Solothurn and the other about double the size of Solothurn. Would that be okay ? I'm not big on the restaurant scene but can mention a few places I like.

Ildiko
Ildiko
990 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 9, 2020 - 11:51 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

I can't speak for Suzanne but I would love to read your tips.

Here is mine:

One of my favorite and not touristy village is Aubonne near Lausanne. Aubonne has a population of around 3000. If you are there, do not miss:

  • the old town with the Aubonne Castle. You'll see houses from the 16th to 19th century while you walk on the narrow streets.
  • if you like nature also visit the National Arboretum of Aubonne: www.arboretum.ch/
  • if you are traveling with kids I highly recommend a leisure and recreation park near Aubonne, called Signal de Bougy: www.signaldebougy.ch

Ildiko

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Apr 10, 2020 - 3:16 AM in reply to Ildiko

Well, if it is okay, I will start with the smaller place I have in mind. I just hope that things don't time out as I get things organized and start laying out the post. It has happened before.

Anna
Anna
879 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 10, 2020 - 8:01 AM

Hi Suzanne,

I have a few favourites. But since I live in Kanton Aargau I will recommend Bremgarten and Baden :) Both feature a small but lovely old town and have regular and direct rail connections to Zurich.

Regards,

Anna

Annika
Annika
6323 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 10, 2020 - 8:47 AM

Hi all! How nice to read about your favorite towns. It brings up many good ideas to add to our own wish list :-)!

I'd like to add Olten, a nice small-size town with a beautiful old center and a wooden bridge crossing the Aare. Rheinfelden is highly recommended too. As its name suggests, it's right along the river Rhine and only a short train ride away from Basel. We stayed in the lovely hotel Schiff am Rhein with rooms and a restaurant looking out on the river. Dining there was a great experience.

Last modified on Apr 10, 2020 - 8:55 AM by Annika
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7534 posts
expert
Apr 10, 2020 - 9:06 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika-

I dropped in a mistaken cut and paste in my last pos replying to Ildiko.t.

Could you please take out the quote at the top, or remove the post and I'll repost it.

Slowpoke

Anna
Anna
879 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 10, 2020 - 9:18 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

I've taken the comment out.

Regards,

Anna

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7534 posts
expert
Apr 10, 2020 - 12:39 PM in reply to Anna

Thanks,

Slowpoke

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Apr 11, 2020 - 3:30 AM in reply to Annika

Hello Annika,

And while in Rheinfelden, not to forget the Augusta Raurica in very nearby Augst (Basel Land), and an easy walk from the Kaiseraugst SBB station. Website: www.augustaraurica.ch/ In German, French, and English (no Latin).

Annika
Annika
6323 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 11, 2020 - 7:48 AM in reply to Peterli

Thanks Peterli, Augusta Raurica is definitely on our list too! Last time we didn't make it there, but we hope to visit it during another Switzerland trip.

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Apr 13, 2020 - 11:41 AM in reply to Ildiko

Hello Suzanne and Ildiko,

In case anybody is still following this thread, here are a couple of items concerning Solothurn.

First, this year is the 2000th annversary of the city of Solothurn, and so Swiss Post has issued a stamp to commemorate this, see two attachments. This (copy/paste) is the description of the city and the stamp from Swiss Post (I took the liberty of putting some of it in bold):

Between 15 and 25 AD, the Romans built a connecting road from Aventicum (Avenches) to Vindonissa (Windisch). Where it crossed the River Aare, they built a settlement which they named “Salodurum”. This historical event marks the birth of the town of Solothurn.

The special stamp sheetlet shows a photo taken from the River Aare, which is a transport route and the lifeline of the city. The stamp itself is designed as an illustration and shows St Ursus Cathedral, built between 1762 and 1773, with its imposing tower and its onion dome. The tower is 6 × 11 m high and houses 11 bells. The history of the town is inextricably linked to the number 11: Solothurn is listed as the 11th state in the Swiss Confederation and it is home to 11 churches and chapels, 11 fountains and 11 towers. The list goes on with 11 guilds, 11 bailiwicks, 11 canons and 11 chaplains. The number 11 is represented on the special stamp, with 11 fish in the River Aare. You can also see the town coat of arms, as well as the local mountain in the background, the Weissenstein mountain with its health resort.

The second thing I wanted to mention is that there is now a Solothurn Monopoly game. See third attachment. I should add that these games are being produced for a number of Swiss cities. There is also one for Genève, Zurich, and Kanton St Gallen. There's even one for the Canton de Neuchâtel coming out in the Fall. I'm not a big fan of this game but it will be interesting to see what the properties will be. I hear that the price for one of these games will run around CHF 100.

Last modified on Apr 13, 2020 - 11:51 AM by Peterli
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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7534 posts
expert
Apr 16, 2020 - 9:17 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika-

At the risk of complicating Peterli's orderly collection of threads, I'll add to this thread about villages some pictures taken in Olten in September, 2018, as well as some information about the bridge.

I found the old town quite pleasant to wander around, even on a rather cloudy day.

Besides the bridge, two items in particular caught my attention. One is the fresco in the Rathskeller, the other is Toulouse.

The fresco-

The fresco shows the Oltners departing for battle in the Peasants War , in 1653.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_peasant_war_of_1653

Quoting from Wiki, Niklaus Leuenberger who was their leader, negotiated the settlement of the conflict. Then,

<<"Niklaus Leuenberger was beheaded and quartered in Bern on September 6, 1653.[a]">>.

Even today, his memory is alive in the Emmental. I saw a memorial to him while walking in Rüderswil in 2010, still with fresh flowers. The Leuenbergers are still active in Swiss politics.

Toulouse -

Toulouse the cat was the "king" of Olten.

Scroll down a few pages (to page 4) in this nice presentation about the museum, for

an explanation of his name.... derived from the local dialect.

www.olten.ch/_docn/2518912/20-03-19_do_EN_Ausstellungsfuhrer_Naturmuseum_Olten.pdf

As you leave the bridge and enter the old town at a small plaza, a statue of Toulouse is just to your left. From that viewpoint, he can survey all the visitors entering the old town.

The Bridge -

I was struck by how thin the supports for the bridge are. No stone pillars, as are under the bridge at Aarberg, mention in Peterli's thread about bridges.

This link shows that the bridge was heavily damaged by fire.

play.swissinfo.ch/play/tv/culture/video/fire-on-historic-swiss-bridge-causes-major-damage?id=44009948&startTime=37.12

When I was there, a portion of the bridge was closed off by a metal fence, barely visible in one photo taken inside the bridge with my smartphone. Sorry, not high quality. But, it lets us see the timber work. The bridge was open for pedestrians.

I added a couple of images from my walk around the old town.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 16, 2020 - 9:21 AM by Slowpoke
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CabinJon
CabinJon
157 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2020 - 4:54 PM

Slowpoke - You have the most amazing collection of photos. I always enjoy seeing them.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7534 posts
expert
Apr 16, 2020 - 9:40 PM in reply to CabinJon

<<"You have the most amazing collection of photos. I always enjoy seeing them. ">>

Thanks. The country demands photography. And, if you go back to a special place a few times, you eventually get good weather for a clearer than average photograph of distant landscapes. Or, appropriate weather....And, you figure out the best angles.

That lets you get images like the attached.

These days, if your aim is to take images that look like postcards, you may need fewer trips. Photoshop now has the capability to dehaze photographs....now anyone can make a picture look like a generic postcard without waiting for perfect weather. ;-)

Actually, there always was a way to dehaze images , but it used a lot of tools, and took a lot of effort. Now, it's just a slider...which can also add haze if you want it. I can count the times that I have used it on the fingers of one hand. Not including the thumb. ;-)

Slowpoke

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Nataguzman
Nataguzman
19 posts
new member
Apr 19, 2020 - 3:31 PM

Hi, I have no words to express My admiration while watching these photos. Thank You for sharing them. During these days I can dream on My next trip to Switzerland. I don't know when, but keeping in touch with this forum encourages My mind to keep on dreaming on places I would like to visit.

Natalia

Annika
Annika
6323 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 20, 2020 - 6:32 AM

@Slowpoke: thanks for adding the information about Olten and those lovely photo's! It's stunnig to rise above the clouds, isn't it?

@Natalia: I'm sorry you for you that you can't arrange for a new Switzerland trip yet. Meanwhile, do keep on dreaming, and we're here to assist you if you're making new travel plans.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7534 posts
expert
Apr 20, 2020 - 8:35 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika -

<<"It's stunnig to rise above the clouds, isn't it?">>

The image of the cables entering the clouds on the Rigi was taken while descending. Others just happened after getting up above the clouds, as you note. I think it is kind of fun... perhaps a bit mysterious?.... to descend into the clouds, not knowing what is there (so to speak).

When my grandson came to visit me in Switzerland in 2016, he arrived at Zürich on a cloudy, grey day in the Mittelland. Not a bright and sunny cheerful welcoming day, for sure.

We got to Weggis eventually, and the cloud cover overhead was depressing. On the way up to Rigi Kaltbad on the Luftseilbahn, we broke through the clouds into the sunlight, with nice view of the part of Pilatus which had been lost in the clouds when seen from below. Kaltbad is at about 1500 m.u.M. We broke through at about 1200 or 1300 meters.

It made a very nice welcome to Switzerland for him.

For me, it is a persistent and pleasant memory that the weather comes in layers, and that the Swiss transport system allows you to climb into the sunshine. Very useful during a cold, grey, wet, cloudy, depressing Central European Winter.

Not so easy to do in the Netherlands. ;-)

Slowpoke.

Last modified on Apr 20, 2020 - 8:39 AM by Slowpoke
Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Apr 20, 2020 - 8:25 PM in reply to Slowpoke

<< Not so easy to do in the Netherlands. ;-) >> Oh Slowpoke, that was a LOW blow ! ;-)

Annika
Annika
6323 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 21, 2020 - 6:29 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Haha, I'm afraid you're totally right Slowpoke! If only we had one mountain of reasonable size over here allowing us to rise above the clouds... We do have a very pretty hilly area in the utmost southern Netherlands, but let's be honest: it can't match the Swiss Alps, not even a bit. We too will have to be patient and dream of our next visit to proper Swiss mountains :-).

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