Solothurn Travel Blog

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Gryon to Solothurn Switzerland: 5/23/08

            Waking up early, it was another long day of traveling ahead of us. Back down the mountain on the narrow gauge rack train then on to Morges. Pulling into the train station at Lausanne , there were a ton of people on the platform waiting for the train. They all pushed and shoved their way on to the train filling every square inch of the train with one big mass of human flesh. I was not giving my seat up to anyone so I pulled my hat down over my eyes put my sunglasses on and faked that I was asleep. The train sat in the station for fifteen minutes; I guessed something was not quite right when I spotted a television crew out filming all the people on the train and interviewing those who could not get on to the train. The train pulled out of the station and got up to cruising speed, when suddenly the train dumped the air and the brakes went on. Here we would sit for the next forty five minutes with no explanation of to why. One of the locals said this was the first train since 08:30 this morning; hence explaining the hoards of people waiting at the station. This line takes people to the Geneva airport, glad I was not trying to catch a flight that morning! After twenty minutes, there was an alarm and one of the train doors opened. A man got out and started to walk back towards the city. Guess he had enough of waiting on a crowded train. He was on his mobile phone as he walked back between the train tracks. I can just hear his conversation now. “Yes could you send me a taxi to pick me up; um I am in a field near some train tracks outside of Lausanne .”

Turns out that one of the electrical lines broke that morning and it had caused massive delays all over the area. I was expecting something like this in Italy , not in Switzerland !!

We got to Morges and sat in that train station waiting for the next possible train for us to take to Bienne/Biel. Next train would be in an hour, then it was delayed some more, then it just disappeared from the listing and was flat out canceled. While standing in line at the shop at the station I was watching the news and there was the footage shot this morning at the train station in Lausanne . So after two and a half hours we finally got on a train and made our way to Solothurn. The original plan was to go to Bienne/Biel and catch a boat down the river Aare to Solothurn. We had to bag that and just go straight there on the train.

            Solothurn is a very nice little city along the river Aare , with many nice bars and restaurants lining the river. We are staying in an International Youth Hostel, which requires you to have a membership card. Colin and I got one back in 2005, they are good for a year. Mine expired in ‘06, but last year while staying in Belfast I needed a card, so that ’06 magically turned into a ’08; not quite sure how that happened. LOL!!

We are sharing the room with a family from Bulgaria, the older daughter lives in England, and a family from Switzerland which has two young girls with them, ages 9 & 11. The family from Bulgaria (mother, brother, and daughter) was in town for a wedding. The Swiss family was here for a holiday. 

Dave and I headed out for dinner and to walk the city. We had some drinks down by the river Aare then had dinner up in one of the main squares in town. Again I found myself eating a pizza. Only thing open it seemed like that night were Pizza joints or restaurants that mainly served Italian food.

Returning to the room we found that everyone was out but the little girls who were up in the loft where their family was sleeping. I saw two heads peak down to see who walked in the room, I then heard some giggling. I started up with my Beavis & Butthead routine and those little giggles turned into loud laughs. Soon there were animal noises coming from above so Dave and I joined in making dog, cow, cat, monkey, birds, and just about anything else you might find at the zoo noises. Dave and I were laughing because here are these little girls who speak hardly any English at all but are laughing and having a fun time making all these noises. Suddenly out of nowhere a stuffed animal came flying from the loft at me, one of the little girls had a stuffed monkey and tossed it at me. I tossed it back up at them and before we knew it they were starting to hang from the ladder that went up to the loft making all sorts of monkey noises. I grabbed the railing and started to do the same, Dave almost rolled out of his bed from laughing so hard. The neighbors above and next to us must have thought a zoo moved into the room. The girls were bouncing off the walls and running all over now. Both Dave and I were looking at each other going, “Oh GREAT!” I was waiting for their parents to come walking in at any moment and wonder what in the hell was going on. I opened up the window more to let some cool air into the room and there were three people on the sidewalk bellow looking up at the window wondering what kind of crazy party was going on up there.

The girls finally settled down and went back up to the loft, few minutes later their parents came walking through the door; talk about timing! I got ready for bed and read for a bit, soon as I turned off my light a small head looked down from the loft and said, “Goodnight.”


Tomorrow we are off to Lugano Switzerland, where they speak Italian.
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photo by: niqueroz