We did it. After so many years gazing up at our local mountain Weissenstein from our back yard we decided it was time to again conquer the slopes and arrive at the top of its 1,395 meters above sea level. No we did not walk, we took the new gondola. When the kids were kids and Mr. Swiss and I young parents, we would now and again make an excursion to the mountain. Sometimes we even walked to the top (a day’s excursion) and ride down. We had also driven to the top with the car as it has quite a reasonable road for a mountain.
It used to be a chair lift to the top, but even chair lifts have signs of age and today it is a modern gondola railway. The basis station is quite a modern building We could park the car at the basis and enter to get our tickets. There is even a perfect lift to the ticket office as I am not so good at climbing stairs. The lady at the ticket office was an old friend of mine, a coincidence. She even looked that the gondola we were taking slowed down nicely for me to climb into with my stick. And so we were on our way.
The cabins are quite comfortable with room for at least 6 people. It was just Mr. Swiss and I and a young man that asked politely if he could join our cabin. He had his bicycle with him and was dressed accordingly with all the bike gear. The cabins are made so that you can just hook your bike to the outside. He left us at the middle station, Nesselboden, to do his bike exercises to the top. We were very comfortable and I was naturally snapping away with the camera most of the time.
After 20 minutes we sighted the restaurant and hotel at the top. From ground level you can see its outlines at the top of the mountain, but today we were within reaching distance. It is also a favourite place for glider people to start their journeys, although today we saw no-one. The weather was perfect, sunny and pleasant temperatures. There was no clear view of the alps however. I had my camera with the “normal” lens but also took my 300 zoom lens – you never know. Mr. Swiss was an ideal lens carrier. You have to have this boys with you when you are on safari.
We made ourself comfortable on the terrace of the restaurant with a wonderful view. As it was already afternoon, we did not bother with food, just a drink to keep us alive.
I was surprised with the result of this photo looking down on our town of Solothurn. You could even see the cathedral in the middle as well as the railway station – the wonders of modern lens techniques.
I also captured the River Aar as it meanders through the Solothurn countryside with its little island in the middle. The island is farm land and the farmer now has problems with the development of his farm. The state are not giving permission for various extensions that he wants to make and he will probably move away eventually. I have been on the island and it is paradise. Groups can book the island for a day with food bar-b-q and places to relax: even take swim around the island.
Another rewarding view is of the Lake of Biel, which is about 30 kilometers by road from where we live. From a height everything seems so near. Here you can see the lake with the St. Peters peninsula in the middle. On the other side you can see the lake of Murten.
After a little more than an hour we decided on the descent. Actually we are quite near and decided to do this more. About 10-15 minutes to the basis station from where we live, and 20 minutes ascent was not so long. Mr. Swiss said it is also a wonderful place in Winter, although I am not so sure that I would manage so well walking on icy surfaces.
Here we are entering the station on the descent. Unfortunately the photo has some reflections from the sun light, but you get the idea. You can see the parking spaces below where we had left our car. On busy days you would be lucky to find a space for anything. I am not keen on long journeys, but this was feasible. We were back home in no time. I spent more time on processing my 150 photos in the evening that the actual visit, but it was worth it and we will be back. Of course more will follow of this memorable afternoon but now I should do other things like housework.
Again I am spared with window cleaning because we have no windows. The workmen are covering them with plastic to protect them from being plastered with resideue from the walls which they are smoothing down.
Have a nice day everyone, I will be back.