RDP#11: Bastion

Schanz Solothurn

I live in a bastion, not quite, but our local town is just a walk along the road is a bastion. I suppose it all began as a useful place to settle according to the Romans when they arrived, There was a river, a few bridges and women of course. At the time Switzerland did not even really exist, just a tribe until someone decided that were Helvetians, so at least the Romans had a name for the Swiss.

With time the Romans mixed with the Helvetians after nights filled with wine and whatever,  and children were born that eventually forgot heir ancestors came from Rome. In this delightful place where the storks built nests, and the streets were cobbled (yes thank you Romans) it was decided to build a defence. I suppose is all began with a gate into the town on the East  side: the Basel gate because it was on the road to Basel. No-one seemed to like the Basel people so they had to be kept out. This had to be balanced by a gate on the West leading to Biel and now known as the Biel Gate, although the Biel people are OK. Half of them speak French and it is a nice place to go shopping.

In the South there was a gate leading to Bern which no longer exists. It seemed to have been replaced by a restaurant as far as I know. There is also an entrance in the North through a gate named after a few monks and their group, the Franziskaner gate. All these gates were solidly built, in the style of the fortress in the photo. That is part of the fortifications circling the town. So the Solothurn people were quite safe. With so much brick and cement who could invade? The green grass was a moat filled with water when it was built just to make sure.

I am not really sure why they had to defend. It was all to do with religion in those days. Solothurn was roman catholic and there were some reform church Zwingli followers around, so I supposed all this defence was to stop the others, although it was difficult for the Solothurn people to escape. Of course you had an army of people making sure that everyone stayed where they should be. Just imagine looking after all those keys.

Today the remains of the bastions are still to be seen, and the roads were built around them as it was all under monument protection. At least we have a few tourist attractions.  Now and again someone might start digging somewhere for a new building. It is not surprising when old roman walls are found and near the hospital they even found the outline of a Roman villa. Even in our village the neighbouring apartment block was built and they had to remove a few skeletons at first, because it was on the site near the gallows.

At the moment I live in my own bastion, because the lock on the outside door has been replaced and we only have one key that fits: no problem, five keys have been ordered.

Solothurn 05.04 (15)

RDP#11: Bastion

Good Morning

Aare 10.06 (2)

Yesterday I did a round trip in my wheelchair in the afternoon. The weather was right, now and again quite hot in the sun. At the end of my trip I wheeled along the bank of the Rive Aare. This is my first summer with wheelchair freedom, I think I am more out and about now than I ever was. I now noticed how much our river is used. There were groups of people along the banks that had found a nice spot on the grass, set up a fire to grill some sausages and generally have a picnic. Many had a radio and there were various music mixtures to be heard. The younger generation seem to have a taste for loud and bass and drum or whatever. Everyone that has a dog takes it with them and bathing in the river was for cooling down, the dogs especially.

Swan 10.06 (1)

The swans I saw paddled on wondering what all these humans were doing in their river.

On my way I also stopped at the local animal farm, which began as a stable, although there were no horses to be seen. They were all sheltering from the heat of the sun in their separate rooms.
Black swan 10.06 (5)

At last I managed a good clear shot of our blackswan lady with her babies, although the cygnets were all cuddled together on the ground. I noticed their feathers were no gradually changing colour and getting darker. Mum ccertainly likes to keep an eye on her babies. They have an ideal situation: protected with their own pond and lots of duck friends to have a chat to.

On my way I arrived at the stork nest. It was not actually intended, but when I was there I took a few photos.

Storks 10.06 (4)

On my first visit I saw one baby in the nest, and later two, but now there seem to be three stork chicks. It is wonderful to see them grow. the tower is in the ground of the local school and the nest is quite high. I am glad I can now take my zoom lens with me on my wheelchair safaris.

As I journeyed on there was an elderly gentleman on the other side of the road. He had a walker. When he saw me in my electric wheelchair he said “that’s the way to do it, in style”. I had to laugh at the comment and we got into a conversation. He had an operation on the hip and we talked about the things that happen when we get older, although he must have been at least 10 years older than myself. We wished each other a good day and I wheeled on home.

This week will not be such a good week for outings as we have predictions of storms and rain for the next days, although today is OK so far. Mr. Swiss has to go somewhere this morning and it looks like today will be my first day for many months (more than a year) that I will take the car and go shopping on my own. After our various accidents, illnesses and movement problems, I should really now get down to being as independent as possible. I can now do everything before my accident, although looking back I am no longer as movable as I was, but I manage OK. If I can do this car thing, I am back in action. I can now hobble around in the store with just my cane.

I must go, there are things to be done with vacuum cleaners and mops. Enjoy the beginning to the week, you never know how good it will be until it is finished. I wish you all the best and leave you with flowers from yesterday’s wheelie seen in the garden of a block of flats, actually where I used to live.

Flower Bush