Am I in a beach resort on holiday? No, I took a wheelie in my chair to the local town of Solothurn yesterday afternoon and discovered that the population have moved down to the river partially for a cool down. There were all sorts of floating appliances on the river and these three ladies were enjoying it with leisure. The river runs through the town and the shops and action are not far away I am surprised every time I enter the town to see how life has now changed in the summer months. Who needs to pay for entrance to the swimming pool which is just outside of town along the river, when you have it all at your finger/bathing costume tips.
It is an old town, originating from Roman times, and so they were not very accommodating for wheelchairs in those days. Various modern improvements have been made, but at a certain point someone had the idea of refurbishing the streets like it ws in the old days. This is very nice for the tourists, but I can assure you it is a bit of a bumpy ride for a wheelchair. The complete old town is now paved like this with a few exceptions, very few. However I enjoyed the ride all the same and discovered how good I am getting as a grand prix wheelchair driver.
We even have a cathedral in the middle of the old town, the St. Urs. Solothurn is a very much roman catholic area and so we have all the benefits of the architecture. I really enjoyed my visit yesterday afternoon. I have a straight stretch towards town along the main road and I almost changed my mind on the way as it was more than hot, with the sun beating down. However, once in town it was cooler, probably due to the buildings, and there was plenty going on. The restaurants had seating outside and people were enjoying their drinks in the good weather.
Even the local swan family decided to call in to see what all the fun was about. There always seem to be a family groups of swans on the river in town and I am sure it is because they know there will be good pickings in the way of food. The tourists and the locals just love feeding the swans.
I really enjoyed my trip again and will do it more often. It makes a break for me to visit and see other people and other places. I notice being in a wheelchair with a camera gets you into contact with others. As soon as I see a dog I take its picture, and the dogs even pose for the camera. Their owners even make sure that the dog is presenting itself for the photo with friendly smiles and a greeting. Actually most people greet me with a hello.
I was not quite sure how friendly this dog was, relaxing on the pavement outside a restaurant with its people, but he turned his head and gave a smile for the camera. Yes, summer does bring out the best in the people, even dogs. One young guy was taking a photo of one of our fountains, so I stopped not to get in his way. He took the photo and said a nice “thankyou” afterwards, you even see English speakers in our town.
So I eventually left the town after an hour of touring around and even found my reflection in a glass door on the way home.
So here I am on my way and ready to go. Note the cane attached to the back in case I have to go somewhere by foot, which is not often the case. Just to clarify things, I can walk without support but it is a risky thing and could never manage to walk around the town on my own. I also have a strange way of walking, as my left leg is not very well attached to my body. There is no real pain, just an ache from sheer exhaustion of the legs. Even with the stick for support it can be tiring.
At home I manage the housework without any support as I can hold onto things like a vacuum cleaner and mop or furniture, but when I am outside I need more. The wheelchair is the best buy I ever made. I have now had it since the beginning of the year and it is my key to freedom. At the beginning I only ventured local journeys, but now I have got into the routine and am everywhere and I love going into town, wheeling over bridges and along the streets, even if they are bumpy. Another advantage is in our town core there is no traffic allowed so I can wheel in the roads with no problem.
I leave you with a view across the river towards the old town with the Jura in the background and the cathedral in the middle.
Today will be a stress less day, although who knows, perhaps I might venture out again. I hope you all have a great day and make the most of it, otherwise sleep well in the other half of the world.