Packing up my road bike went really smooth and everything fitted well in the transport suitcase. With my BMC Racemaster in “hibernation”, this gave the chance to my Bergamont Cross-bike for a sunny ride on the first spring-day, which really deserves its name. Its Sunday morning 8 o'clock and I decide for a criss-cross of some of my favourite places nearby.
Here you see my “black beauty” which I honestly neglected in recent years. However, for one of the season highlights, crossing the Alps from the Ticino to Uri climbing up the Tremola valley and crossing the Gotthard pass, it is always my first choice. The picture shows it this morning before my home…
… well not quite. This is Castel Landshut, which has a wonderful botanic garden around it and in the summer time, with the abundant shade and water all around, is a great place for a lazy nap blow a tree. Next up is my “Sunday breakfast tree” just outside Büren zum Hof. It has a magnificent view north on the Jura Mountains and south an even more impressive view on the Alps of the cantons of Bern and Fribourg.
The winter this year has been quite long and today is the first day that feels like spring. There is still no sign of any green on the trees, which look like in January and the Chasseral still is fully covered in snow.
In the summer the Chasseral (the peak with the Telecom station in the back) is a magnificent ride which you can either start from the Lake of Bienne (which makes an assent of some 1200 meter) or from the plateau de Diesse which reduces the climb to some 700 meters. It can be pretty windy up there, which the treeless top, which is far far below the treeline, testifies.
I hardly fail to visit Solothurn on my Sunday rides, which are usually early in the morning as I like having my time for the newspapers and cooking lunch. In fall and winter the city is sometimes completely deserted and you will not find a soul when you are riding hither and thither around the alleys. This is especially the case when the fog (Solothurn is famous for its high quality and abundant fog) gets grip of the region in the Aare valley, sometimes for weeks. Then the city develops its very particular, although solitary charm. But not so today, people stroll in the street and sit in the street cafes and along the riverside.
Solothurn is one of the few, if not the only, real baroque cities in Switzerland with some French touch. This is may be best seen on the remains from the great fortifications which once encircled the whole city and of which only a small, yet still impressive stretch, the “St. Ursen Bastion” with the “Riedholz Tower” remained. Once there were eleven of these Bastions making up the city walls.
The whole fortification with its Cyclopean walls was constructed under the direction of General and master architect of Louis XIV, Sebastian de Vauban in the 17th century.
Form here it is a small stretch over the Bleichenberg back home, which concludes this morning’s excursion. Next stop is San Francisco. .