Advent (1)

Ta-da…

 Yup, ribbons being worn. So…a birthday! Yes, a year older and possibly wiser, but I’m never quite sure about that one!

An opportunity to go gadding is never to be missed, today it was Solothurn, a small town of  only about 16,000 inhabitants but with a cathedral and an extremely pretty old town, set on the river Aare. They did say temperatures would be mild but it didn’t look too encouraging when we arrived in time for my husband’s appointment

 Fog, fog, fog… Still, it was too early to tell, really, and retreat into one of the many gorgeous bakery cafés was definitely a good idea – they’re fabulous and seemed to be full for most of the day as I passed back and forth around town. The old town is very much alive and well and all the shops are there, still, rather than having shifted to a newer part of town as we see in other areas sometimes. All the nicest high street shops with useful things, but also a multitude of beautiful boutiques, quirky little treasures and, lucky me, a Christmas market!

 And the sun did come out, the temperatures stayed mild, lots of people came to enjoy the market (some even from my part of the world!) and general Christmassy feeling. There was mulled wine and Christmas tea to be had and all kinds of crafts and decorations, just as it should be. When I got tired of my close inspection-style shopping, I headed to another of the cafés, a Konditorei, to be exact – think more fancy chocolates than pastries!

 Time, then, for a friend to join me for a late lunch and a chat and another little wander through the attractive cobbled streets – for once I didn’t ruin my feet on them! Nice shoe shops in Solothurn, incidentally, if a little stiffly priced… and some shoes looked as if they’d had a bad hair day

 or is that just the Santa-look?!

Leaving Solothurn, we were rewarded with a really pretty sunset (same bridge as before!) and the little river ferry just about to land…

Thank goodness for efficient Swiss trains – there was one to take us directly home again, leaving time for a bit of family celebration! Chaotic havoc with two tired kids, but still, lovely to have them come to congratulate me, what more could I want on December 1st?!

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