Friday, December 10, 2010

Of all the cities I have visited in Europe (and they have been many), the unassuming medieval town of Soleure is by far my favorite. Fortunately for me, it is only a twenty minute train ride in the cutest red train you've ever seen from where I live.




Last night, a Christmas shopping/coffee stop with my sister-in-law. I hope you notice that we took the shoppers with us. If you didn't read that post back in July and you'd like to know how utterly devoted we are to them, go to:
http://gallimaufrylife.blogspot.com/2010/07/some-time-ago-i-told-of-escapades-to.html



We stood outside this old apothecary turned specialty shop for a full ten minutes before going in, Evi saying, We can't go in there with the shoppers, Alli. We'll knock everything over with the wheels, and you know it!



But we did end up going in - and such a delight that was! There was the old fashioned bell to ring, which I never hesitate to do repeatedly as my reserved Swiss companion stands in the corner and laughs until she shakes. There were "drinking chocolates" and spicy teas; earrings for 250 Swiss francs (ah, no thank you - the color is all wrong for me), and whiskey fudge!

Lights hang like falling stars...

Almond coffee and blueberry muffins at our favorite coffee house...

And I look about to find I am blessed to have a sister-in-law who is so utterly wacky, so sincere, so forgiving, so fun-loving, so willing to be absurd, or to sit and philosophize about the meaning of God and life.

The stores closed at nine and we had decided we would buy hot roasted chestnuts for the train ride home, the only snag being that in classic Alli-Evi fashion the tiny wooden shop was closed by the time we got there. A plaid-clad woman stood outside the shuttered cabin sweeping up shells from chestnuts that other, more time-savvy shoppers had enjoyed. Oh...


As I snapped pictures here and there, these Soleure natives were enjoying hot spiced wine out in the cobblestone streets. "Take our picture!" I heard them call out. And so... here you have the personal greetings of a festive group of Swiss patriots. And I shall say, on their behalf, Schöne Weihnachten!



17 comments:

Ola said...

After seeing those pictures, I feel like I could share your attitude towards this place:)

Evi said...

Ah là là! mais quelle soirée, j'en porte des souvenirs encore ce matin : autour du cou et dans la tête :D:D:D Aïe! quand je ris, ça tape... un peu... C'était juste super, merci pour cette très belle soirée, pour ton amitié et il faut que je te le dise une fois: c'est aussi pour moi un grand cadeau d'avoir une belle-soeur "amie" complètement fo-folle! J't'aime trop Alli ! Superbes tes photos... ah, si j'avais un appareil :D:D:D
(Je me sens improductive ce matin, c'est grave! J'arrivais mieux hier soir!)

Dawn said...

Oh Allison. You made me homesick. And i haven't even BEEN there!!!!
(Did you know I have always wanted to visit EXACTLY where you lived since Grade 6... when we did essays on our most desired country to travel?!)
Oh I love your photos. That trip sounds like something right out of a movie....and I can't quit picturing you ringing that bell!!!;))

Eyeliquor said...

The next time, i would like to come with you to visit this beautiful town of Soleure! ;)
Nice words to read and smile :)
And pretty photographs!
Have a good weekend!

Joe said...

Beautiful town. The falling star lights are neat and that whiskey fudge sounds great :).

Nancy said...

I imagine the smells that went along with this trip to the most beautiful town I have ever seen (so far) were intoxicating. Too bad blogs don't have smell-o-posting. (Groan.)

Thank you for taking us along on your trip. It was lovely. :)

Linda said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful thoughts, beautiful sister-in-law to share it with. What a gift that is Alli. Lovely. But seriously, the shop with all the chocolates? Yum.......

Diane AZ said...

Sounds like you had a fun time. The town looks so sweet at night decorated with little white lights.

texwisgirl said...

That was beautiful! Thanks for taking us along! Love the way you two travel with your shoppers and cause a ruckus with your wheelies, camera, bell-ringing, etc. Love the shot of the Swiss gents with their greeting. Like the other comments above, wish we could have smelled the coffees, teas, chocolates, fudge, etc. with you! :)

Changes in the wind said...

What a wonderful shopping trip.

Pam said...

I love the feeling this beautiful fairytale town gives me as I wander along. I enjoy seeing your journeys as you live them, Allison.
You have a wonderful friendship with your sister-in-law, you are both blessed.

Hugs,
Pam

Sara said...

T'es une artiste, vraiment. Quelles superbes photos !! Bizzz et bravissimo !

Out on the prairie said...

The case full of chocolates hit my fancy. Wondered if it was a narrow gauge train you took.Beautiful little town.

Meg said...

Ooooh my. Beautiful! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I envy you and your beautiful piece of the world! ( I think I've said that before, lol)

Yes, bribe the teenager for candy making! That's always a good idea. ;)

Country Mouse Studio said...

I feel like I've just been on vacation, wonderful to learn about such a beautiful country. You are very blessed indeed to have such a sister-in-law. :O)

seema gupta said...

thanks for sharing this beautiful place
regards

Randy said...

What an absolutely lovely place. I can see why it would be your favorite. So much to inspire a photographer. Thank you for sharing your visit with us.