One of the objectives of our travel this summer was to be around Switzerland a bit more; so while we had a run of trips outside of the country, we’ve now had quite a few weekends in a row at home, which has been really nice. Switzerland, specifically for us Geneva, is one of those places that really comes alive when the weather is nice. The lake changes from a scenic body of water into a scenic body of water that you can go swimming in; the restaurants, cesspools of second-hand smoke throughout the rest of the year, open their sidewalk terraces; and best of all, the mighty Swiss Alps become accessible for hiking.

This weekend, we decided we should get out of Geneva, and we headed to Solothurn, an old Swiss city in the Swiss-German-speaking part of the country. Solothurn has a nice old town with a big church in the middle of it (I’m starting to sense a pattern around medieval cities in that regard), and while not in the middle of deep mountains or anything, you can see Mt. Blanc way off in the distance, which is pretty impressive.

The hike we went on took us through a gorge and out into the foothills where a lone hermitage sits. Apparently there are still some actual monks who live out there, although they’ve had to give up their hermit status at this stage due to all the people who walk around back there. On this particular day, there was a Nordic walking event, which consisted of tens of thousands of people walking from the hermitage down to the old city, or basically the same path we were taking, except the opposite way. It was like something out of a bad horror film, with person after person coming at you with two walking sticks clicking on the paving stones. Luckily, the Swiss aren’t an aggressive people, so we were met mostly with blank stares and the occasional “you’re going the wrong way” looks.

The upside of the walking event was that there were food stalls and, well, you know how we like our food stalls. The highlight of this set was a place selling juices made from local fruits. One of those times when I wished I understood restaurant-German so that I could have identified what was in it, but man it was good!

We spent the rest of the weekend doing our annual Geneve-plage pilgrimage. Each year, generally at the end of August, we’ve ended up at the beach-like facility in Geneva, which has a nice pool and some diving boards into the lake. There is also a giant slide, which in the past I thought was only for kids, but this year I saw some older guy go up and, well, let's just say I took that to mean it was open season for the slide. Twelve slide-rides later, I even convinced Soph that she should go down it, which she did. You’re simply never too old to go down a waterslide!

Next weekend: Zurich!