Searching the Sun

Destination: Mountain Weissenstein, Solothurn, Switzerland

Travel Diary:

”Mommy, where is the sun?” It is the question my two-year-old asks every morning, usually over the breakfast table. And every morning, I give him the same answer: “Sweetie, I think the sun is hiding behind the clouds. This particular morning we were eating breakfast at grandma’s, and decided to do something about this long-lasting lack of sunshine. Yes, Switzerland is very gray this time of year. In here, winter is the fog-season, and clear sunny days are rare.

We had the splendid idea to drive up to a mountain called Weissenstein. This mountain belongs to the Jura range and is not THAT high, but steep it is. I mean, it is steep for everyone but especially so for someone like me who grew up in Finnish flatland, where they call hills something that wouldn’t even equal a bump on the road here. So I was a bit worried about driving up there, but since my husband grew up in the shadow of the Jura, I decided to trust him on this. The idea was to go above the fog, and now we were in a hurry because it tends to rise higher as the day grows older. So we packed our things and the kids in the car, and off we went. Just to find out that the narrow and steep road to Weissenstein was closed for the winter!

Luckily, we found out that there is a new cableway going up to Weissenstein (or who knows, maybe the road was closed so that people would use the cableway? What a wicked scheme! :) ), and we quickly decided to continue our sun-searching. The little guy was excited about driving with a gondola, although at one spot he got scared to death because of some sound the stupid thing was making. Once we jumped out of the gondola, he wasn’t talking about anything else except how he’s not going to go back to that thing… oh well, despite the little jammed tape-recorder walking behind me, the world was beautiful up there. The sun was there, and the fog was under us. And we could see the beautiful Alps on the horizon. And we got to sit on a bench in the sun (little guy still wouldn’t shut up about the cableway!), and my husband even found a geocache. Perfect morning!

The funny thing is that my little monster didn’t pay any attention at all to the sun while it was there. He was going on endlessly about the cableway, and once it was time to go back, I had to promise him that he gets to sit on my lap once we enter the gondola. And I had to assure him it is a very nice gondola who likes him a lot, and it will take us back to the car… and so on. Finally, he agreed to go, but oh boy, the little monster was hanging on to my clothes and shaking all the way. Well, we made it, and back in the gray and foggy parking area, he looked at me very steady in the eyes and asks: ”Mommy, where is the sun?” I sighed and said, “Sweetie, I think the sun is hiding behind the clouds”.

Traveler’s information:

Location: Solothurn, Switzerland

With a car: Navigation address: Weissensteinstrasse 187, CH-4515 Oberdorf SO

Public Transportation: go to Railway Timetables and write Weissenstein as your desired destination.

Cost: Round trip 16 CHF per person, for groups or special conditions check the website

Open: Open around the year. The timetables can vary, check the website for more information

Services: cable cart, restaurant, wc, playgrounds

Activities: hiking trails, mountain bicycling (summertime) sleighing, skiing (wintertime) .

More Information available at their website

For more tourist attractions in the Solothurn area, click here

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