Probably not the best photo that we have ever had taken, but after meeting Heidi at the station, I produced my iPhone and asked how do you take a photo of yourself, and this was the result.
But to start at the beginning, the meeting was planned for some time. Heidi lives just a hop behind the Swiss border and I live three train changes away. I had never been to Rheinfelden and knew it only from its main center of attraction, according to my one time student younger son. They have the biggest brewery in Switzerland.
Anyhow I mounted the stairs at the station and Heidi and I recognised each other immediately, although we had never seen each other before. Heidi was my guide for the day and showed me all the nooks and crannies worth seeing and taking photos.
How did we converse? Now this was quite good. Heidi speaks sort of American english, I speak sort of english english with a strong touch of cockney so that was no problem. I sometimes had a feeling that it was a problem for the local natives as now and again we slipped into a bit of German, me with my Swiss German dialect and Heidi with her perfect German. There were a few strange looks now and again, although we were too interested in catching up with our Multiply and real lives to really take any notice.
We decided that it was lunch time and soon found a suitable restaurant. There was a small problem. We were welcomed, found a table and carried on our conversation until we realised we should order, about half an hour later. The waitress seemed to be busy and we decided time to leave. As we reached the door she was full of apologies, being busy and she would attend to our wishes immediately. And yes, she even spoke english with us. Being two wonderful ladies with full understanding, and probably also realising that searching for another restaurant could take some time, we accepted the apologies and once more took a seat. Yes, we were served at once, the food was good, although I think we were too busy with communication to notice.
After lunch Heidi showed me Rheinfelden. I am still not sure if it is a larger village, or small town, but very picturesque. There are many lovely buildings and small alleys worth a photo or two. We seemed to be followed by a rather slim black cat. He suddenly disappeared. His home was on the first floor of a building. He had his own cat ladder construction. At the end was a cat flap through his window. I was not quick enough for a photo, but Heidi just managed to catch his tail as he disappeared through the entrance.
And so the adventure continued. Funny that we never really ran out of things to talk about. Anyhow another surprise was when we turned a corner and there was an enclosure containing goats. Both being animal lovers, we stayed a while and being busy taking photos I did not notice things that I should. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain through my arm, causing me to not exactly scream, but something in that direction. One lady near bye laughed and a gentleman pointed out the sign where it said that part of the fencing was under electricity. It was only the top part, so I am still trying to work out how a goat could jump over a meter in height to make the great escape.
Of course two ladies in their best years needed a rest in the afternoon and settled for a drink in a cafe. We noticed that a stage with loudspeakers and all the trimmings was being built in the main part of town. I afterwards found that Swiss Television were doing a show from Rheinfelden on the following Saturday with a few well known Swiss groups.
Eventually all good things come to an end and I left Heidi to go to the station. I had some time before my train left and having a few good views from the station continued to take photos. My train soon arrived, taking me to Basel. In Basel I had to catch another train to Olten and in Olten took my final train to Solothurn.
Of course our goodbyes were full of plans for the next meeting. I hope to see Heidi in Feldbrunnen where I live, and then we can attack Solothurn with our cameras. We also have plans for visits to Basel and Zürich and Bern. Bern being near the Bernese Overland, we might even climb a Swiss mountain one day together.
Until the next time Heidi.