Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

20 July 2006

A Lovely Day in Basel (or Bale)

There is no mistaking when you leave France and enter Switzerland. As PH and I walked into Basel, I stopped and pulled out a map to get my bearings. A kindly, older gentleman on crutches approached us and said "Where would you like to go?" Stunned at the use of English and the kindness (sorry, I could never use the word "kindness" to describe the French), PH and I failed to respond and stared open mouthed at the nice gentleman. The nice gentleman encouraged us to speak by stating that he spoke English and would give us directions. I finally managed to state that we were looking for the marktplatz. The nice man gave us directions and left before we could collect our thoughts and thank him. So, if you see a kind, elderly gentleman on crutches in Basel, Switzerland, please thank him for us and explain we are not rude Americans - we had just been in France for a week and were not prepared for someone to be nice to us :)

The kind gentleman set the tone for Basel. It is a lovely city, on the water. I wish that we had spent more than one day there. Basel is a place I would like to go back and see again. As we walked into the city, we were greeted by a market in front of this lovely red building, which is the Rathaus.

We spent much of the day wandering these lovely streets. As it was overcast, it was perfect to just walk. (Yes, that is Hexe walking down the street below.)

I love the large decorative doors.

We also did the tourist boat ride, which is a gondola of sorts connected to a wire that crosses the Rhine. You cross from the older historical section of Basel to the more modern section of the city. What is interesting about the ride is that the gondola uses the fast current to cross the river versus a motor. The pic below shows the gondola coming across and passengers waiting to board.

And this was the view, once we crossed the river . . .

Switzerland is certainly more expensive than France, but we were still able to find a very good plat du jour for two that included chicken in a yummy sauce, rice, salad, and a decent glass of wine for under 25.00CHF. I did notice that clothing and children's toys were definitely more expensive in Switzerland, but we happened to be in Basel during the "Sales" and PH found a nice shirt for less that $15 US. Overall, it was a wonderful day :)


Expat Traveler said...

beautiful photos. CS actually lived a short distance away from where you took that last photo. (I believe).

And yes entering Switzerland just gives me that feeling. Although not everyone is just as nice as you encountered. But I know one can find great people, especially if you are close to their family...

I just love basel because it has everything and of course you can just go to another city close by to see more... :)

I was living off to the left of this photo across the rhine in france.

Ms Mac said...

Don't you just love the red of the Basel Rathaus? I love the M√ľnster too, it's so full of history and culture.

Basel is a beautifu city, I'm a bit annoyed that I didn't think to suggest meeting for lunch now!