Monday, November 19, 2012

Oct 17 Basel Switzerland

OCT 17 Basel  
 Disembarkation ended at 9:30AM after breakfast in Basel Switzerland.
Located on both sides of the Rhine, in the three-country-corner of Switzerland, Germany and France, Basel is the third largest city in Switzerland. Not only diverse cultures, but also a multifaceted history, modern art and architecture converge here.

We still needed to use a taxi to get to the hotel from the river cruise port, but if you have lighter baggage, then you could take a tram and walk. Trams are free if you are staying at the hotel (they give you a tram pass). Tram system is great!
We headed to our hotel by taxi and checked in. We then had the day to ourselves to wander around town.
Rochat Hotel
Petersgraben 23
Basel, BS 4051
Phone: 41 (61) 2618140

The right bank of the Rhine in Basel, as compared to the bank on the left, is dominated mostly by old buildings. Thus, the right bank of Basel is a great place for historians, those who appreciate rich culture and heritage as well as for individuals looking to experience something new.

A couple of bridges connect Grossbasel (south) and Kleinbasel (north). There are also four little ferry boats, operated for tourists' fun only, however.

We set out to explore the Old City which is mostly a pedestrian only area. We found a very steep staircase to walk down, silently hoping there was an easier way to come back up.
We just wandered getting our sense of direction.
The first thing we notice are these amazing old homes dating from 1300!

We strolled down a tiny lane and came across this mural.

The Teddy Bear Museum had an exhibition of napkin folding as a western art format.

We strolled down the main shopping street which contains every possible high end label that you can imagine.

It was then time for lunch and we smiled as we found a Movenpick as they used to be chain that could be found in Toronto back in the 90s. This bore no relation to the Toronto format.

It was a nice sunny day and we sat across from the Marktplaz and the Rathaus.

You can buy cheeses, flowers, sausages, meats, breads, and a little something to munch on here.

The town hall, locally known as the "Rathaus" is the seat of the Basel canton government since the XIVth century and a colourful building that looks over the market square, at the centre of the old town.

Oh, yes on to our lunch. Switzerland certainly causes sticker shock especially compared to other areas of Europe. This meal cost almost $100!!!

What I remember the most from the Movenpick chain is the rosti potatoes which you can get anywhere in Basel.

Expensive chicken wings!

We decided to continue exploring after lunch.
What would the woman pictured on most Swiss coins do if freed from the confines of currency? With spear and shield set aside (and with a packed suitcase in hand), this humanistic interpretation of Halvetia  shows her seemingly contemplating the possibilities from a perch looking across the Rhine not far from the border of her homeland and the wide world beyond.

A break to watch the rush hour hustling around us.

The trams just keep rushing by. Don't you just love this tram dressed as a piggy bank?

Then it was time to find somewhere for dinner.

And a stroll back to our hotel.


  1. Basle is an attractive city and easy to explore on foot, thanks for the tour.

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