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Worldtrip a 45 year old's adventures around the world-which include everything from sitting in random McDonalds using his notebook, hanging with 22 year olds, and other immature stuff.

Basel me this..

SWITZERLAND | Saturday, 27 June 2015 | Views [360]

Yesterday was my first full day in Basel, Switzerland.  Like most places I have visited, I didn't know what was here. I knew there was a large arts festival. Simply because Arts Basel Miami is a giant arts festival in Miami held each winter.  The only other things I knew about Switzerland we're (1) they made good cheese, army knives, and watches (2) It was favorite place of those Americans who wanted to hide money from the government. I watched the Wolf of Wall Street (3) and the huge alps we're everywhere. Mountain villages we're everywhere, just like In the Sound of Music (yeah, I know-I learned later that was from Austria)

Well. Let's start with point #3. There are no mountain villages here in Basel. It is surrounded by some hills, but there are no mountains to yodel down, shout "Ricola!", etc.  Basel is bordered by both France and Germany. As a matter of fact, landing in the airport, one sign directs travelers to Switzerland, the other to France and Germany.    '

As far as Point #2, I didn't see anybody who appeared to be hiding from the Government.  I did see numerous brances of UBS, Credit Swiss, and other investment banks. But what I did see (and feel) we're very expensive prices. A mediocre salad and ice tea from  Mcdonalds set me back around 9 Swiss Francs ($9.50-10.00 approximately). A Frappacino looked to be around $10.00 as well. Breakfast here at the hostel is 8.50 Swiss Francs (similar to what received free in other countries)

Point #1-I did see stores selling watches and knives, and other swiss products.  I can't afford those things. But I thought a nice slice of swiss cheese from the homeland would be in order. So I went into a supermarket, looking for Swiss Cheese-I found a pack that looked relatively  inexpensive (maybe around 3 Swiss Francs)-looked at the package-and found the cheese was made in Germany.

But that said, Basal is a nice town. The architecture is classical, with beautiful buildings along cobblestone streets and alleys, and there are something like 40 museums in town. In between the classical are modern office buildings, that headquarter the investment banks, as well as pharmeceutical giants like Roche and Novartis. I took this all in as I walked downtown yesterday. Later on I took a walking tour of the city, which was 18 Swiss Franc. The tour guide alternated between German and English. So I literally understood only half of what she said. But it was quite interesting. She described how the Church was built, how an old earthquake affected town back in the 1500's, and how people like to float down the river Rhine, which intersects town. She even had a bag with her, which people use to keep their clothes, wallet, and other possessions in, and tie around their necks as they float down the river. (the current seems to strong for people to swim-so for fun they float). She also had delicious candies made in Switzerland.

After walking around a little, I took a nap at the hostel, and walked back down to the riverbank (on the tour guide's recommendation). As it was a beautiful summer night, it seemed like the entire population of Basel was sitting around the riverbank, smoking, eating pizza, drinking beer, and making out. It was quite a scene. I joined them(just eating and drinking-no smoking or making out), subsisting on a dinner a mediocre panini and beer (14 swiss francs) along the river. Later on, I continued walking as the sun went down-and saw a rapper perform a concert at park along the shore,  more people eating, drinking, and smoking, and just enjoying the river. 

 

 

Tags: basel, switzerland

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