Two days in Basle (or Basel).

With a couple of days off over the Easter weekend I managed to find a cheap flight to this small Swiss city just over the border. So close to the border in fact, that in the airport you head for the exit and reach a sign giving you the option to turn left for France and right for Switzerland.

We turned right and started our 48 hour visit to this border settlement. Upon leaving the confines of the airport the first thing we noticed was the integrated travel system. The bus we needed left from right outside the door. Excellent.

The public transport is excellent, but expensive. Luckily, as part of the hotel package, we had a free travel pass for our stay. If you’re looking to spend time in Basle, see if your hotel offers this, we used the buses and trams extensively and would have spent a small fortune if we’d paid for each trip.

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We arrived at our hotel (situated just on the outskirts of the city but still within free public transport range) quite late, so ordered room service sandwiches and relaxed, ready for a long day of exploring on the morrow.

The morning dawned cold, wet and generally not very exciting but after a good breakfast we headed out of the hotel, got on the tram right next to the hotel and headed into town.

First stop, the Town Hall. A fascinating building, steeped in history, covered in paintings and statues and totally incomprehensible for the most part. This city, only a short hop from the French border is a German speaking canton. My German is fairly poor so any translation on my part was at best a guess.

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No idea who this fella is. Very smart though.

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Fascinating place.

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The mixture of architecture in the city is fantastic. A real melange of old and new, Gothic, Tuetonic and typically Swiss,

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with the difference really noticeable on the banks of the Rhine, where new has replaced old over the years.

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The first morning was spent wandering round the city, just taking in the ambience, with the afternoon being spent in the Tinguely museum:

https://nosh216.com/2015/04/24/t-is-for-the-tinguely-museum/

There were plenty of small lanes to wander through, a new city is always a new jewel to explore,

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This one led up to Basle cathedral and the culture museum, both of which were well worth a visit.

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Not quite Prague, but a fascinating clock nonetheless.

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Ouch!!!

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Did I mention it was cold?

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The stained glass windows were pretty impressive.

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There is still one of the original outer gates of the city in existence. Beautifully restored, the city have worked hard to keep some of their heritage intact.

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We ate out both nights we were there, both nights were very expensive although very good. We spoke to a local couple on the first night and were told that the custom is not to tip in Basle (and probably all over Switzerland) as it’s so expensive unless the service really was exemplary.

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The snacks and titbits available in shops and cafés all over the city were very appealing, although again expensive. Switzerland is expensive, Basle is expensive but its certainly a city that we enjoyed.

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About bobleponge216

Elderly rotund toothless male seeks wilderness to travel to.
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8 Responses to Two days in Basle (or Basel).

  1. My recollection of a business trip I did to the Basel area in about 2003 suggests that schoolboy German from a few decades previously is of little value. Funnily enough, when I was speaking with some girls from northern Germany some years earlier, they said that my accent sounded like a Swiss!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nikki says:

    Looks like a fascinating place…. thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures. I was especially taken with the stained glass windows…. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such vibrant colors, and I worked in stained glass at one time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it must have been the light making them look so good. I was surprised when I saw the photo and I’d seen them with the naked eye. They were beautiful though.
      You worked in stained glass? Is there no end to your talents?

      Like

  3. Nikki says:

    Ah, I’m just a humble retired postal worker who enjoyed many interests and hobbies. Unless my back magically heals itself, the stained glass projects that I’d hoped to do in retirement may never happen…. but I’ve still got my light board, soldering iron, and half a case of copper foil… just in case of miracles. 🙂
    Which I think I’ve mentioned before is why I so enjoy the comfort of traveling through you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really hope somehow your back heals and your stained glass projects come to fruition. I’d be fascinated to see it happen, it’s almost magical watching the pieces being assembled to make something so beautiful.

      Like

  4. Alex Hurst says:

    Sounds like there’s a bunch of really cool things to just get lost with in that city! I love the statues (old and new!)

    Liked by 1 person

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