Basel - Switzerland


We took the slow train to Basel and in less than 30 minutes we arrived there at 9.45am. The heat was already rising towards the promised 30 degrees. From the station its a 10 minute walk to the old centre of town. Knowing that we couldn’t see everything in one day, we had our list of 5 “best things to see”. 

Unfortunately, Number one, the “Läckerly Haus”, where the famous swiss gingerbread is sold, was closed it being a Sunday.

Not being deterred we headed along the so called Hans Holbein Walk passing the old gate house and town wall to the south bank of the Rhein, our second point of interest. We found one of the four ferries which take passengers across to the other side without any other power than the current of the river. The ferries are attached to a cross river wire stopping them floating off to the North Sea.

As we walked through Solitude Park along the north bank, we saw that the ferries were not the only thing floating in the fast running stream. Lots of Swiss were hanging onto colourful watertight bags simply drifting in the 21 degree current, until they reached one of the mini pebble beaches 1 or 2 km downriver. Looked like lots of fun on a hot day like this!

We soon reached our third stop, the Museum Tinguely. I would be lying if I pretended that I heard of Jean Tinguely before, but  this Swiss artist/designer created the whackiest sculptures out of almost anything imaginable. The sculptures are interactive and come to live turning, waving, twisting with crazy sounds on the push of a button. Once you passed the first couple of structures you’ll get the ingenuity, phantasy and fun of this artist.


On our way back we took the second ferry across to the Münster (the Cathedral), our fourth stop, and climbed the many stairs to the Münster Berg. From here you have an amazing view over river and town up to the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest.


After a quick sandwich for lunch, we just made it into the Münster before a violent thunder storm hit. Within minutes the church was full of people seeking refuge from the whipping wind and rain, adding to the atmosphere of the beautiful building. As quickly as it had started the storm passed and we continued our walk through picturesque lanes and alleyways to Middle Bridge, the artful Rathhaus (town hall) and Marktplatz (market place). We ended up in the pedestrian zone with lively street bars/cafés. In some people were glued to large TV screens and amongst cheering we watched the first set of the Roger Federer versus Djokovich Wimbledon Final go to Roger. Loved our little Swiss excursion!

© Austin Robinson 2019