Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Day Four in Basel

Today was our last full day in Basel.  Arlington and Finley spent this morning in their new school getting to know their classmates.  While they were there, Cainan, my mom and I went with our guide Kaya around the Basel-Stadt area.  She showed us Rhein, and I fell in love with the area.  It was very similar to Muttenz, but closer to the city and the girl's schools.

We spent quite a bit of time there - and talked about what Cainan going to the International School of Basel would mean for finding a place to live.  His school is so far from Mat's work and the girl's schools that we would be hard pressed to find an area where someone wouldn't have a terrible commute.

So we started to talk about different schools for him.  We visited the Swiss International School and it was lovely.  Seemed like a great fit for Cainan, and he was interested in the school.  Unfortunately, their incoming 5th grade class is full for next year.  They offered to put him on the waiting list, but in the mean time, we talked about one other school - the Early Learning Academy.  It was similar to the Swiss International School and the girl's school - Academia - but we didn't have time to visit it.  It is in a good location and would solve a lot of our "finding an area to live" problems., so we are going to talk to the school and see what we think.

At lunch time, we picked up the girls and had a chance to hear all about their morning at the school. Both were 100% convinced this was the school for them.  Finley was swarmed by 8 little girls in her class who were all excited to meet her.  Several were American and some spoke perfect English, so she was relieved.  She thinks she is going to be fine and so do I.  Arlington's class is very small - but she did feel good about her classmates and is definitely sold on this school.  So that was a relief.

After lunch, we had a chance to visit an example of company housing.  Roche is giving us a place to live for 6 months while we find where we want to settle.  IT will come completely furnished and with everything we need except clothes and toiletries.   That is going to help a lot.  The apartment we saw was lovely and bigger than I expected it to be. Finley wasn't impressed and didn't feel she could fit her belongings in the apartment, but we explained that it would be temporary until we found a permanent place to live.

After the apartment, Kaya showed us an example of a house.  It was really, really nice.  Unfortunately, it is in an area that is too far away for us to live, but it was nice to see an example of a house.  It was very lovely, and not small in the least.  The kids loved it.

In the evening, we had reservations to eat at a very nice restaurant near the Rhine.  It was after our guide dropped us off, so we had to get ourselves there.  We found out we could take public transportation.  This time it was a bus.  We got a bit lost looking for the bus, but we finally got there.  What we didn't know  - if you don't push the "stop" button on the bus, the bus will not stop, and will pass up where you want to be.  And that is what happened to us.  We got off two stops after we were supposed to, and had to walk a few blocks to find the right bus stop to turn around.  It was an adventure, but what a way to learn how to use the system.  What we understand is - when we have our cell phone service hooked up in Basel, we will have an app to help with transportation.  I am going to need that.  And a miracle.

Dinner was lovely.  Again - the menu was all in German, but we took some chances and ordered and had a wonderful meal.  It was a nice way to spend our last day in the city.  We all talked at dinner about the trip and I am looking forward to coming back and getting settled.  This trip makes it easier to go home and pack and get ready to move.  I am so glad Roche agreed to let us make this visit and spoiled us so.

We are ready.

This is the Swiss International School.  A very beautiful school.  Maybe some day:
 Throughout the city, there are three gates that still are in existence from when there was a wall around Basel:

 Part of the wall that used to be around Basel that is still in existence
 Roche!!  We had a snack at a little cafe on the Rhine and this was our view
 Cafe on the Rhine

 We rode this little ferry across the Rhine for fun.  You see the cable and small Swiss flag on the right?  That is how the ferry goes back and forth - there is no motor.
 You have to ring the bell to get the ferry to come back across the Rhine.  Cainan gave it a try
 Cainan on the ferry.  The girls were at school when we rode the ferry - so he got to do this alone
 View of the area from the ferry
 Cainan at dinner
 Dinner on the Rhine.

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