Monday, June 19, 2017

Day Two in Basel

Sundays in Switzerland are strictly for relaxation.  This was a down day/non guided tour day for us here, and we were grateful for it.  We slept in and had a late breakfast at the hotel.  My mom and I decided to try out the public transportation with the kids and go into the city to explore.  (Mat isn't with us - he is wrapping up his current job, so Roche was nice enough to let my mom accompany me and the kids on the trip).

Public transportation is quite amazing here in Switzerland.  We understand that it is very important here to have really good transportation for the citizens - worth the extra cost in the federal budget.  We wouldn't even need to own a car - it is that good.  We have actually decided to start off our stay in Basel without one and see how it goes.

My mom, the kids and I got on the public transportation close to our hotel.  Even though the tram system is great - my sense of direction is not, and we got a bit lost trying to find the station.  Once we got on, we road into the old town area of Basel and explored the oldest church in the city, put our feet in the Rhine, had a snack, got a little more lost trying to find the right tram back to the hotel, and then spent the rest of the day swimming in the amazing hotel pool.  We are going to bed happy and relaxed tonight.

Enjoy the pictures (click on them to make them bigger)

The kids on our very first tram ride.  The trams are the cleanest I have ever seen.  You could eat off the floor.  They are air conditioned and have free wifi.  People who ride the trams are very quiet and reserved.  You have to push a button to get the doors to open to let you on and off.  (but the tram does stop at every scheduled stop).
 First view of the Rhine once we got into the city:
 You can see Roche where ever you are
 The kids put their feet in the Rhine river.  They enjoyed relaxing and watching the swimmers and boats
 View from the Rhine of the buildings around the city
 My mom put her feet in the Rhine and discovered that it was very cold!  Big Baby. :)
 This was neat, so I had to take a picture.  Our guide - Kaya - said that these folks are floating with something called a Fisch (Fish).  They put their clothes and belongings inside and then it acts as a flotation device.  They float down the Rhine river and when they are ready to get out, they get to the side, take out their belongings, hop on the closest tram and go home.  We are definitely doing that when we get here.
 View of one of the bridges over the Rhine
 Everywhere we go - we find locks on a bridge
 Art Basel is going on right now in the city.  This is the largest art show in Europe - people come from all over the world to buy the 20th and 21st century art here.  It is also on display for anyone who wants to take a look.  Most of the art is in the convention center, but there are many displays around town that people can enjoy for free.  Art Basel goes on for about 1 week each June.  This display was outside of the courthouse.  It was Ghost.
 Finley took a picture of me filling up a water bottle at one of the many water fountains in the town.  These fountains are found all over the place for free public use.  What a novel idea.
 More inside the courtyard of the courthouse.
 A nice statue in one of the round abouts in town
 Example of the buildings in the city.  Almost all of the buildings look like this - stucco with thatched roofs - so pretty.
 A Square in the older part of the city.  So pretty - I really love the buildings
 Another piece from Art Basel that was in the square.  This square  has never been built on -it has always been an open space.
 Statues on the outside of the oldest church in Basel
 Oldest Church in Basel
 Inside the oldest church.  It is designed in the medieval style.  This church dates back to the 1100s but has some statues from 600BC
 Stopping for a snack and to take a break.  It was so hot we had to stop for ice cream.
 My dessert.  Ice cream and fresh raspberries.  YUM
 To cool off we spent the afternoon in the hotel at their enormous indoor waterpark called Aquabasilea.  It is free for hotel guest, but the public may use it for a hefty fee.  It had several pools (all very very warm) a lazy river, water slides, was wonderful.  We didn't want to leave.

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