Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Herbstmasse

Herbstmasse - or Autumn Fair - has started here in Basel.  We are looking forward to attending it this weekend.  There are rides and food, games and exhibits.....it looks absolutely wonderful.  Finley and I stopped at the convention center stop on the tram line today and while we were waiting we took in a ride that drops people from the top.  Finley squealed with delight to watch the ride in action, and I was impressed that they built something so high so quickly for this fair.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Walk

Today's walk with the Basel Walkers club took us on the most beautiful walk to date.  Well - for me at least, and my short time I have been going on walks with them. 

Today's walk took us through an area called Hirschlang and went to the castle Wildenstein.  This is a privately owned castle that is only open for weddings, Christmas market, and brunch on Sundays.  We then walked past Sormatt falls and ended our walk in Bubendorf.  From there we took the tram home.  It was a beautiful walk and a beautiful morning.












Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A night out on Basel Stadt

A few weeks ago, Mat and I received an invitation in the mail.  The invitation is sent to new residents of Basel Stadt to learn about how the local government works and different things that are offered throughout the city.  We had a chance to go into the famous Rathaus and sit in the council chambers. 

After the talk, we had a chance to go on a Rhine cruise where they had food and drinks.  We sailed along the Rhine for an hour and chatted to other new residents.  It was a nice evening to spend out - sans the kids.

Rathaus
 Inside the court house

 This translates to "the welfare of people is the highest law"  Take notice America
 Our Rhine Cruise

Monday, October 16, 2017

Basel Walkers

Today was another incredible walk through the Swiss Country side.  Today's walk took us through an area called Grellingen to Meltingen - which isn't far out of the city of Basel.  It was a walk completely in the woods.  I took our dog, Scooby, along and we had a great time.  The walk was really a hike and a little treacherous, so I didn't get to take many pictures.  But it was a lovely three hours, and as usual - a morning in nature does a lot for the soul.

Heraldic Shields on a rock face

 Some of my new friends.  Heather (in the middle) from the USA and Marta from Milan



We passed a farm stand, so I bought some pumpkin cinnamon marmalade.  MMMMM


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Come on and Jump

Today I took two of the kids to an indoor fun park.  Arlington has been sick almost the entire vacation, so she decided to stay home and rest.  We had a good time.  The park was really big (And really busy), and we stayed for about 4 hours.  It was only about 45 minutes from our apartment on the tram, so not too bad. 

After we finished at the park, we were pretty starved, so we stopped at IKEA on the way home.  I know that sounds funny, but the food at IKEA is really good.  (and not expensive).  We ate and spent some time looking around the massive warehouse before heading home.

Only a few more days, and these hooligans go back to school.  It was nice to have a little break from getting up early, but it is time for the routine to return.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Visit to Heidelberg Germany

Today we took the train to Heidelberg to check it out.  It is about 2 1/2 hours by train from Basel, so a very easy trip.  Prices to take the train into Germany are really reasonable from Switzerland, and it is nice not to sit back and relax and enjoy the ride instead of figuring out how to get there by car.



We got into the city around noon, and our first stop was going to see something called Thingsgatte Heidelberg.  Unfortunately, there was a marathon taking place today and it was blocking the bus route to the Park.  It was a bit disappointing but we figured it will be a reason to revisit the area in the future.  Thingsgatte is an amphitheater that was built by the Nazis and where they met before the war.

We put our disappointment aside and headed to the Heidelberg Castle.  We took the tram to the base of the castle, and had to walk from there.  It is quite a hike to the top, but there is also an option of cable car to get there if needed.  We hate our children, so we made them walk.  It is REALLY steep.  And cobblestones.  It was interesting.


The castle was beautiful.  And huge.  We spent most of the afternoon walking around and taking it in.  There is a small charge to get into the castle, BUT we have a Museum Pass, and this castle is part of that, so we got in for free.  Score.




 View of Heidelberg from the Castle
























There is a pharmacy museum as part of the castle, and we really enjoyed that.  Well, Mat and I enjoyed it.  It had re-creations of several apothecaries from over the last several years.  We couldn't get over how detailed they made the medicine holders.  They were really beautiful.





The castle also contains the largest wine barrel in the world.  It was built in 1751, but it is no longer in use.


This one, however, even though it is about half the size, is in use.  And it is still quite large.


After the castle we walked around Old Town for awhile.  They have a really great, and large, pedestrian only area filled with shops and great buildings.  We enjoyed seeing the Cookoo clocks in the different shops and two huge old churches.






Inside the church - family crests on the wall
 King and Queen from the 1400s buried in the church





We then headed across the old bridge and stopped to admire the Brass Monkey on the edge of the Bridge.  This bridge has featured a monkey since the 15th century.  It is meant to remind those who cross the bridge from either side to look over their shoulders to remind themselves where they came from.  Whether a Heidelberg citizen lived inside or outside the city, it reminded them that they were no better than their counterpart.





We did take a short hike on a path called Philosopher's Way.  It walks along the river and gives you a nice view of the city from the opposite side.  We didn't get as far as we would like, though, because it started to rain so hard, we had to seek shelter.   After 45 minutes, it didn't let up, so we gave up and headed back to town.  It was disappointing, but we will just have to come back and try again once the spring comes around.



We had dinner, and walked through Old Town some more, and then headed home on the train.  Another town ticked off our extensive list!



Cainan's 13th birthday

Today our house gained another teenager.  Cainan had his big birthday trip a few weeks ago to Legoland, so unfortunately today, he had to sp...