(2012) Switzerland Pt 3

Basel, Switzerland
October

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We were very fortunate with the weather again! Seventy degrees and sunny is very unusual for late October in Basel. From what I’ve gathered, Basel weather is a lot like Seattle weather and we should have been experiencing cool and damp days. I am not going to complain this time about the sunshine.

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An empty early morning Marktplatz

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Sunday morning we took a tram to the northeast, to the village of Renech Dorf. We immediately found a wander weg and followed its yellow arrows up a hill and past a pasture full of cows. The landscape was much hillier than what we found in Basel and from the top of one hill we could look back and see the city.

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Renech Dorf

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Cart offering apples and chestnuts along the trail

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Vehicle parked at the school

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Corn!

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Basel in the distance

We were very close, yet we felt like we were in a different world. The trail led us through some thick woods, a corn field, past a school and a few houses and along a river. The sun was warm and we were, once again, over dressed for it. Eventually the trail came back down the hillside and to a sign that caught us by surprise: the German border. This boundary was marked by nothing more than a small sign and some paint on the path. Instead of crossing the line, we crossed the rail tracks and went into the town of Riehen. There, we stopped in a grocery store and bought some sandwiches for lunch. We went the wrong way to find the town center and instead ended up on a bench along yet another wander weg that followed the fence line of a field. It was a beautiful Sunday morning and many people were enjoying the summer-like weather.

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Village of Riehen

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Not baaaaaa-d

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The German border

We caught the nearby tram into Basel and took a rest before Dan’s family arrived. They were right on time and the eight of us took off into the heart of Basel. Peter worked in Basel, so he knew the area very well and was keen to point out various landmarks. Unfortunately, he speaks only Swiss German, so it was difficult to follow everything he said.

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A surprise band event put on by the local radio station

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Quite a large gathering considering it wasn’t a planned event

Drinks were had at a small restaurant on the north side of the Rhine and then we went into the Alt Stadt for some traditional Cordon Bleu in the Gifthutli (which translates ominously as the “Poison House”). We all survived dinner and eventually bid the family good by as they caught the return train to their homes.

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Looking for dinner

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On Monday we were to meet with Camilla, a woman who works for the relocation company that would take care of us if we were to make the move. It was her job to take us around the city and its neighborhoods and answer any questions that we had. She also showed us a couple of temporary apartments that would be good examples of what we might be moving in to for the first three months. It was a full day!

One of the apartments we looked at; this would be typical of any apartment that we would be getting on our own.

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And this was the second apartment that we looked at.

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After visiting the apartments we went south and found lunch at a charming cafe in the small village of Binningen (I think?). We then walked around for a bit to get a good feel for the area.

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This is Dornach Schloss, where we were going to have lunch until we found out that they were closed on Mondays this time of year.

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We then drove around to quite a few other little neighborhoods. Some of them we’d been to already on our own so I didn’t get any pictures, but it was nice to have have a guide to tell us more about what we were seeing.

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Something that Dan and I really appreciate is the level of trust and responsibility given to kids. The little girl below was walking to school by herself, crossing a major street on her own. At a young age children are taught how to cross a street and watch for traffic. It was refreshing to see them walking down the side walks.

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Continue to Part 4

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