Saturday, May 4, 2013

A first encounter with Basel


I think it's about time to dedicate some time and lines in this blog to Basel, a beautiful city in Switzerland where I lived for half a year, where I spent my last holiday break a couple of weeks ago and which will be my next home. It is official, I'm moving to Basel! I'm just not sure yet whether this will happen in August this year or later in 2014. Anyways, it seems that I'll be living there at least for two years and a half, probably for five or so and maybe even a lifetime, who knows?! With that in mind, I think it's a good idea to formally introduce you to Basel, a gorgeous city by the Rhine right at the border with Germany and France. As I will probably have a lot more to tell about Basel in the upcoming year(s) I will keep it short and sweet for this first encounter with the city.


Basel is Switzerland's third city in terms of population and it lies in the north of Switzerland but despite its northern location it is really hot during the summer - it can be up to 40ºC. The Rhine divides the city in two parts, Gross Basel and Klein Basel (Big and Little Basel). The city center, located mostly in Gross Basel is rellay charming made of many cobbled streets and alleys dotted with small shops and also the typical high street retailers in the Freiestrasse. My favourite building is the Town Hall, a distinguished red building from the 16th century; you can step inside the inner yards which are decorated by colourful frescoes. The Town Hall is just opposite the Markt Platz, probably the very centre point of the city. Another impressive building is the Münster or Cathedral, which is also in the city centre. It is made of reddish bricks and after many years of maintenance works it is now almost done and photo-ready. I entered inside in my last visit to Basel and I can say that it is a beautiful interior, if a bit too sober for my catholic taste. The philosopher Eramus of Rotterdam is buried inside. Besides these classic gems, Basel also houses many edgy modern buildings, after all it is home to Herzog & de Meuron (in my list of my favourite architects). They have recently designed the new and controversial Congress Centre (Messe Basel). I went to see the building during my last time in Basel and I found it really beautiful, but I agree that there was no need to place it right in the middle of the city where there used to be a lovely open-air square. Other interesting buildings include the Beyeler Foundation by Renzo Piano or the Jean Tinguely Museum by Mario Botta.




MY TOP THINGS TO DO IN BASEL: after this brief walk around the city I would like to give you some hints of what to do there. Basel is an interesting city, renowned for its high museum density and it makes a perfect daytrip for the summer, as the weather is, alsmot always, hot enough to wear just dresses and sandals!

  • Love the Rhine: it is really beautiful and you can sit on the banks to read some book or have a small picnic. There are also really terraces along which get really crowded during the summer and serve a very nice homemade ice-tea. The locals also swim in the Rhine - I have never done it - and it looks like a great option when it's 40ºC on the shade.
  • Visit a museum: I can really recommend the Arts Museum (Kunstmuseum). It has a very fine collection, including some interesting Picassos and a free ice-rink in winter! I also enjoyed a lot the Natural History Museum and the Dollhouse Museum (Puppenhausmuseum). Four floors full of antique doll houses and teddy bears, lovely! It really spoilt the inner child in me.
  • Enjoy some food: I really have to control myself because everytime I go to Switzerland I put on some extra pounds. Everything is delicious, can't help myself! I specially love piadinas, an Italy-borrowed speciality which consists of a crepe-a-like filled with ham, cheese or vegetables. Plus, this is the cheapest thing you might get in Switzerland and it's already 8 CHF. 
  • Lose yourself in the nature: you can make some animal friends at the zoo, which is one of the oldest in Europe but you can also go to the Lange Erlen Tierpark, which is free and you will also find many beautiful animals in a more beautiful surrounding, especially when it snows. And of course, go further to the real nature. Switzerland is not so big and it has really breathtaking landscapes almost at every turn of the road.


Well, this is all for now. I hope that you enjoy this first approximation to Basel as much as I did enjoy my first visit alsmot three years ago. Writing this post has brought too many good memories to me and I'm happy to share a piece of it with you.

Have a wonderful weekend!

22 comments:

  1. I had no idea it could be that hot in Basel. An art trip stopping by to have some iced tea at the Rhine- Wow! The piadinas sounds yum! Have a great weekend to you, Irene!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know it could ever get that hot above the Alps either. It was a nice surprise :)

      Delete
  2. I love Switzerland!!
    kisses,

    Trini
    http://yoadoroviajar.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't wait for you to move! HaHa How delightful is this city! You had me at dollhouses. Will they allow you to take pictures of that dollhouse museum? I would love to see that! Everything there is so charming :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is really delightful! Maybe one day you'll visit it and take a look by yourself at the dollhouses :D

      Delete
  4. Irene...Basel es lo que en español llamamos Basilea? es que tengo dudas porque pensé que Basilea estaba en Alemania. Me parece una ciudad preciosa y espero que lo pases genial ahí, seguro que no te da tiempo a aburrirte con todos sus museos. Yo disfrutaría un montón. Bsinss,wpa:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sí, la verdad que espero no aburrirme, ya que en principio estaré una temporada larga ... o quizás para siempre ... ya se verá :)

      Delete
  5. hi Irene!! wow that would be great to live again there!!! I never been to Basel but I've been to Bern. My hubby and I are dreaming to live in Switzerland but its not easy to move now that we have our baby... I hope we can visit you there one day ;)

    about the following option... even you don't have the google+ you can still follow me since i'm using blogger ;)

    take care. xoxo,Meg of Sweet Gala's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to know that you like Switzerland as well, Meg.
      I would say that it is difficult to move there anyways, because you have to find a job first ... so we'll see how it goes!

      Delete
  6. Great pictures. That part of Switzerland looks amazing! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alice. It is a really nice nice part of Europe :)

      Delete
  7. Look like a lovely place to visit, liking those buildings! xx

    The Young Bridget Jones

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also found it a really nice place to visit and to live, as well!

      Delete
  8. I want to visit Basel soon! Nice blog! Would you like to follow each other? :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh wow, it sooo gorgeous! Photographs are stunning. And how cool that while you have access to two other countries so close as well, so much exploring to be done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, exploring possibilities are always a plus! And it is always nicer to live in a charming city :)

      Delete
  10. Pues creo que me va a gustar Basel, ya estoy deseando que te mudes y nos cuentes a fondo sus maravillas. Por cierto q sepas que tu reto 365 días mejora mucho tus habilidades fotográficas guapa, cada dia lo haces mejor. (y no lo digo por este post q se q las fotos son de hace 3 años)
    Me quedo con ganas de q nos enseñes el museo de los ositos y muñecas, tiene q ser un sueño.
    Besazo
    Pd vuelvo a repasar la estradas de los últimos días, voy fatal de tiempo últimamente.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muchísimas gracias, Laia! Me siento halagada jejeje
      A ver si tengo tiempo de volver al museo de las muñecas y saco mejores fotos, porque cuando tengo que buscar entre mis fotos "antiguas" me cuesta mucho encontrar algo que subir al blog, me estoy volviendo demasiado exigente conmigo misma :p

      Delete
  11. You've sold me on the piadinas!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comments!
I appreaciate your love and reactions.
I'll take a look at your blogs and I'll try to reply as soon as possible
Feel free to follow if you like :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...