After sneaking into the country, we grabbed a taxi and headed to our hotel.
Seriously, we thought we somehow sneaked in.
We arrived in Basel, got our luggage, and headed out to go through customs. Or thought that’s what we were going to do.
Instead we just walked out into the main part of the airport and were free to leave.
(What we didn’t know at the time was that the annoying and seemingly pointless trip through customs in Amsterdam wasn’t quite as pointless as we thought. Until I asked a German friend about it on facebook, I halfway expected to get apprehended for being an illegal alien or something. Even though I had a valid Swiss visa. Anyway.)
Our taxi ride was fairly short, but I’m sure it was expensive, as is everything in Switzerland. Our hotel was lovely, but our room wasn’t ready for us. Since I’d been up for like an entire day, I didn’t understand this at first. But most hotels don’t let you check in at 11 AM, so it made sense once I thought about it.
So we headed to one of the hotel restaurants for lunch. The view was horrible.
That’s one thing I meant to say earlier. Looking out the window as we landed in Basel was so bizarre. A lot of the scenery looked like home, meaning there was a lot of farmland. But then when you looked at the houses and other buildings, you could just tell that they were old. Beautiful. Totally picturesque. But old. Way older than anything we have here in Peoria, obviously. Being surrounded by these old buildings was so strange.
After lunch and a much-needed nap for all three of us, we set out to see more of the city. We decided to go see something else that makes Basel a lot like home: the river. Our walk to the river isn’t this nice in Peoria, though.
And Genevieve usually doesn’t look this happy to be near the river in Peoria, because our river stinks. The Rhine doesn’t stink. People actually swim in it in the summer. It’s also kind of nice to look at.
But whatever, right?
After seeing some more of the city, we decided to get some dinner. When Andy went to Basel before, he raved about this one restaurant’s pizza and ice cream. Since I’m a fan of both of those things, we decided to go there. Mövenpick did not disappoint.
(I have no pictures of the ice cream because I ate it all incredibly quickly. Swiss ice cream is top notch.)
I also got my first European Coke, which meant it was served in a glass bottle, with no ice in the glass, and a slice of lemon.
We all headed to bed early that night, with plans to do some more exploration the next day.
I did a horrible job taking picture of our food while we were in Switzerland. I guess I’m not quite hip enough for that. But breakfast was served in our hotel every morning, and you could have cheese (which I hated) and meat (like… salami and ham, which I thought was strange but delicious), fruit, (plain) yogurt, juices, and breads (including an awesome pretzel bread). Nutella was served every morning! They would also cook you eggs and bacon to order. And it was so good.
After breakfast, I took a short video of our hotel room, which was gorgeous. And big. And as I mentioned in my commentary, not at all representative of the room sizes we would encounter on the rest of our trip.
We spent the afternoon visiting a one-bedroom apartment in the building we’ll most likely live in when we first arrive in Basel (although we will have a two-bedroom), visiting Andy’s new office, and wandering around the city aimlessly. I’m not generally one for aimless wandering, but it’s a lot more appealing when the scenery is all new and just ridiculously gorgeous.
We were lucky that our hotel had a couple of excellent restaurants. We had dinner there, followed by bedtime for everyone. It was late for G but early for us. Sharing a room with G is usually difficult because she goes to bed so much earlier than we do. It was hard to complain much on this trip, though. My internal clock was so off that I fell asleep shortly after her every night.
…Of course, I would then wake up at like 3 AM and be awake for an hour or two, but what are ya gonna do? I had the benefit of being off work for 10 days and the opportunity to nap with G every day, so it wasn’t as much of a problem as it would be at home. It also gave me a chance to talk to people back home on WhatsApp or facebook, so there were definitely benefits to my temporary insomnia.