A Brief Walking Tour of Basel

Warning: This post is going to be picture heavy.

I didn’t have a plan for Wednesday.  It was going to be our last full day in Basel, and I figured G would sleep pretty late from being up so late on Tuesday night.  I was right, and she once again slept too late to have breakfast at the hotel.  So we headed to Starbucks again.  Side note: I kept seeing people walking around with lovely looking pastries that definitely weren’t in Starbucks bags, but I didn’t ever see any of those little cafés.  I will have to investigate further when we move.

Instead of milk in a straw cup, G got milk in a coffee cup, just like Mama:

And here’s a picture of my 7.70 CHF grande hot chocolate.  That’s somewhere around $8, plus tax.  Needless to say, Starbucks will not be much in our budget once we move.

I bought G a yogurt cup with mixed berries, but she wouldn’t eat it.  European yogurt, as far as I can tell, is unsweetened.  I was hoping that the berries would entice her, but it was just still too tart.  I’m going to have to do some searching at grocery stores or experiment with sugar and honey to properly sweeten yogurt while we’re overseas.  It’s one of her favorites at home, so I would hate for her to not eat it for 2 years!

After breakfast, we headed for City Hall.  It’s kind of impressive.

This is obviously a rough translation, but Google tells me this says: “Built in 1504-14 and 1543-47 after Basel entered the confederation (1501). Maybe after plans by Ruman Faesch and city builder Jörg Rouber. Expansion of the front pulpit 1606-08. Erkerbau (?) and tower 1898-1904 by Eduard Vischer and Eduard Fueter. Translucent architecture and murals 1608-11 largely by Hans Bock (around 1550-1624). Rich interior fittings of the 16th-20th century.”

Peoria was settled in 1680 and wasn’t incorporated until 1835, so… It’s just nuts to me to be allowed to touch things that are so old!  Our city hall at home is also red, though, so I guess it’s pretty much the same, right?

G wanted to go inside (she had been wanting to go inside all the buildings the whole trip and Andy and I kept telling her no).  Since it was business hours and this a public works building, I figured we could try and see what happened.  I was not expecting all this.

There’s a sizable courtyard inside the main doors.

This is a door into the actual interior of the building. G wanted to go in there, too, but I didn’t want to end up someplace we shouldn’t be and not be able to explain myself. So we stayed in the courtyard.

It was just so ornate!  All the interior walls of the courtyard were painted with murals.  There were statues and fountains and gilded carvings everywhere.

After city hall, I thought we could walk back down to the Rhine, even though it was too chilly for G to swim in the river like she kept asking.  Everywhere we had been in Basel so far had been on the same side of the river, so I decided to walk across the bridge and get a look at “our part” of town.

Not too shabby.

Half-way across the bridge, I found this… I’m not sure what it was originally.  But it’s pretty and apparently people put locks on it, which is near and dear to my heart because of a friend’s engagement story.

It sure is a pretty (whatever it is), isn’t it?

Walking back into the part of town I was more familiar with, we came upon this photo booth.  “Toothless!” G exclaimed.  She had to get out of the stroller and investigate more closely.

Then, because I’m a sucker, I let her get her picture taken in the photo booth.  It was supposed to cost 2 CHF, but the machine didn’t give me change from my 5 CHF coin.  (Yes, in Switzerland, all currency less than 10 CHF comes in coin form.  Pocket change can be worth a whole lot more that way!)  Oh well.  G was very excited about her picture, regardless of the cost.  Worth it.

When I finally dragged G away from Toothless, we went to check out this crazy fountain I had spotted a couple of days earlier.

If kids are allowed in this thing, it’ll be a ton of fun in the summertime.

G amused herself by running around the fountain like a crazy girl and asking 700 times if she could play in it.

The only way I got her to agree to take this picture with me was by letting her roll up her sleeves and splash in the fountain for a couple of minutes.  (Not pictured, her sleeves that still managed to end up soaking wet.)

After nap time, and after Andy got home from work, we walked back into the square to have dinner at Papa Joe’s American Restaurant & Caribbean Bar, which is where I learned how the Swiss think we Americans eat and drink.

The patty on this bad boy is 1 kg, which is 2.2 lbs! And it costs 99.50 CHF, which is currently $102.88. I told Andy he was not, under any circumstances, allowed to take on this particular challenge. The man loves a food challenge, but we’ve gotta draw the line somewhere.

Look at all this ice they gave me, though!  Two whole cubes, hahaha!

All in all, a great last night in Basel.

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