For the month of April, I will be participating in the A to Z Challenge (more information can be found here). Basically, though, I will be posting something about Basel (or Switzerland) relating to that day’s letter of the alphabet, Monday through Saturday. If you’re subscribed to my blog via email, I apologize in advance for blowing up your inbox.
I decided to do this for a few reasons.
- This will make me think about Basel and what we do on a day-to-day basis analytically.
- This will encourage me to write more. The adjustment to Basel has been rough for a lot of reasons, and I know it’s only been two-and-a-half months, but that has kind of discouraged me from writing. I don’t want all of my posts to be sad or complaining… or about the million trips we take to the zoo.
- This will hopefully connect me to other bloggers. Since I don’t encounter many English-speaking adults on a daily basis here in Basel, I worry about my brain getting mushy. This gives me a way to connect to more people online who, at the very least, share an interest in writing about some aspect of their lives.
I’ve even done prep work for this challenge. I have a topic (or multiple to choose from!) already planned out for every letter except X or Y. Luckily I have a while to brainstorm on those.
Without further ado, my A blog.
One of Genevieve’s favorite places we’ve been so far is an indoor pool in Pratteln called Aquabasilea. Actually, I don’t think “indoor pool” really does this place justice. I do stop just shy of calling it an indoor water park, although that’s probably just a matter of semantics.
There are multiple “still” pools, a wave pool, several water slides, a toddler area… And that’s just what’s indoors. Outside (weather permitting), there’s an additional pool, a grotto, and a pretty awesome rapids area that G called “the drain.” (Her assessment may have been inspired by a recent viewing of Finding Nemo.)
There’s also a hamam (Turkish bath) and several saunas, as well as a day spa. I haven’t been able to check any of those services out since when I’ve gone, it’s been just G and me, and I can’t quite let her go to the pool alone while I laze about in the sauna. Someday when Andy comes with us, though, it’s on!
When you arrive, you choose your services (bath; bath and sauna; or bath, sauna, and hamam) and how long you would like to stay (two hours, four hours, or a day pass). For children under 3, admission is free, and for kids 3-5, admission is 10 CHF for the day.
They also have a cafeteria on site that is pretty pricey, as well as a picnic area, so if you were a lot more organized than I am, you would bring lunch with you and save some dough. (Or, to be honest, just a little bit more organized than I am.)
The first time G and I went, I paid for a two-hour pass and I definitely felt like we were rushed. I didn’t know how to get around the place, I kept leaving the locker room before I really should have (like forgetting to put her earplugs in!), and G didn’t want to stop playing in the pool in order to eat lunch.
So the second time, I sprung for the four-hour pass. It was definitely money well spent! We didn’t stay for the whole four hours, but we were there for over three. And hauling G around the bigger pools by myself all morning wore me out!
Aquabasilea is really easy to get to since only one tram runs to Pratteln. You just hop the 14 tram and take it to the second-to-last stop, then walk a couple blocks over to the train station. There’s a bus stop there where the buses will take you right to the pool. This is really nice when it’s cold or when your large child is worn out from playing in the water all morning and wants you to carry her (not that I’m speaking from experience)!
Since this is a water activity and I haven’t wanted to test how water resistant my Galaxy S5 really is, I don’t have a lot of pictures from our trips to Aquabasilea. But I do have a couple!
This is G at the mid-way point in our first trip to Aquabasilea. I ran back to the locker room before going to get lunch and had a message from Andy asking how our day was going. I snapped this pic and tried to send it to him, but the reception is poor inside the building so it never sent. She was definitely a happy camper!
As far as activities go here in Basel, this is one of the more expensive ones that we’ve done. But it’s a lot of fun, and I can see where it would be great fun to go with a group of friends or if you had older children who don’t require quite as much supervision and interaction as G does. I look forward to going all together as a family and to showing this facility off to friends and family when they come to visit.