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A taste of Basel, Switzerland - Part 1

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As a child, I spent a few years in Basel, Switzerland. I went to school there for about three years, and during that time grew a major affection for this town. It always feels like home, even though I wasn't there as long as one might expect. During those years, I learned Swiss German and proper German (Hoch Duetsche). Public transportation negated the need for anything; I was able to take a tram anywhere I needed, and beyond that I'd strike out on foot. I explored in every direction possible, learning and seeing all I could. Going back decades later, little has changed - and this is part of the charm of the city and the reason for my great fondness for Switzerland. My mother calls me a Heimweh Schweitzer, which means a homesick Swiss. As soon as we checked into our hotel, I was ready to hit the town and get some nice pictures to record what I've seen so many times before.

Of the 500 pictures I took this trip, I probably took 200 vertical shots. Interestingly when working in Lightroom, I've discovered how nice a horizontal crop can take a vertical image and make it a little more dramatic. You effectively are zoomed into the scene, almost intimately. Of course, a full screen image is far nicer than these 770 pixel-wide images I'm sharing in today's blog, but I know most don't want to download massive images just to peruse through them briefly.

Some vertical shots I just decided to leave as-is.

Beer is prominently featured at every restaurant. This one has been around for a very long time, and the look or logo hasn't changed.

Treats for every taste. I've had almost all of these, naturally.

In the lobby of the Basel University, these low profile chairs shared a view with a courtyard. The glass was the old style, rippled and slightly distorted.

My cousin is a tenured professor who teaches English, so off we went to find his class.

The stone spiral staircase rose up 4 floors, leading to his office. Here's a shot looking downwards.

And here's a shot looking up at the underside of the same stairs. He wasn't there, that day.

My grandmother's house, like everywhere else, had real shutters that we could close up when storms rolled in, as well as to deflect the sun during the summer months.

Heading down a narrow alley, we encountered this nice looking residence.

And when I looked to the right, I saw another tight alleyway.

The local butcher is happy to provide anything you could request.

As I mentioned earlier, I used the tram a lot. Here's a view from inside toward the conductor's booth.

A view out of the window of the Rhein river.

The yellow tram is an older look, which usually indicated a specific area it traveled to. The rest were often green. Even older, there are some made of wood that are rented out for special occasions to take small parties to idyllic locations.

I have a huge sweet tooth, and these kinds of shops don't help my waist line.

Although I did try to eat better. Below is Bichermuesli with some fresh-baked croissants.

Walking helps. Everyone walks and there were a lot of thin people because of this.

The wires suspended above power the electric trams. Rails in the concrete keep the trams to their preset courses. Interestingly, there are times of day when you can drive on the same course, but it can be slow going with all the füssgangers walking in your path.

More later.

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Tags: basel, swiss


  1. Convict27's Avatar
    Great shots Marc. Looks like an awesome place to visit.
  2. drimo's Avatar
    Looks great. Can't wait to see more!
  3. Nitro's Avatar
    You're going to have to walk 10 miles a day now.
  4. mhowe9's Avatar
    Cool stuff Marc! My wife and I have friend whose parents are from Basel.