We took the opportunity to accompany my parents to Basel where they started a river cruise down the Rhein which will end in Amsterdam. Basel sits at one corner where Switzerland, Germany and France meet. Ever since I had read this blog post on One Big Yodel, I have been wanting to get to Basel to eat at the Markthalle (which is conveniently located within a stone’s throw of the HB).

It was everything we had hoped for in an under-one-roof-cheap-ethnic-eatery. (I am sure that I could come up with a goodlongGermanword for that if I thought about it for a bit.) We had to wander past all the offerings before we ended up with a Pad Thai which was not only delicious, but only 10 CHF. We chose a Kurdish wrap on some kind of flatbread with spinach and feta cheese fried in something yummy for my folks. If a round-trip ticket to Basel didn’t run 32 CHF (per person), we would head there for lunch more often.

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After we tucked my parents into a Passat Wagon Taxi and sent them to the docks to meet their boat, we had some time, and though we had thought about visiting some Roman ruins 20 km outside of town (those Romans were everywhere!), we decided to spend our afternoon wandering the old town since we were already there.

The information booth at the HB had the perfect map to lead us first to one of the original gates to the city.

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A short walk through the gates led us to the Marktplatz (where the vendors were selling food and flowers) and the Rathaus (city hall). The building is red, and the Swiss German pronunciation of the structure is Roothuus which sounds a little like Red House, a pun.

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Included on our self-guided tour was the Basel Münster (Basel Cathedral) which also casts a reddish gothic hue. It sits up from the river bank and can be seen from many places. Right now there is a small fair with ferris wheel, carousel and other very unchurchlike attractions in the plaza directly in front of the main entrance.

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I liked this dragon-slayer which I suppose has something to do with the fact that the saints of this church, Georg and Martin, were saints of the knights. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dragon on a church before. I also didn’t know that dragons came that small…..


In my quest to visit as many of the 26 Swiss Cantons as we can this year, we have now added Basel-Stadt (Basel City). Basel is one of two cantons that have been split into two (the other being Appenzell). This brings our total to seven.

The Rhein River looking north from the Basel Münster



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