Monday, April 3, 2017

Paris to Swiss Alps: Basel I (4/3/2017)

Monday, April 3, 2017
I am not sure when we arrived in Basel, Switzerland. sometime while we slept.
Basel is near the end (or beginning) of the commercially navigable Rhine River. The primary source of the Rhine is said to be a stream feeding into the Tomasee/Lake Toma (2,344 m/7.690') at the foot of Piz Badus, which is located near the Oberalp Pass in the Graubünden Canton.
By 7:00 we had our color-tagged luggage outside our stateroom door. They were to be taken by truck to the hotel in Zürich.
After breakfast we had to vacate the staterooms by 8:30. At 9:15 we boarded motor coaches for a tour of Basel. (Sorry about photos taken from the bus!)
Synagoge/Synagogue (1867-1868,
designed by Hermann Rudolf Gauss
in Moorish-Byzantine style)
Universitäts-Kinderspital/University Children's Hospital of Basel (2011)
with colored panels that appear to change color as you pass
Spalentor/Spalen Gate (14C)
We drove across the Mittlere Brücke/Middle Bridge from Grossbasel/"Greater" Basel on the left bank of the Rhine River into Kleinbasel/"Lesser" Basel on the right bank. Kleinbasel is the location of the Basel Badischer Bahnhof/Baden Railroad Station where the Deutsche Bahn/German Railroad (DB) trains connect. Trains from France (Société nationale des chemins de fer français/French National Railway Corporation/SNCF) connect at the Main Basel Bahnhof/Railroad Station. Basel is unique in that it is located in a corner with borders with both Germany and France. The one airport, EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, serves three countries.
A weallthy neighborhood home in Kleinbasel
We drove back across the Rhine and were dropped off near the Tinguelybrunnen/Tinguely Fountain.
Tinguelybrunnen (1975-1977 by Jeannot Tinguely) is also called the
Fastnachtbrunnen/Carnival Fountain
Basel has the largest Carnival celebration in Switzerland and references to Carnival are seen throughout the city, such as the Tinguely fountain.
Läckerli Huus, the shop for the unique
Lebkuchen/Honey Gingerbread of Basel, called
Läckerli, a traditional hard spice biscuit cut in
rectangular pieces and topped with a sugar glaze
Basilisk water fountain, with the
city coat of arms on his breast
The legend is that in 1474 in Basel, a rooster was tried, convicted and condemned to a public execution, because, against the laws of nature, he laid an egg.  If a rooster egg was found and hatched by a toad or a lizard, a basilisk would emerge. A basilisk was a winged dragon-like creature with a rooster's head. Anyone who looked into its eyes would die immediately. Apparently a basilisk was hatched and it took up residence in Basel's central water fountain. A young girl, Magdalene, was on her way to the fountain, only to meet people running away in panic. She was told about the basilisk, as she polished her pail with her apron. When the pail was as shiny as a mirror, she put it on her head and approached the fountain. The basilisk started to attack her, then saw his reflection in the pail, and shrivelled up and died.
The basilisk fountain (KSS)
Zunft zu Safran/Saffron Guild (c. 1423)
for spice traders and shopkeepers
A postal carriage (KSS)
Hutgasse #6 with oriel window and painted façade
At this point, we went off on our own, since we had seen much of Basel in 2014. Basel has about 40 museums, but because it was Monday, all the museums, except the Spielzeug Welten Museum/Toy Worlds Museum, were closed.
Spalenberg street
The "Walk of Spalebärg," a Walk of Fame
has memorial tablets for citzens who have
represented Basel in a positive manner,
including Jeannot Tinguely and Roger Federer
There are spots for many new names
Souvenir shop window
Zum Kirschbaum/Cherry Tree (KSS)
Posts block traffic to the pedestrian areas (KSS)
However, a delivery truck may have a remote control
that causes the posts to lower into the ground (KSS)
Once the posts are in the ground, the delivery truck
can enter the pedestrian area (KSS)
Nischenbrunnen/Niche Fountain (1839) with a mural
depicting John the Baptist (1919 by Numa Donzé)
St Peterskirche/Church of St Peter (1388)
Bust (1899 by Max Leu) of Johann Peter Hebel,
a German writer-poet and educator who was born
in Basel and wrote in his native dialect of Alemannic;
a biennial prize in his name is awarded to persons in
the Baden region of Germany who write in Alemannic
Stadthaus/City cultural center (c.1806
as the Posthaus/Post Office)
Globus, upscale department store, in Marktplatz/Market Square (KSS)
Fischmarktbrunnnen/Fish Market Fountain (c. 1390
by Johannes Parler in Gothic style) is the oldest
and largest of the medieval fountains in Basel
Vanilla and chocolate pretzels in a bakery window (KSS)
Affenbrunnen/Monkey Fountain (1867,
copy made in 1916 by Jean Hym,
then again in 1973 by Ludwig Stocker) (KSS)
Andreasplatz wisteria vine and restroom doors
What the heck is on the wisteria vine? (KSS)
Zum Gifthüttli/Poison House (1913), so named because
the original tavern owner dared to serve beer along
with the traditional wine, and the newspaper reported
that to drink beer in a tavern (rather than in a brewery
restaurant) was to drink poison; now owned by a brewery
Because of the Basel Carnival,
restrooms are marked with this character
Now for the other side of the Marktplatz/Market Square.

Next: Basel II.

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