Dear Luke and Leia,
Today we are in Basel, the gateway to the Rhine River. Basel is considered the starting point of navigation upon the Rhine (the other end is the North Sea) and thus many river cruises leave and arrive from here. This is why we are here too, but we arrived early because we wanted to get a chance to see the city before boarding the cruise ship. (Nana also wrote about our one day in Basel, if you want to read more about it.)
Here are some of the things we liked the most.
Elizabeth church, or Elisabethkirche in German, is the best known neo-Gothic building in Switzerland. Almost 50,000 people a year visit this beautiful structure. It was built around 1857-1864 by a wealthy businessman named Christoph Merian. This was the first church built after the Reformation and is now home of the first Swiss “OpenChurch.”
We wish you could have seen this quirky fountain. It is named after composer Igor Stravinsky and contains works inspired by him. Many were named after animals, like The Firebird. The fountain is a shallow basin of water about 6,243 square feet and is located between Centre Pompidou and the Church of Saint Merri. It is used to express the modern lines of the Center, and does a good job with these sculptures.
Marktplatz is located at the center of Basel and is known for the markets that are in front of Basel City Hall. This square dates back to 1260 as a grain market and shifted to a full market by the 15th century. Today there are numerous vendors offering everything from produce to street foods.
Exploring the streets of Basel
The first thing we noticed while exploring the streets of Basel was the crowds of people enjoying the shopping and restaurants. The streets were hilly until we got near the Rhine River. The riverfront was vibrant and had a lot of nice restaurants. The water was really clean and the warm weather meant plenty of swimmers. Plus, pleasure craft even had a chance to pull along a water skier or two.
Strolling Basel after dark
After a wonderful dinner and with the moon in full glow, we decided to explore the riverfront further. Crowds lined the riverfront area where a band played on a platform that was anchored in the river. It was wonderful seeing Basel in lights.
We're tired after our long stroll, so it is time for us to head back to the hotel and get ready for our departure on the river cruise. We sure wish you two were here with us.
Nana and Pap
P.S. – You can click the top left of any photos in our story to add them to your Pinterest boards.