Here are a few pictures from my train journey. As I have previously mentioned in other Switzerland posts, I loved sitting on the trains, looking out of the window at the scenery, I had my face glued to the window during every train journey. I probably could have sat on a train all day just looking out of the window!
I arrived in Basel on Saturday 18th July. So far I had only experienced slight hiccups in finding places, but travelling is all about getting lost, right? However this was a whole other meaning of getting lost. Having already looked up directions for the hostel I stepped out of the train station with my heavy hiking backpack and little suitcase and turned right, passed the drunks who asked me for money and kept walking until I found myself down an alleyway where I held tightly onto my belongings. Realising I had taken a wrong turning, I retraced my steps, again passing the drunks who again asked me for money and went in the other direction. I didn't walk far down this route when I had a feeling I was again walking the wrong way. Now there was only one other route to walk, so I went down here and walked for ages, and ages, and ages.
At this point I was at despair. It was the hottest day yet, I was sweating and my luggage was incredibly heavy. I only had one night in this city and wanted to dump off my luggage and get exploring! There were so many things I wanted to see in Basel! I sat down at Starbucks and had a latte, considering my options. I didn't know what to do!!
I ended up in the city centre and at this point wanted to cry, I thought I was never going to find the hostel! Then bingo! I saw a map and headed for it, hoping that I would be able to find my way. At this point some Swiss locals approached me, obviously clocking the stressed and puzzled look on my face, and asked if they could help. They gave me some directions and pointed me down a road. So off I set again and walked, and walked, and walked. I almost ended up in France, or at least it felt like I did. So I sat down on a wall outside someone's house, head in my hands, so frustrated that the internet on my phone wouldn't work. But this is where I would like to thank google maps. EVENTUALLY I found the correct road, and then found the hostel. Again after quite some time. I had never been SO happy!!!
With that I dumped off my luggage and set out again, to explore the city properly without the burden of my luggage. I had already wasted hours!
There were particular things I wanted to tick off my Basel list, I got to do many of them but unfortunately I didn't get to do all of them. It turns out, one day in Basel just wasn't enough. This place would make the perfect weekend city break.
I very much enjoyed Basel. There was so much to see and do. The Rhein, the beautiful buildings, so many water fountains, the little streets. I loved how detailed the buildings were!!
As it was such a hot day I sat by the river for a while. There were many people swimming in the river. You could get a bag to seal up all your belongings in, then go swimming with the bag so your things stayed dry. I thought that was pretty cool. I didn't go swimming, I can't really swim, but I would have loved to! The thing I noticed about Switzerland is that all rivers and lakes seem to be incredibly clear. If you visited London and peered into the Thames, thinking about swimming in that would make you want to throw up. As with a lot of rivers in towns and cities in England, they look dirty and murky. Not Switzerland.
When exploring a new place I like to experience all the main tourist attractions. I love being a tourist!! But then I like to look at the things that not every tourist looks at, the little side streets and where people live.
The hostel I stayed at was called Basel Back Pack. This was the best hostel that I stayed in throughout my whole trip. It's a refurbished factory and was very funky looking, I loved the style of it. Check in wasn't until 3pm but I got there early and they showed me to my room straight away. I stayed in a dorm of 10 people, all female. The room was large and consisted of bunk beds, each bed had a private feel to it as it was so large and each bunk bed was partitioned off. There were lockers situated in the room which were large enough to fit in my small suitcase and massive backpack. This hostel was also the place where I had the best shower throughout the whole trip. There was also a kitchen where you make a meal if you wanted to, and an outside seating area.
In the evening I sat in the outside seating area and met 6 other people, all from different countries which was very interesting and very nice. We met a Swiss local and went on a night out, he took us to a club where he knew the manager, getting us in for free. It was here that I had one of the most interesting nights of my life.
The following day was a Sunday and I had planned to wake up early and go to experience a Swiss church service. With so many churches around I couldn't resist. But with an incredibly late night and too many Desperados I was feeling very delicate. I checked out and sat with the people from the previous night, all of us in headachey silence, before I headed for the train station. Next stop: Berne.