The next morning we headed into Basel proper and “made some sightseeing”. Of everything we saw, the Rhine and its banks blew me away the most. I’d heard how clear it was down here, but that still hadn’t prepared me – it looked more like a Canadian lake! We walked along a narrowing boardwalk, pausing under a bridge to watch the river and try our best to have a Mark Twain-style experience (or at least that’s how I imagined it – Nicole would probably tell you something different!).
We’d gone out looking for something to eat, but the quickest, most straightforward thing we found was a McDonald’s situated on a promising little square. From the upstairs dining room we looked down into the busy little market below. Well, I say we looked down, but really what I mean is one might have looked down. We, however, were busily taking advantage of McDonald’s free Wi-Fi.
Say what you will too about German McDonald’s being expensive in comparison to home, but I tremble to tell you how much I spent on my Big Mac Meal, after conversion from Swiss Francs into Canadian Dollars. On our way out of the restaurant though we found a Canadian dime of all things, and this managed to distract me from my buyer’s remorse. The dime brought us such joy we decided to leave it somewhere else where other young, travelling Canadians might find it, hoping that it would bring them the same joy.
Like countless other European cities, Basel’s inner-city consists of a few main high-streets, some pedestrian, some not. From these few thoroughfares emanate a number of small, winding paths or alleyways, all fronted with shops. After taking a number of twists and turns – through a churchyard, past some police harassing youngsters, down some steps, through a wardrobe – we stumbled across a “Canada Shop”, which was closed, though we could see through the windows that they had SeaChange Smoked Salmon (for almost Canadian prices!) as well as Moosehead. Above the store someone had painted a few murals that the artist might have intended to be of Mounties, though I suspect the artist had never actually seen a Mountie, nor not even a photo of one. Any gate, we decided to leave the dime on the shop’s window-sill.
We had to hustle then back off to the train station, where we picked up our gear and sort out our tickets for the next (and final) leg of our short-weekend journey: we were bound for Konstanz.
But before we head off, a few pictures: