Arrondissement de Mulhouse

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    • Day 43

      Fünf Fotos-Rhine Cruise Day 1

      May 26, 2022 in France ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      Although we're on the boat we have remained docked as planned for the first day. We slept well, and we were up early to have breakfast and get ready for our departure by coast.

      We began the day with about an hour drive to Lucerne, Switzerland. We learned from our guide that today is Ascension Day, a clerical holiday in Switzerland that celebrates the Christian event of the ascension of Christ forty days after the resurrection. Most businesses are closed on this day, and we learned that truckers are not allowed to operate unless they are transporting food.

      Lucerne is a preserved Medieval city in central Switzerland with beautiful Lake Lucerne at its center with a backdrop of the Swiss Alps.

      When we left the coach we walked across a beautiful wooden covered pedestrian bridge, Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) that crosses the Reuss River. The bridge was first built in the 14th century and it contains many paintings from the 17th century. We learned that a large section of the bridge was destroyed by fire as well as many of the original paintings. The Kapellbrücke is the oldest coveted bridge in Europe.

      We enjoyed walking the streets of the Altstadt (Old Town) and the river serves as a dividing point between old and new. We also enjoyed the rather quiet streets due to the holiday.

      When we returned to the coach, we headed for Wilderswil, a town near Interlachen, a beautiful town surrounded by glacier fed turquoise lakes. At Wilderswil, we made our way to a historic cog railway that took us on a 45-minute steep path to the Schynige Platte, a small mountain ridge and a viewpoint in the Bernese Highlands. The views of the glacier-covered Alps from this 7,000 ft. viewpoint was magnificent. We were blessed by a beautiful sunny day with mostly unobstructed views of the moutains.

      I have to admit that my view of the fields surrounded by the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains took me back to my six-year old self viewing the opening scene of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. It was magical, and I remember wanting very much to be in that field when I was little.

      We noticed off to the background a few musicians playing the alphorn, the twelve-foot horns made famous by the Ricola commercial. We decided to wander further up the slope to view the different vegetation. I kept my eyes focused for edelweiss, but I learned that it's too early in the season from one of the passengers who is traveling from the UK.

      At the appointed time, we made for our descent down the mountain to our waiting coach for the two and a half hour return trip to Basel. The sights were indeed beautiful. It's not every day that you get to see rolling hills with a castle scattered here and there. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, it was a bit too long a day on the coach. It's reinforced for me that I generally would prefer to be traveling at our own pace instead of with ninety-five of our "closest friends".

      That brings me to our efforts to try and find connection on the cruise. It appears that nearly all, if not all, of the passengers are from the UK. They look like us, they're the same age range as us, but it appears that we're the only couple from the States as well as the only gay couple. It's interesting feeling more like outliers in this experience than in other countries that we have visited to date where the language, culture and skin tone of the people is markedly different than ours.

      We've been trying to find ways to strike up conversations, and most of that has been a bit of a miss so far except for Daniel, one of the bartenders who is from Romania. Daniel has grown weary of the hospitality industry, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. He is studying to be a truck driver because he likes to drive and he sees it as an opportunity for me freedom in his life. I don't think he's much younger than me. I'm optimistic that we'll have more opportunities to meet other folks and have deeper conversations as the week progresses. The few folks we have spoken with to date have had some connections to Portland through family and friends. Multnomah Falls is a universal hit. 😊

      We did have another great dinner, and at this writing, I'm staring out at the floor to ceiling glass doors of the French Balcony with the man I love at my side. At some point this evening, we should launch north on the beautiful Rhine. I'm ready. Guten Nacht!
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    • Day 42

      Fünf Fotos-Basel Day 4

      May 25, 2022 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      "He was as fresh as is the month of May."
      Geoffrey Chaucer

      We woke up to the news of the Texas school shooting. As a former teacher, a father, and a grandfather, I have no words other than a feeling of deep despair and anger. I was haunted by that notion as I watched every parent on the streets of Basel today. As we made our way over to Basel's Altstadt GrossBasel (Old Town) we paused to watch elementary aged students play a game of Kubb, a game that is a hybrid of bowling and horseshoes. I loved watching the collective joy of the students engaged in this competition, and I couldn't help but think of students deprived of that joy and future promise. I hope that we figure out a better solution soon. Kids deserve to get to be kids.

      We took the time to tour the Basler Munster, a historical and strking sandstone cathedral that was once Catholic and ultimately became a Reformed Protestant Church. The church was originally built in the early 11th century and it was destroyed in an earthquake about three hundred years later. There were several modifications of architecture and style over the centuries.

      It was fascinating to tour the crypt and see the remains of the original cathedral with an integrated multimedia production that outlined the timeline of events in the church and society at the time.

      Among the famous people buried in the cathedral was Queen Anne of Habsburg and her son Charles; Erasmus, a Catholic priest whose writings has great influence on the Reformation movement; and Jacob Bernoulli, a mathematician known for his contributions to calculus.

      In the 1500's many of the paintings and statues of the original church were destroyed in rebellions against what was viewed by Reformists as idol worship. In the 1850's New stained-glass windows were installed. They were quite beautiful, particularly in the light of this sunny day.

      I've been meaning to share about one of the prominent icons that we have seen all over the city. At first I thought they were dragons, but we learned that they were instead the baselisk, In medieval animal books, basilisks are often depicted as hybrid creatures with the torso of and head of a rooster, and the abdomen of snake. A basilisk's gaze petrifies or kills. Its breath is deadly poisonous. The legend in Basel was that a jet black rooster laid an egg the size of the rooster and the townspeople must destroy it to save themselves from the hatching of the baselisk. The basilisk has remained an important symbol of Basel over the last five hundred years, and is now depicted carrying the town shield and coat of arms. Harry Potter fans might also recognize the reference to basilisks.

      After this visit, we took the light rail to see if we could locate where our river cruise ship was moored. We found it, and we learned that we would be able to board early although our cabin wasn't due to be ready for hours. We returned back to our hotel to retrieve our backpacks, and we made our way back to our boat.

      For the remainder of May (thus, my chosen Chaucer quote), we will be aboard Riviera Cruise Lines' MS Geoffrey Chaucer as we make our way up the Rhine from Basel to Köln, Germany. This boat is beautiful and new; it was commissioned in 2020 and Covid limited its use over the last two years.

      For the first several hours, we were the only passengers on the boat, and our room was readied for us early. The staff have all been very lovely and welcoming.

      We settled into our cabin, Room 222, with visions of the old TV show in our heads. We had a nice nap in our cabin and we then relaxed in the lounge and on the deck. We learned that there will be about 94 passengers on the ship, At first glance at our fellow passengers, it appears that we are on the younger side of the spectrum. Most of the passengers appear to be from the UK. I imagine that we'll have plenty of opportunities to meet them over the next week.

      We enjoyed a great dinner, and then we attended an obligatory safety briefing and an overview of our itinerary tomorrow. We feel very fortunate to have this experience. 💞
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    • Day 1

      En france

      April 18, 2022 in France ⋅ 🌬 50 °C

      Currently I am in France. Luckily we are travelling with approximately 300kmh (186 mph for the american fellows). That means we're soon away again. We try to speak as little french as possible, due to the fact that all this is an english language stay.Read more

    • Day 1

      Basel und Emil

      October 5, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Heute hat uns der Wecker bereits um 4 Uhr aus den Betten geholt; so können wir also über einen richtig langen ersten Urlaubstag berichten. Berlin hat sich mit einem unangenehmen Landregen von uns verabschiedet, die Anreise zum Hauptbahnhof verläuft jedoch unproblematisch und unser ICE steht bei unserem Eintreffen schon einladend am Bahnsteig. Nachdem Räder und Gepäck gut verstaut sind, haben in den folgenden 8 Stunden nur die Kaumuskeln was zu tun, um sich intervallweise durch den üppigen Proviantberg zu kämpfen. Mit Lesen, Rätseln und "einfach nur sitzen" vergeht die Zeit rasch und gegen 14 Uhr erreichen wir Basel. Der Weg zum Hotel geht durch die schöne Innenstadt mit Überquerung des Rheins. Am Hotelempfang erhalten wir außer dem Zimmerschlüssel noch Tickets, mit denen wir kostenlos die öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel nutzen können. So stürzen wir uns in das bunte Straßenbahngewimmel und fahren zunächst zum Theater, um Karten für die Abendveranstaltung zu erwerben. Dann schlendern wir durch die hübschen Gassen und erfreuen uns an vielen hochwertig restaurierten alten Gebäuden. Schließlich holt uns das Berliner Schmuddelwetter ein und wir beschließen ein Ruhepäuschen im Hotel, bevor wir zum Theater aufbrechen. Es erwartet uns ein Kabarettabend mit Emil, der uns im Fernsehen und auf Schallplatte bereits vor über 30 Jahren erfreut hat. Hier in seiner Heimat spricht er Schwyzerdeutsch; das ist für unsere Ohren schwierig, man hört sich ein bisschen ein, Rüdiger mehr und ich weniger. Jetzt gibt es noch ein gepflegtes Glas Wein und dann wird das Licht gelöscht.Read more

    • Day 62

      Floating along in Basel

      July 21 in Switzerland ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      Today we woke up, packed up our stuff and headed for a coffee at the much talked about Olives for a morning coffee. Olives was this small but cute little cafe that Liisa found and seems to be the biggest fan of. I enjoyed the coffee but Liisa and Kate later revealed they werent the biggest fans.
      We then drove to Basel to meet Giulia! The drive was fine but the city driving and finding parking was a nightmare. We made it after some stressful moments for ol Georgia and then we walked to Giuls house. It was so great to see her! Her apartment was so nice and spacious. She had made brunch for us and we all sat and chatted. Next we walked through the town, seeing all the nice buildings and headed along the river. We then packed all our stuff into a wet bag and jumped into the Rhine. We floated along for about 30 minutes which is something the locals regularly do. It was so cool to see the town by water and the temperature was actually so nice.
      We dried off, then got a gelato which was delicious. We all walked back to Giuls house, then I stayed with Giuls while the others headed to check in and explore. Giuls and I caught up some more, watched some trash tv and she cooked dinner for me. It was a lovely chill afternoon. Then I got back to the apartment and played bananagrams with the girls. It sounded like they had a great day too!
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    • Day 112

      #27 Eurovelo 6 bis Basel

      August 20, 2022 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Mit einem letzten Blick auf die Loire in Digoin verabschiedeten wir uns von dem Fluss. Fortan folgten wir der europäischen Fernradroute Eurovelo 6, die sich vom Atlantik bis zum Schwarzen Meer erstreckt.

      Für die restlichen 500 Kilometer durch Frankreich strampelten wir unter anderem durchs Burgund, schöne Städte wie Dole, Benonceaux oder Chalon-sur-Saône inklusive. Unser Hauptfluss war der Doubs, der sich von bereits herbstlich gebräunten Hügeln und Steilklippen umgeben durch den französischen Osten Richtung Rhein schlängelt.

      Mittlerweile hatten wir unser erstes Gewitter im Zelt verbracht - und überlebt -, des Öfteren die 100 Kilometer-Marke überschritten und folglich auch mal den ein oder anderen Ruhetag eingelegt. Weiterhin kamen wir zudem ohne größere Beschwerden aus und auch die teils müden Beine erholten sich über Nacht wieder ganz gut. Die fehlenden Steigungen halfen hier natürlich auch mit.

      Kurz vor Basel sahen wir dann erstmals den Rhein. Allerdings nicht den braun-dreckigen Rhein, den man unter anderem aus Köln kennt. Vielmehr den blau-grünen Rhein, der noch eher erkennen lässt, dass sein Ursprung in den Schweizer Alpen liegt. Und dann hieß es schon wieder Abschied nehmen: Adieu Frankreich, Grüezi Schwiz. Und Deutschland war plötzlich auch wieder ganz nah am Dreiländereck.

      Zuletzt noch ein Blick auf die Zahlen: 1.300 Kilometer, 16 Fahrtage, zwei Ruhetage, 1.342 Croissants, vier halbwegs stabile Sitzknochen, null platte Reifen.
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    • Day 27

      Basel/Weil am Rhein

      August 27, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      und wieder ein Tag mit neuen Geographie Erkenntnissen. Heute nochmal die Schweiz durchfahren und befinden uns jetzt im Dreiländereck D/CH/F direkt an der Grenze in Weil. Hochsommerliches Wetter veranlasst die Bevölkerung sich mit einem Schwimmsack den Rheinabwärts treiben zu lassen. In der Innenstadt geht man dann an Land und geniesst das Wetter bei einem erfrischenden Drink.Read more

    • Day 11

      Day in Basel, Switzerland

      September 11 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Today, in Basel, we walked around the old city using an app with a feature where it would bring up an audio recording whenever you walked past a significant sight on the walking route. Following that we spent the afternoon at the Basel Zoo. It’s not located far from our hotel and we were given a free transit pass by our hotel that we can use for all public transit, including to the airport tomorrow. The Basel Zoo has a very impressive collection of animals in well designed enclosures. We saw all kinds of wildlife including rhinos, a lion, a silverback gorilla, hippos, giraffes, zebras … monkeys, chimps, orangutans.

      Not going out for dinner today. Found a good little grocer near the hotel and bought salads. Also bought a beer for later tonight in our comfy hotel room! We did go for an added little walk to see the city Rathaus after we finished our dinners. Really enjoyed exploring the Old City of Basel.
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    • Day 372

      Frankreich - wir sind wieder unterwegs

      October 23 in France ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Auf geht's nach Spanien..... Erstmal 😊 aktuell sind wir in Frankreich, genauer in Hirtzbach. Ein nettes kleines Örtchen, das zum übernachten einlädt.
      Nach ein paar Wochen, die wir beschäftigt waren mit umpacken, Geburtstage feiern, "ich hätte noch dies für euch zu tun" und "ach, könntet ihr noch? " und "sehen wir uns noch?" sind wir heute wieder losgefahren um weiter unsere Auszeit zu nutzen 🥳.
      Wir wollen Weihnachten in Portugal sein, dem Winter im Allgäu entgehen und unseren Teint nachbräunen. Hat er doch in Skandinavien etwas nachgelassen 😂.
      Viel Plan (wohin, was, etc.) haben wir wieder nicht. Ist aber nicht genau das, was das Ganze spannend und abwechslungsreich macht?
      Wir sind gespannt, ob es in Spanien wirklich so "voll" ist, wie es uns mehrfach prophezeit wurde?! Ach, irgendwo wird es schon ein freies und nicht so überlaufenes Plätzchen dann geben..
      Jetzt genießen wir erstmal, dass wir wieder unterwegs sind 🥳. Wir freuen uns 🎈
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    • Day 1,340

      Die wohl schönsten (Marmor-) Sanitär

      November 17 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      anlagen ever ....MIT einer Industriellen Geschirrwaschmaschine ... Wellness für meine Teller und Pfannen im Kurort. Vielleicht jag ich mir dieser Tage auch noch eine Massage und ein Mineralbad, damit ich so schön glänze wie mein Geschirr 🧏🏽Read more

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    Arrondissement de Mulhouse

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