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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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      Sweet dreams 💖 🧡 💛 💚 💙 💜 🤎 🖤 ✨


      I'm not sure why the travel tracker says France as we we still in Switzerland although this morning France is to the west and Germany to the east.

    • 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 296

      Gegen den Strom

      June 19, 2020 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Immer gemütlich stromaufwärts bewegen wir uns zunächst Richtung Süden an Basel vorbei und dann immer weiter dem Rhein folgend Richtung Osten. Ohne Wind und deutliche Höhenunterschiede gestaltet sich das alles recht gemütlich. Und einen ersten Zeltplatz mit dem neuen Zelt im Freien finden wir direkt am Rheinufer kurz vor Waldshut.Read more

    • Day 3

      Hin und her in Basel

      July 11, 2022 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Morgens steht noch einiges auf dem Plan: wir müssen Lebensmittel einkaufen, ein paar Sachen in der Drogerie besorgen, zur Apotheke und Christians Rezept noch einlösen und auch tanken. Als das alles geschafft ist, fahren wir die A5 wieder Richtung Süden. Nach ca. 1 h Fahrzeit sind wir auch schon in Basel
      Als allererstes müssen wir uns eine Prepaid-Karte fürs Handy besorgen. In einem großen Einkaufszentrum steuern wir den ersten Laden an. Hier gibt es das was wir suchen nicht und werden zur Post um die Ecke geschickt. Die Post bietet allerdings nur Handyverträge, für die man einen Wohnsitz in der Schweiz braucht an und wir werden zu einem anderen Laden im Einkaufszentrum geschickt. Auch hier kann man mit Prepaid nichts wirklich anfangen und wir ziehen wieder ab. Als letzten Versuch steuern wir den 3. Handyladen an und es klappt endlich. Für 40 Fr bekommen wir eine Karte, die für unseren Aufenthalt reichen sollte. Das wäre schon mal geschafft.
      Als nächstes geht es zu dem einzigen ausgewiesenen Wohnmobil-Stellplätzen in Basel. Einen zentrumsnahen Campingplatz gibt es nicht. Die Sage und Schreibe 7 Stellplätze sind natürlich alle belegt. Alle anderen Stellplätze sind als Anwohnerparkplätze ausgewiesen bzw. haben eine Parkhöchstdauer von 1h. Also fahren wir weiter. Ziel ist ein Campingplatz im kleinen Erlach am Bieler See, der zwar ziemlich teuer, aber dafür super ausgestattet ist.
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      Ohje... welch ein Heckmeck im Urlaub. Hoffentlich wird der morgige Tag weniger stressig.


      So einen Tag haben wir ja immer mal wieder... gehört dazu🤷🏼‍♀️



      3 more comments
    • Day 5


      September 25, 2021 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Basel je ogromen. Meji na Francijo in Nemčijo.Skozi mesto teče reka Ren, ob kateri ne manjka dogajanja. Ljudje se dejanako kopajo, ladije prevažajo turiste in ob reki mrgoli ljudi. Sprehodima se od glavne železniške postaje do starega mesta Basla. Prečkama reko, ter se sprehodima ob njej. Čas zapravljama mes pohajkovanjem med ulicami in doživljama mestni vrvež.
      Basel ni nič kaj poseben, a hkrati ima nek poseben čar.
      Mesto je polno, dogaja, ljudje, tržnica itd....

      Med ulicami najdema majhno restavracijo z Azijsko hrano, kjer si privoščima pečene rezance s piščancem. Bilo je odlično!

      Počasi se bliža ura najinega odhoda. Ob 18:06 imama vlak za Zürich. Zato se pocasi napotima do železniške postaje, kjer se 20 minut predčasno usedema na vlak in utrujena počakama na odhod.
      Cca 1 uro naju loči do Züricha.
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    • Day 2

      Dessert Wine in France

      March 4 in France ⋅ 🌙 1 °C

      To top it all off we finished our three countries tour in France stumbling across a bar which had a great live music. The Zebra of France (reference to a band that play in our local Mags).

      Once they’d finished we then walked the 200 metres across the the bridge into Germany and then the next 100 metres across the border into Switzerland, then it was the number 8 tram back to Basel.Read more


      Great set of pics

    • Day 3

      Basel, Switzerland

      June 26, 2020 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

      normally i would spent some time here but i decided not to - you know, covid… but i had to pass by to get a short glimpse of one of my favorite placecs here: kaserne. the basler kaserene is a building erected in basel in 1863. today it is a cultural center for the independent theater, dance and performance scene as well as for concerts in the field of popular music. its own productions and guest performances take place in three event rooms for a total of 1700 visitors, and kaserne supports young artists. the operation is supported by the «verein kulturwerkstatt kaserne» and receives state subsidies. pubs (restaurants, bars) are connected.
      so next time, when everybody is vaccinated: kaserne!!!
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    • Day 2

      Weil am Rhein

      July 4, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Ce matin réveil en France au bord du Rhin, la journée passée à Bâle en Suisse et le couché en Allemagne. Pourquoi?
      Bâle est située aux trois frontières et la vie est extrêmement chère en Suisse. Ce midi deux sandwichs avec un Pepsi nous a coûté 30 € à Subway. Une nuit en camping pour un camping-car nous coûtera de 30 à 70 €, alors qu'à la frontière en France comme en Allemagne nous pouvons passer la nuit gratuitement confortablement installés.Read more

    • Day 1


      October 12, 2022 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Unsere Reise beginnt mit der Zugfahrt von Buchs nach Basel. Treffpunkt ist nach dem Mittagessen beim Meretplatz. Wir werden in einem komfortablen Bus nach Saarbrücken chauffiert. Das Wetter wird immer besser. Ein paar Sonnenstrahlen machen's wärmer und freundlicher. Saarbrücken strahlt im schönsten Herbstkleid. Nach einer kurzen Stadtrundfahrt werden wir auf der Thurgau Casanova mit einem Apero empfangen. Bald schon heisst es Leinen los und das Flussabenteuer beginnt.Read more

    • Day 1

      Haltingerstrasse, Basel, Switzerland

      June 24, 2020 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      covid changes a lot of things… for example where to stay. normally i stay at my old friends, let’s say my old „peer group“ 🤪. they own a big house together as a house community. but this time i thought it would be too crowded, so i rented an apartment over airbnb. it‘s a stroke of luck in the middle of the city with a great balcony and, hold on tight, an eurasian jay!Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Haltingen, Q743975

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