Fünf Fotos-Basel Day 2May 23 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 19 °C
"Today is Monday. If you don't know that the whole system might fall apart. " This was a leading quote on a wall art installation by a 32 year-old Swiss artist named Yoan Mudry that we noticed on our walk back to the hotel this evening. http://yoanmudry.com/) For the last quarter-century Kunsthalle has been commissioning art installations. Mudry's work was clever and provocative. A number of pieces caused a few laugh out loud moments for us while others were a bit more sobering.
I am finding the combination of retirement and vacation as causing the abstraction of what Monday meant to me for decades of school and work. I do hope that my lack of orientation will not disrupt the system. 😆 On second thought, perhaps we would all be better off with a disruption.
We launched the day after a light breakfast at the hotel with a river walk along the Rhine. Jim C proposed that we do it earlier in the day as the air was quite muggy, and hadn't yet begun to heat up. Initially, we thought we would walk up the river a bit and then cross the bridge to Altstadt GrossBasel (Old Town).
We decided instead to stroll to a outcropping on the river where the borders of Switzerland,Germany,and France meet known as the Dreiländereck. On the way, we passed several moored river cruise ships including one from the company that will be hosting our Rhine cruise on Wednesday. It was pretty fun to see the boat up close and to dream about our upcoming adventure.
When we arrived at the Dreiländereck, it was pretty fun getting email assurance alerts from my phone service noting my presence in new countries and my continued coverage. While we enjoyed the novelty of standing in the three countries, I want to share an observation from my friend Adin after seeing our FB selfie:
"During my Berlin student days on a summer break, I visited a park where the boundaries of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany intersected.
I recall watching the birds flit from one “nation” to another. That's when I learned the lesson that the powerful fabricate national borders. Schengen's gone a long way towards making them much, much less relevant."
Thank you, Adin. It's a good reminder that there are too many artificial constructs that polarize us.
I want to share a few impressions of Basel that we absolutely love.
First, when we arrived at the hotel last night, we were handed a Basel card that gives us free access on all public transportation. The reduction of car traffic and a well-networked transit system has a clear impact on the carbon footprint as well as just making the city quieter. It was a Monday, and the whole day was tranquil.
Second, we see many examples where something old isn't an abandoned eyesore, but a repurposing of something beautiful. Metal containers became raised bed planters planted with wildflowers along the riverwalk. Another example that we discovered on the way to the Dreiländereck was a temporary use area of all kinds of salvaged structures ranging from old ships to freight containers. While the area is only open on the weekend, it was a marvelous collection of restaurants, lounges and dance venues. There were many creative venues, and I'm sorry that we'll miss seeing them in action.
Third, the city is immaculate. One can sense collective pride and welcoming to locals and visitors alike.
On our return trip we noticed incoming thunderheads and lightning from afar. Rather than retracing our steps, we took the metro back and we stopped at a local bookstore. It was a good thing because the skies let loose with torrents of rain and dramatic bolts of lightning. While many were not prepared for the downpour, I noticed the general amusement of the people who embraced the rain with shrieks of laughter and resignation as they sought shelter. We waited for the rains to subside, grabbed some lunch and shopped for a few shirts before heading back to the hotel. As we were walking back, we noticed a small ferry boat latched to an overhead cable to help navigate a river crossing amidst the swift current.
After a long nap, we headed out to a tiny gay bar and watched the people riding their bikes and walking. We couldn't help notice the number of adults riding bikes with cello cases strapped to their backs as they rode up hill as well as many children with stringed instrument cases who were accompanied by their parents as they walked together to their destinations.
We grabbed a burger and fries at a local restaurant and on the way home after dinner we found the art installation previously mentioned.
Happy Monday! (I'm just doing my part to preserve the system for one more week.) 🤣Read more