Fünf Fotos-Basel Day 1May 22, 2022 in Switzerland ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C
After one last filling breakfast at IL Segreto de Pietrafetta, we offered a grateful farewell to the staff who really made us feel at home the last ten nights.
Today was mostly a travel day as we needed to get from Firenze to Basel, Switzerland.
Our first leg of the journey was in returning our rental car with the added twist of navigating several street closures in Florence due to some kind of race event.
I think that Jim C was very happy to relinquish the car as he was tasked with being the chauffeur extraordinaire. We walked a few blocks to the station and found our first leg of the travel: a two-hour fast train from Firenze to Milano. We rode coach for this leg of the journey to conserve some Euros. It was a bit crowded, but the trip was smooth and on time. We noticed that most of this segment was through rural northern Italy. It was pleasant, and less dramatic than the Tuscan hills. We arrived in Milano with about a 50-minute layover.
I was really looking forward to this next leg of the trip as the path from Milan to Zurich goes through the Italian Alps and navigates around many beautiful lakes. We had a slight upgrade on this part, and I thought we might have a little more space.
I was dead wrong about that.
We ended up in a set of two pairs if seats facing each other- Jim and I at the window and two younger women whose expressions and body language for the next three hours exuded their displeasure that we were their "neighbors" The woman next to Jim removed a few layers of clothing and juggled some massive shopping bags. My "neighbor" turned her back to me, and the only words she uttered was to ask me to shift so the she had better access to the phone charging outlet. Meanwhile, Jim's new found friend decided to sit sideways in her chair with the delusion that somehow she would contain herself to her seat. I know that I'm giving this way too much energy. We were just taken aback by the experience.
The mountains and lakes really were quite beautiful, and we passed over a bridge with many flags that we surmised was the border crossing.
At one point, an automatic recording flashed on the screen saying that there was a problem with the train and that all passengers would have to disembark. In the midst of the announcement, the screens went dark and there was no further explanation.
About thirty minutes later, we heard announcements in several different languages, and we figured out that there would be a few stops to let other trains pass. When I heard the announcement in different languages, all I could think of was the scene in "Young Frankenstein" where the conductor and passengers repeated the same scene in different languages while Dr. "Frahnkensteen" is traveling to Transylvania.
We arrived about twenty minutes late to Zurich, but we still managed to make our last train to Basel with about ten minutes to spare. This last part of the journey went smoothly, and we appreciated having a row to ourselves. Our train arrived just before 8 p.m. Jim C figured out the light rail train that we needed just outside the train station. It arrived shortly after we reached the stop, and Jim C figured out the nearest stop. As we were looking on our navigation app to find our hotel, Jim looked up and pointed to our hotel about 50 yards from the metro stop.
We checked in to our hotel room and decided to take a walk and find a restaurant. There is an Italian restaurant at the foot of our boutique hotel, but we both agreed that a break from Italian cuisine was a good idea.
We enjoyed a walk over a bridge crossing the Rhine River knowing that we will become much more acquainted with the river later in the week.
Our first impression of Basel is that it is clean and relatively peaceful for a city of 570,000 people. We enjoyed the sedate walk back to our hotel after dinner, and we look forward to exploring the city over the next few days.
Gute Nacht, süße Träume!Read more
Sorry for the ignorance of your fellow passengers!
It was a blip in an otherwise great travel day.
Enjoy Basel! I haven't been but know it as the site of the first Zionist Congress in 1897, a milestone in Jewish history: https://jguideeurope.org/en/region/switzerland/…. This is a famous photo of Herzl, founder of modern Zionism, in Basel: https://bit.ly/3Nu85ZP
With your beard(s), you could re-create that photo ;)
so cool! Thank you for sharing that, Rich.
so amazing what you are experiencing