Thursday 27th: To Basel
This morning we disembarked from the Crystal Debussy after a light breakfast. Our ten days on board had been delightful and we could not fault any aspect of the cruise. Another one looks highly likely!
The flight to Basel was very comfortable in first class and we arrived at lunch time. We had booked a different hotel from the others, the Nomad Lifestyle and Design Hotel, which was very modern and funky. We did not want to waste any time seeing Basel so set out on foot for the centre.
We soon came to the Basel Minster, one of the city’s landmarks started in 1019. It is a huge red sandstone structure with two slim towers and coloured roof tiles. From the cloisters there were very good views across the Rhine River. For some strange reason, we decided to do the climb up the tower. The climb was interesting but, when we stepped out onto the extremely narrow balcony at the first level, that was enough for me! I quickly backed into the doorway and waited by the huge bell for Heather to take some photos outside. I believe the views of Basel in all directions were quite spectacular but I must rely on the photos for that.
Further along we passed some very old and quaint timbered houses and then entered the large market square with its richly decorated red sandstone Rathaus or town hall. Inside the main entrance the beautiful courtyard displayed wall paintings restored from 1608 originals. We continued along the main street and, as it was getting late, we looked for somewhere to eat and drink. This proved difficult and we ended back in the large Munsterplatz.
Beth had booked tickets for us to the Illuminarium show which was to take place in the inner courtyard of the Museum der Kulturen at the far end of the Munsterplatz. Although it was 90 minutes away, we saw people queueing so decided to investigate. There happened to be an early session which suited us very well so we entered the courtyard and found a seat on a wall. The show was described as “an enchanting winter wonderland of light, illumination, illusion and music”. The light show was performed to Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” and was an interesting way to spend an hour.
After, we headed straight back to the hotel and their bistro downstairs where we enjoyed a pleasant meal.