We travelled by train to Schiphol and then caught the flight to Basel/Mulhouse. Basel shares an airport with Mulhouse in France and Frieburg in Germany. The airport is physically in France. There used to be two separate exits – one for Switzerland an done for France/Germany. However, there was no Swiss customs exit, as everything was treated as a domestic flight even going into Switzerland. Peter had last been to Basel 10 years ago to visit his Godmother Lily and her husband Peter, as part of his two months in Europe. This time we had only a few days there, as our trip was much shorter.
Basel is the main pharmaceutical and chemical centre of Switzerland, and has the largest container port, as it has a port on the Rhine which can transport cargo to the North Sea. The oldest university in Switzerland is also located in Basel.
We visited the Fondation Beyeler Art gallery which had a Degas exhibit. The building itself was very modern and had some interesting shrub sculptures on the main grounds.
We visited other sites in the downtown section of Basel, which included the main cathedral of Basel, the surrounding plaza, the old city hall area, and walked along the banks of the Rhine. We had lunch along the riverbank and enjoyed the autumn weather. We were also thoroughly well fed and watered by the Waeckerlins every evening, including a raclette dinner. This consisted of warming a half ring of cheese under a heat lamp type cooking apparatus, scraping the layer off once it was melted, and then eating it with vegetables. This combined with various alcoholic beverages produced a strange effect the next morning – pepto bismol to the rescue.