Switzerland ~ Murren to Basel, and trying to be a local

July 27th ~ Basel, Switzerland

Tim enjoying our final moments in Murren

Tim enjoying our final moments in Murren

We were leaving behind our high mountain base in Murren where we had hiked in the sunshine, been enveloped with clouds, saw a triple rainbow and climbed amongst underground waterfalls. It somehow felt anti-climatic to walk across the street to get on a train, to then take a tram, to then take two more trains. 

Ahhhh, such is the life of these world travelers 🙂

Not really much to say about this day other than it was a winding down, many transfers, wrapping up, cleaning up, switching gears kind of day.

View from our balcony overlooking the Rhine River in Basel

View from our balcony overlooking the Rhine River in Basel (did you spot the swimmers?)

With an early start, we arrived in Basel in time for lunch. After checking into our hotel with a balcony overlooking the Rhine River, we set out to take care of business – DOING LAUNDRY.

The receptionist at our hotel, The Hotel Merian am Rhein, pointed us in the right direction, and after filling up a backpack and a small laundry bag we hopped on the local tram where we found a laundry facility. They loaded the clothes in the washing machine, said they would put them in the dryer and then when we returned we could fold them ourselves.

That gave us time for a nice local lunch and to wander around in old town for a few minutes before returning.

Other than the main square where we went inside the Basel City Hall we did not really take advantage of seeing any of the sites Basel is known for.

Basel, is the third largest city in Switzerland, following Zurich and Geneva with about 195,000 inhabitants. Located on the Northwestern corner of the country where Switzerland, Germany and France all come together along the mighty Rhine River.

Basel is home to Switzerland’s oldest university, the University of Basel, which dates from 1460. It is considered one of the top 100 universities in the world.

They also have a large pharmaceutical industry with companies such as Novartis, Syngenta, Hoffman-La Roche and Ciba Specialty Chemicals headquartered in Basel.

Perhaps they are not excited by this claim, however:

“On 16 November 1938, the psychedelic drug LSD was first synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel.” ~ Wikipedia

But the City Hall was impressive…

City Hall, Basel

City Hall, Basel

In the late afternoon we once again did as the locals do; walked along the Rhine River. It is a “thing” here to jump in the fairly brisk moving water and float along with a group of your friends.

We enjoyed watching…

The evening was topped off with a fabulous dinner at the restaurant at our hotel, the Café Spitz. It is well known throughout the whole region for its exquisite fish dishes and has received numerous awards. We enjoyed the “Devil Fish”, but the offerings change frequently depending upon what is in season. We both thought is was one of the best fish dishes we had enjoyed in a long time. If you are looking for a fish dinner in Basil, you might want to check this restaurant out.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful to have had a brief moment where I felt like I was living as a local in Switzerland ~ taking the tram, going to a laundromat, eating lunch in an “off the beaten path” restaurant, and walking along the Rhine.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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10 Responses to Switzerland ~ Murren to Basel, and trying to be a local

  1. Sonia Malysz says:

    The Town Hall is truly impressive. I was in Switzerland this June and visited Basel as well. One of my favorite cities, so much history there. Greetings 🙂


    • Sonia, we enjoyed seeing the courtyard as well with the many large paintings. I understand that tours are done on Thursday evenings, but we were there on a different day. Did you float the river?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sonia Malysz says:

        No, no time. I walked around for a day taking some pictures. The courtyard is indeed splendid, although when I was there there was a big crane (folded, and to the side) which was awkwardly in my way to take pictures! I quess one cannot have all the perfect photographic opportunities 😉


  2. I love the idea of being a local, even for a short time. My dad wrote about that and his philosophy of travel…to stay in one spot for a while and really get to know the place as well as people in the area.


    • Bobbi, I am slowly becoming more and more determined that staying longer in one spot is the direction we are headed. There are still so many places yet to see, but I’m starting to think that seeing a few places well may be more enjoyable/meaningful/memorable than seeing a bunch of places on the run.


  3. ShethP says:

    I haven’t visited Basel, but from what I’ve seen of Switzerland, it’s definitely a must-visit country. Beautiful, indeed! And yes, it feels really good to just be a laid back traveler and experience the place for what it truly is. 🙂


  4. We spent a few days in Basel on one of our trips. It was a very liveable city – not as spectacular as some but just so pleasant and we thought the SBB station was very grand! I am just catching up on blog posts – about to follow your journey up the Rhine (I know you’ve now moved on the Ecuador though!). We also stayed in Koblenz for a few days whilst the biannual German Garden Festival, the BUGA was on. It was a complete coincidence but we had a wonderful time strolling amongst the beautiful floral displays. We did a day trip down to Bacarach on the Rhine from Koblenz and walked up to the castle. It really is an idyllic place! Now I’ll head off to read your other posts, best wishes Rosemary, Le Chic En Rose 🙂


    • Hello Rosemary, what a trooper to wade through our older posts 😃 We really loved our time in Switzerland and it has remained one of our favorite journeys. The time spent on the Rhine was more of an indulgence, as Uniworld pampered us along the way. Their service is top notch. I hope you will enjoy revisiting places you have been and that our posts will bring back some wonderful memories for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry that it’s somewhat belated – I do like to read blog posts properly but sometimes just haven’t the time so when I have a bit of spare time I have a big reading session! I have just finished reading them all so am now up to date with you in Ecuador. I do know what you mean by finding a balance as I was amazed at how much blogging on the go you managed to do. Most impressive – I usually take a break apart from posting some photos on social media and write it all up later hence I’m still writing up our April holiday! I have especially loved your Swiss and German posts as they brought back some wonderful memories 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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