We had escaped the grey clouds and drizzle of Schaffhausen. Paula and I got on the train early Saturday morning and headed to Basel…
I could feel the energy as soon as I stepped off the train. We headed for the green trams and climbed on the Number 6. The city seemed more spread out than Zurich and the cobblestone streets were everywhere, not just in the “Old Town.” The buildings had charm and color. Some of the architecture and colors reminded me of Glasgow while others held the Swiss charm of a small town on the Rheine. Across from the old town hall there was a Farmer’s Market with fresh honey, herbs, veggies and fruits. We wandered into the bright red town hall and lost ourselves in the arch ways and medieval pictures on the walls.
Afterwards, our feet hit the streets and we weaved in and out of shops, perhaps searching for the perfect pair of shoes — which I found many to be purchased at a later date, although I did get away with one — or just having the comfort of knowing the possibility of their existence. The streets were crowded and alive with music and conversations. Buskers played harmonicas, keyboards, violins and oboes. French. German. Italian. English. Located on the Rheine within the triangle of France, Germany and Switzerland. This was an international city.
This is where I wanted to live. We wracked our brains with a commuters schedule. Although this was not possible with an American passport, we thought Paula could do it on an EU passport. But we later learned: we get paid in Schaffhausen, we work in Schaffhausen, we must live in Schaffhausen. Shaffhausen it is for us.
After a visit to the tourist Centre, stuffing pamplets into our palms, we separated for a bit. While Paula resumed with her shopping, I wandered up the stairs near the St. Elizabeth cathedral on the hill, passing by fountain squirting water from bicycle wheels and other old metal objects. I seated myself next to a wall that had been plastered with plates, tea pots, bowls, and other various forms of china. I became facinated with it and inbetween reading L’Amande, I daydreamed about being one of the individuals that plastered the wall with their ideas, their vision. Basel housed the very first public collection of artwork in Europe over 300 years ago. There is a lot of art going on in this town, taking various forms. Theatre. Paintings. Sculpture. Music.
We chose a resturaunt near the river in the old town for the end of our days’ adventure. Map in hand, we found ourselves on another journey up and down stairs, past cute balcony apartments on the water, and up steep hills leading to the university area. More archways in a red stone cathedral on the edge of another hill overlooking the Rheine. Dark tree skeletons, leaves already yellowing and floating through the air to eventually find their resting place on the ground. I wanted to feel the crisp leafy blankets crackle beneath my feet and sit down on a bench to lose myself in a book. But there was a train to catch after dinner and our stomachs were beginning to rumble in anticipation of a late meal.
I leave the story here without the ending which involved more frustration at living in a small, cute town on the Rheine where the last train home is earlier that you’d even decide to leave for a night out.
Check out the pictures!