Our little French town, Mulhouse, is very conveniently situated close to the French border with Switzerland and its third largest city, Basel. We’ve lived in Mulhouse for almost a year now and we’ve never visited Basel somehow; we drove to the city, we went to some specific places, but we never visited the city centre. Since our time in Mulhouse was at its end, we (B and I) decided to spend an afternoon in Basel before leaving this area.
Basel, a city between three cultures, French, German and Swiss, combines all the best of all of them. The architecture of the old town showcases the typical style of the area, with bright coloured houses, cobblestone streets and colourful rooftops. At the same time, it is a modern city, an important port, as well as an industrial centre, especially with its pharmaceutical companies. It also represents a city with one of the best living standards around the world.
We didn’t have any specific plan for this trip – we just took a short train ride and went for a walk around the city. One of the landmarks we visited was the Basel Münster, an early Gothic cathedral made out of red sandstone. It is a truly beautiful cathedral, and a symbol of the city. Laying on the riverside, the cathedral is surrounded by a park, where you can chill in the shade of the trees on a hot summer day. Many other attractions are in the area as well, such as museums, and a some important historical buildings, like Wildt’sches Haus on Petersplatz.
After a turn around the cathedral and the vibrant old town, we descended to the riverside (the cathedral is on a little hill), and took a walk next to the river. You can spot some street players on the quay, and if you go on the opposite side of where the old town is, you will have a fantastic view over it. At the same time, the riverside is perfect for chilling or having a coffee and a brownie in one of the cafés (I plead guilty).
I wish we had had more time to visit all the museums, but even without those visits, we still had nice time in Basel. All in all, it was a brief, but relaxed afternoon, with time spent mostly in walking around, taking pictures, enjoying sights and delicious brownies. And who knows, maybe like this Basel will be yet another reason to return to Alsace and our lovely town, Mulhouse.