Basel slow day

After travel on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, today, Thursday seemed a good day to recoup. And it was raining off and on so we were in no hurry to get outside.

We did a bit more chocolate shopping.

Shopping has been an adventure. Almost everyone speaks some English but not what I would consider fluent. It helps if you can also use a bit of French or Italian. I was worried that Basel would be heavily German-speaking as that is the official language of the canton and it is a 20 minute walk to the German border. However, it is also close to France so speaking French has helped communicate and sometimes, even Italian. I have had some shop attendants rattle off something to me in German and I must look panicked because they then ask what language I speak. My intro German courses have not helped me. One assistant even spoke to me in Japanese.

Back on topic: packing all the chocolate home will be a challenge. We haven’t a large amount but many are in heavy packaging and we don’t want to take them out of their boxes and risk crushing them.

After shopping, we went to the nearby Markthalle, basically a huge food and drink court in a huge covered concrete dome.

There was an electronics store and a big gymnasium/fitness centre in the basement and a slide as well as escalators.

There were ads for events that take place ranging from wine tasting to music to stand up comedy. The food stalls feature foods from across the world. We had some problem trying to read the German only menus and sometimes Google translate was no help.

Scott ordered a seafood salad and I ordered a fish burger. For the latter, 24 Swiss francs seemed pricey but this was after paying 4 Swiss francs for a small bottle of water. Everything seems pricey. Then we got our food and it was not quite what I expected.

The fish was nicely cooked with crisp skin and a good tartar sauce. The vegetables were unexpected but pretty good as well. The price no longer seemed unreasonable. Scott had prawns, octopus and calamari in his salad.

We then did a bit more shopping for boring things like toothpaste and lip balm.

Later we went to one of the few surviving city gates. This one called Spalentor or Spalen Tower is considered the best looking.

We strolled from there to the old city centre, sometimes in fierce wind. Some interesting buildings:

I complained to Scott that we are becoming old geezers as we eat early. It seems preferable to drinking during the time between museum closing and a reservation.

We went to Schlüsselzunft, the oldest guild house in Basel and which remains a guild house but with a restaurant, bistro and bar.


We thought we wanted a lighter dinner so opted for the bistro in the back rather than the restaurant by the front windows.

I ordered veal liver and Scott had chicken Cordon Bleu. So much for lighter dinner.

And we had ice cream and sorbet. Some with whipped cream and both with sauces.

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