Thursday, June 9, 2011

Basel and Mulhouse

I've been meaning to write a post about my trip to Basel for a month now, my goodness time flies.  Ludwig's sister Hanne lives and Basel and we have been meaning to visit her for a while, but with all the interviews and other random events it took us a while to get to Switzerland.

It took us about 4 hours to get to Basel and it was a complicated route.  We had to avoid going through Austira, even though it is faster, becaus you have to buy a special toll pass ahead of time and the distance itself is not long enough to be worth the purchase of this pass.  I am so used to driving in USA in a straight line, granted I drove mostly in Colorado and Texas, I have no comment about other states, but boy oh boy European driving is insane.
First, lets talk about the 'Autobahn', yeah you can go as fast as you want, but not everywhere, they do have speed limit zones, and lots of construction and you obviously you cannot go fast there with your tuned Benz.  I would say that the roads themselves in Germany are petty nice quality but they cannot support the concentrated flow of daily traffic.  If there is an accident you can be stuck in it for hours, sometimes days, at least it feels that way.  It is fun to see those supper fancy fast cars pass you in the left lane going 155mi/h but at the same time it feels very dangerous since many times there is only two lanes and there is not a lot of space to move away from non defensive drivers.  Okay, I got that off my chest, and maybe Ludwig will have less complaining to hear ;)
Welcome dinner!!!  Hanne is an amazing cook :)
Hanne in front of her apartment.

Switzerland has one of the best public transit systems, so convenient.

The train station!

So sunny!  I really enjoyed Basel, it was amazing to hear sales people go back and forth between English, French and German with such ease.  One day I will speak day.
We bought cheese from an actual Frenchman who made the cheese himself in France.  I really think I made him slightly uncomfortable with my enthusiasm.
Then it was time for a little break.
Espresso and Crepes :)
Then the weather got greyer and greyer and finally it started to rain.   Of course we forgot our umbrellas at home.

The Rhine.
After getting wet and cold nothing could sound better to me then Swiss cheese fondue!
On Sunday we drove to France.  Hanne says that she often crosses the French border when she bikes on her bike.
Mulhouse, France–so deserted and eerie.  I think I prefer biking of hiking on Sundays because smaller cities or towns are just dead since all the stores are closed.
At certain moments, I felt like we were the only people in Mulhouse.
We ended our French visit the proper way, with wine and lots of food!
Thanks to Hanne for being such a great host!  I loved visiting Switzerland and France :)

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