Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Trip Report - Our Big Trip - August 1st to 3rd, 2014 - San Diego to Basel

I was all excited when I saw my airline ticket said "Stephanie Meyer, World Traveller" because I thought it was a compliment.  Unfortunately, 'World Traveller" is just a polite way of saying "Lowest Tourist Class" and conveys no benefits.

We flew from San Diego to Heathrow, then to Euro Airport, which is actually in France, not Switzerland. Different airport exits will take you to different countries. We took the exit to Basel, and found that we could take public transportation free since we had verified hotel reservations. We took the bus to Badisher Bahnhof (train station), and then a tram to the Marktplatz stop and then walked to the Hotel Basel. It was nearly midnight, but I was impressed by how well the transit system worked.

A tram station at midnight

Our hotel was billed as a 'gastronomic' hotel, and the breakfast buffet lived up to the description.

Just some of the many cheeses that were on offer.

We had some free time in Basel before boarding the ship for the Rhine cruise, and one of the hotel staff suggested we take the free "Panorama" tour of the City on the city trams.  After that we walked along the Rhine between the Mittlere Bridge and the Weltstein Bridge. There was a city-wide music festival going on in August, and apparently they expected some quaffing to be going on.

Portable mens' room. Where are the facilities for the women?

So much to see, so little time. 

Tourists by a model of the Old City. Minster Cathedral in background. I didn't notice this until Harry pointed it out, but if you look very closely, you can see  tiny dots in the water to the left of the tourists. These dots are swimmers - first they swim briskly upriver, then let the current take them downriver to their starting point!
Minster Cathedral from the river.
A restaurant window.

At first glance this looks like a classic statue, then you see the suitcase.

We had planned part of the trip with the help of a travel agent, and she had called us just before we left to tell us that, because of high water the ship could not go under the bridges to Basel, so we would have to board in Breisach, Germany. The cruise company sent a bus to the original docking place to take us to the ship.  Finally we reach our ship, the Marie Antoinette, have one of many wonderful meals, unpack, and look forward to the next day.

The spa.
First view of our stateroom. 

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