Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
Trip End Apr 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Aunty Erika's!

Flag of Switzerland  , Basel,
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

EasyJet flew us in from Rome and after a bit of a delay we arrived in Basel at about 4pm. My Aunty Erika surprised us by meeting us at the Airport which was really nice – I love familiar faces! We caught the bus and tram to her place in Binningen and had a light dinner, chatted and watched telly. We were in 'my' old room that Lucy and I had last time - it was really nice to be somewhere familiar!

Whenever I’m in Basel I seem to sleep heaps, maybe because I know where I am, it feels safe and familiar and I relax properly. So we slept in and when I got up Erika and I spoke to Dad on Skype for a while. Erika cooked us some lunch and then Megg and I went into Basel City to wander around. We walked over the main bridge and watched people swimming in the river, walked through Marktplatz, along Friersrasse, through Baerfusserplatz, saw the cathedral – the Munster, sat behind the cathedral overlooking the river, and Megg bought a pair of boots. We spent the evening with Erika, chatting and watching TV, and I surfed the net looking for ski work.

Again, I slept forever (maybe it’s the Swiss air?)and Megg Skyped home. Erika cooked us a really yum lunch - fish with potatoes and spinach. Erika used to work at the Basel Zoo and had some free passes, so the three of us went and spent the afternoon there. After that we all went to my Uncle Rolf and Aunty Doris’ for a drink before we went to my cousin Patrick and his wife Barbra’s place for dinner. My other cousin Franzi was also there and I met Patrick and Barbara’s 2 year old daughter, Cheyenne, for the 1st time. It was really good to catch up with everyone and Patrick and Barbara speak perfect English so even Megg had a good time!

I really can’t remember what we did on the Saturday, so I’m guessing it wasn’t much… We did catch the tram to the train station to find out about buying Eurail passes but that’s about all I can remember off the day. Megg and I cooked dinner – sweet and sour chicken, and we went to out to the ‘discotheque’ with Franzi. Now that was interesting! We were in a pretty big club, and it turned out they were having a ‘Goodbye Summer’ party, so for most of the night they played oompa loompa German songs about summer and winter. Everyone was singing along, linking arms and making conga lines! Sorry Dad, but the Swiss just keep confirming my belief in how daggy they are – of course you are excluded because you are also a trendy Australian ;) It was also different because ‘responsible serving of alcohol’ doesn’t seem to exist – there was a beer vending machine in the venue and girls walking around free-pouring vodka down anyone’s throat who wanted it..

We spent Sunday afternoon at another cousin’s (Daniella) place for afternoon tea with her husband and 3 girls – Rahel, Anina and Leiana. They have a really nice house with a beautiful view of green rolling hills.. we ended up staying for dinner – spaghetti!

Megg and I planned to go to Interlaken and see the mountains the next day, but we unluckily landed a man at the train station ticket desk who knew nothing about Eurail passes. We knew that Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg are classified as 1 country when it comes to Eurail, but he didn’t believe us and said we were going to have to buy a more expensive pass. We knew we were right, so had to wait 40 minutes for an internet café to open so we could print proof off the Eurail website. Then we had to wait another ˝ hour to show the ticket man! He eventually sold us the right pass, but it was too late to go to Interlaken. We went into the city again and wandered around, took some photos, and I got 2 pairs of jeans for 50 francs (the lady stuffed up – they should have been 80 francs.. hehe!). We ate klopfers for lunch – my very favorite Swiss sausage YUM!! In the arvo we went on the little boat across the Rheine, watched a DVD with Erika, and she cooked us Raclette - a Swiss cheese dish that’s way more yum than Fondue.

The next morning we made it to Interlaken! We got there, grabbed some lunch, and then caught train the Grindelwald, which is a bit higher up. Then we caught a gondola and hiked back down for 2.5 hrs. We had almost perfect weather (it was a little hazy) but there were heaps of para-gliders, cows with bells etc.. We were going to go via Lucern on the way home, but we would have got home too late, so we headed back to Basel to find dinner ready for us – I love staying with people!!! Spent the rest of the evening looking for work and then had an early night before heading to Gossau in the morning!
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