Chocolate, Knives and Watches

Trip Start Jun 08, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Switzerland  ,
Monday, February 26, 2007

One of the strange things about arriving in Basel is that you have 3 exit options when you are in the airport; you can go through customs to get to Germany, France or Switzerland!  I'm sure it happens elsewhere in the world, but having customs for three countries under the same roof was a first for me.
Anyway, my primary objective in visiting Basel was to see my cousin (Lloyd) and his partner (Jodie).  I think that I can safely say that Basel isn't firmly on the tourist agenda; it's an area based more around commercial opportunity and industry than tourism. It's certainly not all about plush hotels and tourist restaurants, but it's a lovely place to get to know some of the less stereotypical Switzerland, whilst it still possesses a few good reminders that you are actually in Switzerland!  In Basel there's a plethora of watch shops, chocolate shops, some spectacular architecture, plenty of museums and a lovely river
Chocolate - ok, maybe I am a new comer to the world of chocolate beyond Cadbury bars in foil wrap, but apart from the delicious taste and flavours (my favourite being Almond) was the actual presentation of the chocolate.  Basically the shop assistant just breaks a chunk of chocolate from a large sheet, weighs and costs it accordingly.   Yum!  Lloyd and I proved to be from a similar genetic make up eating more than our fair share of chocolate, not to mention all of the great coffee we consumed!
I was determined to see some of the more traditional scenery that Switzerland is renowned for - lakes and mountains. In quest to satisfy my objective I can safely say that I purchased my most expensive train journey ever with a return journey to Interlaken.  At around 50 return each Lloyd and I later figured that we could have hired a new Audi for the day for less than that.  Never mind, Lloyd can't drive at the moment due to a nasty snow boarding accident and I'd be just dangerous driving on the right!
The scenery lived up to expectation and was beautiful.  I don't think that it was anything too different from some of the scenery in New Zealand though.  Some of the views reminded me a bit of the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy on the shore or Wakatipu. Then again we only really touched on the alps so I guess it's a bit premature of me to comment having seen so little.
It's hard to avoid watches in Switzerland - not to mention Swiss army knives and of course....   Chocolate.  Having lost my last Swiss army knife in Mongolia - I purchased a new knife; given I have a very sweet tooth - I sampled plenty of chocolate....  Two out of three isn't bad but I just couldn't leave Switzerland without getting myself a watch to complete the trio!
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agnesnow on

truly awe inspiring
what an amazing trip Susan! I give you big big props for overcoming your hesitations and setting out into the world on your own. I am in the midst of planning a trip to Croatia - thanks for your posts!

bigbigfashion on


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