Published: August 21st 2012August 18th 2012
Today is the last day in Europe and we are spending it in Basel. I've really come to love this city. I appreciate the cleanliness, efficiency, and safety. Basel is very expensive, but Switzerland's minimum wage is 25 CHF/hour. Swizterland definitely has something good going for it. I'm glad Michael's parents live in Basel as opposed to Paris.
I don't think I've mentioned it, but Basel is famous for its fountains. There are a total of 202 fountains in the city, and you can drink from every one! You must drink from where the water is streaming (not where it is pooling, dogs drink in there/animals). Again, I love the cleanliness of Basel where I can drink not just straight from the tap, but from the fountains!
So, after Michael and I woke up we went shopping for a little while. We had some clothes to return to H&M that we bought in anticipation of our baggage being lost for more days. We also went into Zara, where I got a cute dress and there was quite a price difference between Paris and Basel. But, this Zara had a clearance section so I got this green lace dress for 30 CHF. We also went for lunch at a place that had savory crepes. They were divine!
It was still very hot in Basel on Saturday. There is pratically no air conditioning in Europe. There is air conditioning in some businesses and very rarely in private homes. I think Michael's parents might be getting air conditioning soon anyhow. So, we finally went swimming in the Rhine.
They sell these fish bags that inflate when you close them so you can use them as a floation device/hold your dry clothes/towel. Everyone has a fish bag.
When we first entered the Rhine, there were rocks everywhere on the ground-not sand and they were very slippery. Michael's mom was trying to get photos of us, but I kept slipping and falling. The water was colder than Lake Erie would be right now, but it's very refreshing. So, when you are swimming in the Rhine, you want to get into the current that takes you downstream so you can just float as oppose to swim. Well, I was much more buoyant than Michael and was drifting away further and further so we tried to get out sooner than later. It was very hard to swim against the current to get back to shore. I honestly was afraid I'd end up in France. It was an experience and even though you are mostly floating in the water, you still need to know how to swim.
After our Rhine River excurision, I passed out for a couple hours before the FC Basel game (Soccer). It was so much fun. I already had a FC Basel jersey from Michael's dad. (His company Novartis is FC Basel's chief sponsor) Michael got a new jersey and the game was great. FC Basel won 2-0. The fan section was crazy--it was a mass of flesh (men with no shirts on), lighting flares, waving flags, and singing songs. It was a great experience.
Tomorrow we return home to the USA, and I only pray that we don't have any issues with our trip.
See you soon,