“It Cost How Much?”

Well, it’s only taking me multiple months to clue you all in on a week-long trip, but hey, that’s how I roll.  Now is the time for the second leg of our journey: Basel, Switzerland and Strasbourg, France!  I had originally planned to combine the whole of both cities in one post, but it became much longer than anticipated, so I split the two days into two posts.

On Tuesday, we got up early in London, hopped on a bus to the airport, and set out for Basel, Switzerland!  We flew EasyJet, basically the Southwest Airlines of Europe… Although they’re stricter about their carry-on policies.  The flight was relatively quick and I was lucky enough to get window seat.  When we landed, I snagged a combo France/Switzerland passport stamp and then we made our way to the Basel train station.  As we were taking a train from Basel to Strasbourg, it made sense to orient ourselves to the city relative to the station.

Basel, Switzerland

The three of us only had a couple of hours to spend in Basel before our train was set to leave, so Bryant wanted to show Shannon and I a cathedral by the river border of Switzerland and Germany.  On the first part of our walk there, we got some cool pictures of the local buildings and scenery, but we quickly got lost.  Apparently it *is* very easy to get lost in smaller cities.  Even with a map.  The original walk-time was supposed to be twenty minutes… It took us an hour.  Turns out, we only technically made one wrong turn and we could’ve been there in ten minutes.  Bryant’s fault.

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

BUT we managed to make it to the cathedral in one piece, so it all worked out.  Along the way, we did learn just how expensive Switzerland is.  For reference, a foot-long Subway sandwich is 20 USD… Let that sink in.  Luckily, I really only need to buy a map and postcard for my collections.

Overall, Basel was a beautiful city: so many quaint and quiet streets just waiting to have their picture taken.  I also loved that we could look across the river and see Germany… Once we found the river, that is.  Three hours was not much, but it gave us a nice taste of Switzerland.  I do plan on going back one day – preferably when I have more disposable income.

German Border

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

When our time was up, we hopped on the train for Strasbourg!  The three of us managed to grab a group of four seats with the table to ourselves, so I was able to stretch out a little.  I attempted to begin writing some postcards to friends and family, but the sight of the French countryside was too alluring, I could not concentrate.  There was one little hiccup on our journey between the two cities: our train tickets.  We had purchased them ahead of time, but the ticket office and the train attendant told us two different things.  This meant that once we arrived at the Strasbourg station, we had to wait for quite some time to get everything sorted out.  It worked out all right in the end… May have been more easily resolved had any of us been fluent in French.
France
 When that was all settled, we set out west from the train station toward our hotel and the city center itself.  We stayed at Ibis Petite France, which was just outside the central “island” that is the Strasbourg city center.  For our purposes, it was very economical and in a great location.  That first night, after we had checked in to the hotel, we decided to wander a little bit to find dinner and get our bearings.  Our stroll took us over the bridge toward the action and we stopped at a colorful looking pizzeria, not too far from our hotel.  From what we saw on the tables outside, the food looked too good to pass up.  And as we had been going non-stop most of the day, we were famished.  I really enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere of the restaurant and the food was good.
Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France
The meal gave us a small second wind to keep walking around to see the city at night.  We made our way down a main road, Grand Rue, and found the cathedral that Strasbourg is known for.  It was lit up in a beautiful purple light, looking like something right out of a Disney movie.  There also happened to be a cello player in the square, truly taking advantage of the acoustics in the plaza.  The music was beautiful, we just stood there, taking in the beauty of the cathedral and the music at the same time.  After 5, 10, 15 minutes (who knows), we continued our walk, slowly making our way back to the hotel.  The best part about Strasbourg is that the river surrounds the city center, as to help you keep from getting lost.  Doesn’t mean that we didn’t.  We always get lost.  This time, however, we were easily able to correct it… And make notes of places to come back to the next day.
Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France

When the person who’s been to the city before gets you lost…

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