Quick Stop In Basel

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Basel is Switzerland's third most populous city... Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany. Located in northwest Switzerland on the river Rhine, Basel functions as a major industrial centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The Basel region, culturally extending into German Baden-Württemberg and French Alsace, reflects the heritage of its three states in the modern Latin name: Regio TriRhena.

-- WikiTravel

On my trip from Metz to Geneva, I had an hour layover in Basel so I decided to walk to the old portion of the town and check it out real quick. It turned out to be a truly a 'real quick' experience as my inbound train got in late and I had about 45 minutes instead of the full hour.

I got a pretty good free map from the tourist info office at the train station (it also had free WiFi but I did not try to use it). From the station, I walked through Herbert-Mayr Park , down Elisabethenstrasse past the cathedral to the Marketplaz - the center of the old town. Some of the streets around Marketplatz are pedestrian only and were filled with people. It was interesting to see the signs and street names in German while the majority of people around me were speaking French.

I did not have much time left so I quickly snapped a few pictures, refilled my water bottle at one of the drinking fountains (which are plentiful in Switzerland, unlike the other countries so far), and started heading back to the station. Unfortunately, I did not have time to stroll through the side streets, some of which looked very enticing with the cool old buildings and steep-grade cobblestone roads.

Speedwalking, I got back to the train station with just a few minutes to spare. Basel must be a pretty big transportation hub since the station had close to 40 tracks and my trip from Zurich to Frankfurtlater in the week will also go through Basel. There were two trains departing around my time and I was a bit confused on which one to get on, but figured it out just in time to grab some food and get on before it left.

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TraveldimaEurope, Switzerland