Basel Travel Diary


Basel Travel DiaryOne of the perks of working in Belgium is the gift of a company car....with free gas in the country. This makes it awfully appealing to fill up the tank, throw on some tunes, and set off on the highway. We had our sights set on the Croatian Coast with about two weeks to make our way through Europe. Brussels to Basel, Switzerland is about a five hour drive. This made it the perfect stop on our journey to visit our sweet friend, Nayra, who had recently made that exact journey, permanently.Basel Travel DiaryWe had a little preview of Basel on Christmas day here, but this second time was golden. We had the best hostess this side of the Atlantic. After the quick jaunt through four countries in an afternoon, we parked at Nayra's house and caught up on some much-needed hugs and squeals. She welcomed us to her Wednesday night Girl's Night with a Swiss-style BBQ...meaning, lots of delicious meats! It was low-keyed and lovely. The next morning we hiked down the side of a nearby mountain (this is Switzerland. those things are everywhere). We made lots of animal friends on the way down. Especially relevant, the animal situation that Switzerland has going on gets five stars from the Montgomerys.Basel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryWe were pretty proud of our hike. That was until about 1.2 days later when we remembered we haven't hiked down a mountain since at least a year ago. Those little muscles in our shins were now consequently awake and mad. Still worth it though, but we're still shaking our heads at why we'd do such a thing the first day of many days of walking around cities.We spent the afternoon walking through the city and admiring architecture with history lessons from our personal tour guide. The sun was scorching, so we grabbed a beer with Sprite, dipped our feet in the Rhine river, and watched as people floated by (jealous..make note that floating the Rhine is a must-do.).Basel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryThat evening, Nayra's parents (who are the cutest couple ever) cooked dinner for us and broke out old photo albums of the awesomest, most hippy-fab photos that Nayra needs to frame asap. please. We're talkin 1970 Spanish summers here. My heart sings. Her parents don't speak English too fluently, so her dad is taking English lessons so that he can chat with Nayra's English-speaking friends when they come over. I mean!! Precious, that is. Her mom told us the story of how they met and he proposed while he lived in Spain and she lived in Switzerland.They asked if we'd like a beverage - tea, more water, grappa. Grappa? I've only tried it once and didn't like it. Next thing we know, he's down in the cellar fetching his liquor cabinet, of which we tasted sips of the variety in her mom's collection of beautiful shot glasses from her travels. All of it. All of them. A swell night indeed.Basel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryThe visit was over too soon. The following morning we did our awkward 2.5 kisses until I gave up and went straight for the hugs. By the way, I think it should be a rule that whenever you go in to kiss people, you have to call out how many times you're going for, so there's no room for confusion. For Americans, this kissing thing is WAY more intimate than a hug, which is opposite on this side of the Atlantic. And I tend to make it as awkward as possible. You're Dutch and I'm American, but we both live in the French-speaking part of Belgium. So, how many does that compute to...oh, always one (+/-) off than what I go for? Got it.Basel Travel DiaryBasel Travel DiaryIt was a whirlwind of a road trip! We have many more photos, stories, and tips to share with you from our tired feet. Each town gets its own post because they're all fabulous in their own right. Next stop: (that's 3 kisses for the Swiss!)

This post is part of a two week long road trip around central Europe. Check out the other stops on our trip:

Basel // Lucern // Milan // Verona // Ljubljana // Zagreb // Pula // Nuremberg