Saturday morning was again unusually sunny and warm and we enjoyed continuing our explorations. We started out by taking a tram south to the village of Binningen and then meandering north. We found a “Wander Weg” (walking path) and followed it up a grassy hillside where we then stumbled up St. Margreten church. It was a stately building sitting upon a hill within easy walking distance of the city. It appears to be more set up for formal occasions than anything church-like, and the cows kept in the large barn moo’d contentedly.
Looking north to Basel from St Margreten
As we descended the hill we followed the signs along the path. I love these signs: they are all over the country (over 50,000km of marked trails!) and easily indicate where you’re headed and how far you are from a given destination.
Imagine my surprise though when the path took us to an outdoor ice rink in mid-game! I guess that my chances of continuing my hockey career after the move just took a turn for the better. Unfortunately, the woman behind the desk spoke no English and I just don’t know enough German to ask “Do you have information on a woman’s ice hockey league?” with any clarity.
We were now back into the neighborhoods nearer to the SBB and continued to explore, this time heading for the Basel Zoo and the areas beyond it.
Housing we can’t afford
Fantastic fountain in Schützenmatt Park
Lunch break in the park
We were now about 1km from the French border and it was tempting to wander closer. But I didn’t have any of my papers with me and besides, we were here to explore Switzerland!
Can you find Dan in the park?
One of the “Hammering Man” sculptures. I only knew of the one in Seattle before finding this one!
We eventually made our way back into the city center, took a break in our room and then headed back out. This time we would head to the southern extreme of the tram line, landing in the village of Aesch before working our way back into the city center. We caught the tram by our hotel, transferred a few blocks away to a different tram, and then enjoyed the view for the next 30 minutes.
Village of Aesch
River running through Aesch. We also were getting closer to some of the hills that run southeast from Basel
We didn’t spend much time in Aesch because we happend upon the bus that would take us directly west to Ettingen, where we could then catch another tram from its terminus into Basel. We decided to wait 7 minutes instead of the next hour (the longest wait we’d seen thus far for any connection). Still, we could see that Aesch was really on the outskirts of commuting range but still managed to retain its quaint character.
View from the bus to Ettingen
We spent more time in Ettingen because the rail schedule ran about every 12 minutes into the city, so we knew that it would be easy to catch one without much wait.
Dan checks out a restaurant’s menu
Dan ponders following yet another wander weg
Stepping aside for the farm machinery. There was active hay baling in the lower field
Back in Basel, we made one last check of the Alt Stadt before retiring for the night
Another view of the Muenster