Die Altstadt

Today I had to meet Dan at the bank in the old city center. It had snowed overnight and was still snowing throughout the day. I thought for sure that it would make for some lovely pictures, but instead the grey sky blended into the white roof tops and everything just looks washed out. I’ll try again in the spring on a blue sky day, I promise!

In the meantime, here’s what I had to put up with for my walk:

A friend of mine made a comment once about how the Swiss build things to look like they’re antique. I took this picture to show him that no, the buildings aren’t new, just well-preserved. The oldest date I’ve seen so far is 1259.

I know that I’ve raved about the punctual Swiss transit system before, but I love signs like these. You know just how long to wait until your next bus (and often, for the more popular routes, it isn’t more than 7 minutes)

Another example of efficiency is a public parking garage. This one is unobtrusive and blends fairly well into the street scene. But what is really great about it is that each parking spot inside has a detector over it. As soon as all of the spaces are full, the gate won’t open until a car leaves. And there’s more to it than that: as you pull in, knowing that there is only one space available somewhere in the four levels of parking, there is a sign glowing green, indicating just where that free spot is.

Sundial on the side of the Basel Munster

All of that was available to me within a ten minute walk from my apartment. This is a wonderful city to live in.

Tell me what you think! I want to know!

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