Monday, December 9, 2013

You say Baycill and I say Bahzell

The train from Paris arrived exactly on time and, despite assurances from the woman at the Information window that every cabbie would know where the dock was, our cabbie did not. At one point he attempted to convince us to get out at the wrong ship but eventually we found our vessel and Mark must have tipped very well, because he lost his frustration and was suddenly apologetic and jolly. Remember, he and we did not have a language in common, just a few words we hoped the other would comprehend. 

We parked our luggage on the ship- our room wasn't ready- and they served a light buffet lunch, and then we boarded a shuttle bus back to the city center with a young, earnest tour guide who said he was studying organic farming. 

Our guide spoke English rather well, but some of his sentence structure was hilarious;  "tell me" became "give me a sentence." Wish I had written down more. After a passionate but only moderately understood description of a Rodin from our young man, we hit the streets on our own to stroll a city which claims to have the highest density of museums in the world. 

Time didn't allow any museum hopping but we marveled at the difference between France and Switzerland, cleanliness being the first. 

Our afternoon among the Swiss.

Our Basel guide & Rodin.

It was St. Nicholas Day; here Nick tosses his Starbuck's espresso cup on his way to the Christmas market...

    On top, the Holy Virgin. Below, hot wine.

Actually, he was on his way to get his beard repaired.

Giant bubble meisters.

Stumbled into a church to find St. Nick again, this time delighting kiddos (and their parents) with small treats...and a small donkey, off-stage in this shot. 

Back on the boat, out our porthole, we are reminded that the Rhine is a working river...and we will be sleeping below the waterline.

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