A short hop to Switzerland was on the cards now as we had already explored the French side of the border last year. Basel is the closest city in Switzerland when you cross the border. No matter whether you go for one day or longer, you have to pay the road tax of 42 Swiss franks for a whole year (Swiss Franks at the moment almost equal the US $). A burger, on average, sets you back by $18 and a pizza also by about $20. No surprise there; I had paid $5.50 for a glass of tea in a touristy spot in Switzerland about 20 years ago.
Honestly, this German speaking part of the country is very similar to Germany-- only prices jump up! For food, clothes and certainly hotels. But hubby wanted to get an impression too and visit some places I had seen and liked before.
So Basel it was. The weather gods were smiling down on us as we strolled along the embankment of the Rhine which has a strong current here so close to its origin. We visited the famous Waterfall of Schaffhausen of Father Rhine two years ago. Definitely worth a trip to see!
We were flabbergasted when we saw girls in their bikinis on the promenade. To our surprise, people went swimming in the river. You really had to be a good swimmer and a diver to be so adventurous. Mostly young swimmers, equipped with a plastic bag that holds their clothes, had the guts to go in.
For us it was excitement enough to cross the river in a small ferryboat and climb several dozens of stairs to the historic upper part of town.
Chris de Burgh's song came to mind: "Don't pay the ferryman...until he gets you to the other side."." We felt brave just doing that.s