Sunday, 22 March 2009

highlights from Basel

Pari and I had the pleasure of travelling to Basel, Switzerland last weekend. It was so easy to get there and I was amazed by how wonderful a short trip like that could be. I was only there for one night but it was excellent to be away somewhere different. On Saturday we started off by walking around the old town, centred on the Munster, the cathedral built out of beautiful red blocks of local stone. We climbed up right to the top of the bell towers and looked out over the city and the Rhone river.

The church was set out with hundreds of these lovely wooden chairs, with many different patterns on their backs. I was amazed by the beautiful workmanship.

We walked all along the river, though the quaint streets. We visited the Tinguely museum--Jean Tinguely was a sculptor who made moving contraptions, like this fountain outside. All the bits were spinning, or sweeping up and down and water was spraying in every direction. There is also a Tinguely fountain in the centre of town.

Inside the museum this was my favourite piece. When you pressed the button on the floor it animated, with all the different bits playing an instrument--gongs, cymbals, a piano, and so on. It was noisy and celbratory.

On Sunday we were walking around the old town again and suddenly this marching band appeared. We followed them around for a while and found that another band sprung up from a side street.

Over the next several hours, marching bands were walking around everywhere. They were all playing different songs, going up and down in all directions, sometimes several were passing us at once. It was all part of the winding down of the city festival earlier in March.

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