Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last but not Least... Basel, Switzerland

On Wednesday it was time to wrap up our visit to the Alsace region with one more trip, to Basel Switzerland.  We left Strasbourg in the rain and drove the hour and a half down to Basel where it was also still raining.  Yuck...

Liam and Aidan "crazy hair" getting ready to head out of Strasbourg

We met up with Paul, Aimee, Seth and Fiona once again but this time for lunch in Basel. The restaurant they chose was fantastic and had such wonderful warm comfort foods. Josh and I shared a French onion soup which I haven't had in ages - yum! But the adults also all had a meal called roesti - and each of us had a different type. They all have a base of hash browns and then mine had bacon, onion and melted cheese on top. Yes, a heart attack waiting to happen but my god, so delicious!!!!

The kids all hung out during lunch and it was cute to see Aidan with Fiona. Paul and I had emailed before the lunch and he'd "heard" that Fiona had a bit of a crush on Aidan. When I told Aidan this, he responded that he only had a crush on Lindsey (at home in the States) and that hopefully Fiona would be ok just being friends. Ah the love life of a seven year old!

To digress a moment from our actual trip, I must mention the self cleaning toilet in the restaurant for I have never actually seen one of these contraptions before. I'm sure this is a bit TMI for some but I found it fascinating. After you use the toilet and flush, the actual seat moves around under this cleaning mechanism so it's clean and sterile for the next person. In a sense it reminds me of the scene from CARS 2 where Mater is in Toyko and is leaking oil and so therefore uses the bathroom there that's all automated. I found it hysterical...

There were really narrow trams throughout the city

Rathaus (the town hall) on Marktplatz was built in the 14th century

Ok, back to reality. After lunch Aimee had to head back to work and Paul and the kids had horseback riding lessons, so we said our goodbyes and we headed off to check out the Christmas markets in Basel, making our market count 4 markets in 3 countries...not too shabby right? As I'd been told ahead of time, they weren't much to write home about (and yet here I write home to you) but I'm still glad that we saw them. I still think our favorites were Freiburg and Strasbourg.  

Fiona, Liam, Seth and Aidan after our lunch

Aidan at the Basel Christmas market

The kids were at this point marketed out and so we headed to the airport a bit early, 3:30 for our 6:10 flight.  Our flight was noneventful but I really hate to fly and am reminded of it every time I get on a plane. For some reason the outgoing flight isn't bad but during the return flight I always have this sense of panic and dread even if it's a non turbulent flight. The only way I can get thru it is to play solitaire continuously. I think it just helps me refocus on something monotonous.  The flight last night was smooth and yet I had this panic in me as we started to descend into Barcelona what felt like too early - of course I immediately thought something was wrong with the plane.  Everyone around me was fine and yet I could barely stand it.  Why do I do this to myself??? 

We got back just fine and are looking forward to Christmas here in Barcelona this weekend. Then it's off and running again next week to France (weren't we just there?) to go skiing.  It's going to be the boys' first time on skis and they are very excited.  I'm looking forward to a relaxing time as is Josh...though after 4 days of bitter cold, I'm not 100% sold on going back to the freezing temps!!


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