Basel it is. … continued from Grand Tour of Switzerland, day 1. Our contributing editor Tanja Minnée is attending a 5 day press trip to discover Switzerland. Stunned by so much beauty she enjoys travelling a part of the Grand Tour of Switzerland, the 1600 km long route across the country and shares her finds.
Day 2: Basel here we come
We’re becoming early birds, again our wake-up call was at 7 pm. But hey, anything to get the most out of our Swiss trip.
After a good night sleep – great beds , and a quick breakfast at the Sheraton Hotel (see day 1), we grabbed our 1st class Swiss Travel Pass and hopped on the train to Basel.
This pass is our golden all-in-one-ticket to any transport in Switzerland, better not lose it. It took us about an hour to get to Basel. Leaning backwards in our comfort seats, it felt like half the time. We could do this for hours, looking out the window and watching beautiful sights pass by with a cup of tea close at hand. Got the picture?
First stop was checking in and leave our bagage at Hotel Krafft, a lovely 3 * boutique hotel in the heart of Basel. Located directly on the banks of the Rhine River, with a large outside terrace for lunch on a sunny day. This hotel has the most breathtaking views of the old town and the Cathedral. It is recently renovated, with 60 rooms, and revives the charm of the past. I have this thing with tiled floors…
Basel Old Town by foot
Around 11 pm it was time to meet our guide from Basel in the lobby, ready to gon on our tour through the Old Town with a focus on Art in the city. Thank you so much, Margrit Götz.
Basel’s Old Town is best to be discovered by foot, since most of the sites are located near each other. Basel is a town with a lot of hidden historical gems, it’s a pity that most of us drive past it on our way to other holiday destinations. I think we give it way too little credit, there’s so much to be discovered in both Kleinbasel (old town) and Grossbasel! So next time on route to Italy, plan 24H in Basel.
It’s simply impossible to describe all Basel has to offer. Around almost every corner awaits the most beautiful historical surprise. Like the City Hall, the beautiful historic fountain and the Münster von Basel Crypte. And all those impressive doors.
No gym needed, by the way, all this walking up and down the hilly old town counts as a daily exercise. After spending the morning on foot we certainly worked up an appetite.
Luckily we had a reservation at Restaurant Volkshaus Basel – the name might recall images of a traditional Swiss interior but the opposite is true. A modern, contemporary designed place right in the cultural heart of Kleinbasel. This French Brasserie and classic bar, with a courtyard beer garten with scattered trees, pavement café and banquet rooms, is a new culinary and cultural meeting point. A place where one obviously cooks with love and passion, with selected seasonal ingredients from local origin. It makes this restaurant down to earth and genuine. That’s my cup of (organic) tea!
Art in Basel
With our batteries charged again, we made our way to Fondation Beyeler, one of Basel’s (40!) art museums. I feel like a kid in the art candy store. In our point of view this museum is an absolute must.
During his fifty years as an art dealer Ernst Beyeler was not only selling but also constantly collecting art. In time, this required him to make provisions for the future of his pictures and sculptures. It seemed an obvious solution that the collection would be adopted by the Kunstmuseum Basel, which we will visit tomorrow by the way.
However, when the government made suggestions for a new home for the collection that would do justice to these special pieces of art, it soon became clear that no such building existed. A new setting had to be created. The Italian architect Renzo Piano was commissioned for the job.
And what a job well done… a true piece of art is the building itself.
Enjoying the day so much already, things were only getting better. There was an exhibition of one of my absolute favourites, the master of equilibrium, Alexander Calder. well-known for his pioneering invention of the mobile in the early 1930s, he reimagined the ever shifting balance between gravity and weightlessness. I ended up buying a poster of his work but there’s of course nothing like experiencing the real deal.
After taken in all this beauty – city and art – we had to hurry back to Hotel Krafft to freshen up for a dinner in Restaurant Shlüsselzunft. One of Basel’s top addresses where we enjoyed state-of-the-art gastronomy. Fine dining to end a fine day.
What will tomorrow bring?
Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 1 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 2 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 3 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 4 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 5
This trip is an online influencers trip organised by MySwitzerland.com. We are here by invitation on behalf of Chapter Fifty and did not pay for any of the above-mentioned activities. Words, photos and opinions are my own.