‘Lost’ in Basel

Dearest Rachel –

It’s a bit of a misnomer to say this about myself. Especially in the daytime; the old city isn’t that big that you can truly get lost in it.

You just aren’t where you want to be.

I determined that I wanted to check out the Cartoonmuseum; the Kunstmuseum is just a little too highbrow for my taste (and I know next to nothing about Camille Pissarro, who they’re featuring at present). The trams from Clarastrasse wouldn’t get me to the museum stop, but they’d get me to the next closest – the same one I had gotten off on last night past Barfüsserplatz. In this light, at least, I can make my way around. And I did, after a few wrong turns, and almost crossing back to the northeast side of town. Look, if I wanted to be there, I wouldn’t have bothered to hop on the train in the first place; I could’ve just stayed at the hotel.

I did find myself wondering around a Migros supermarket; when you’re downtown, and space is limited, everything gets turned into a shopping mall.

But eventually, I found my way out, and headed north.

On my way, I spotted this wild half bike, half vehicle? parked along Picassoplatz. I know how much Erin loves her bike Shadowfax, but I think this would really get her attention.
Granted, it appears to be a two-person contraption, so maybe not so much. But regardless, it’s a cool machine that would protect you from the elements when cycling, and that’s got to count for something.

I all but stumbled upon the Kunstmuseum (which, I should mention, is absolutely lousy with construction equipment and torn up asphalt – some things are just the same, the world over),

and finally found the road leading to the Cartoonmuseum…

Get a load of the hours. And the banana, go ahead and notice that, too.

…only to find it closed on Mondays. Wouldn’t you know it? Everything else is closed on Sundays, but this? Makes me feel like I’m in a cartoon.

They do have cartoons in the most unusual places; like on this milk truck.

I passed by Saint Elizabeth’s church,

only to see a banner in front of it that, let’s just say, Daniel would not be pleased.

Honestly, I do find myself wondering why a church would try to cater to such a small percentage of the population, to the effective disregard of the rest. Especially considering that that portion of the population literally has no interest in the concept of repentance, but rather, makes the first among equals in terms of deadly sins to be their hallmark. I can’t see them being interested in this; if nothing else, I would consider it pandering, if I was part of that group. But hey, that’s just me.

It would seem that Saint Nicholas day really is the start of the whole season on this side of the pond, and places are indeed ‘beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.’ Even the restaurants have Christmas specials.

Wait, did I say restaurants?

Okay! Okay! You’re pretty, now have some pizza.

It looks like I’ve wandered past several stations, and wound up right back at Barfusserplatz. See? You can’t get lost in Basel; eventually, you’re going to wind up somewhere you’ve already been before.

I take a different turn and head up a flight – actually several flights – of stairs, only to realize that the building I’m approaching is a gymnasium.

No thanks, I’m getting my workout just by walking around. so I’ll be fine. On the other hand, there’s no reason not to head up the pathway along side the gymnasium – it looks like it takes me behind the old city walls.

Those ‘city walls’ turn out to be the backside of Saint Leonard’s Church, and disgorges a cluster of young people as I approach; university students, they look like. Several of them take a lunch in the courtyard, while I wander around and take pictures.

I have no idea what they think of me doing so – to say nothing of the fact that I am talking to you by way of Siri in this rather stilted patois. It’s just another case of their mundane versus my exotic. I wish I could tell them so, but they quite literally wouldn’t understand me.

I wend my way down the back passageways, trying to find my way back to where the action is. And yet, there are so many interesting, picturesque scenes on the way. A bicycle passes me, squeezing his brakes the whole way down. Why is it that the clatter of a bicycle always makes it sound like it’s directly behind you, even when it’s off to your side by a mile?

The canyons of the back streets, where the trams can’t go – indeed, there are so many different places that are restricted to foot traffic – are lined with Christmas trees, despite the fact of buying the season does not seem to have kicked into full gear. They’re not empty, quite, but they’re not bustling, either.

You would have approved of a place like this, and I would have loved to buy you that purple dress in the window, had you wanted it. I still wish I could.
I can’t tell if this is supposed to be profound, or if this is a bicycle shop.

The buildings here are so old, that you hardly even realize just how antique they seem to be. They just are, and you accept it after a while. It’s a strange realization to come to.

Improbably (well, no, not really), I now find myself at Marktplatz.

I’ve traversed past some four or five tram stops on my way (although not precisely on my way, as there are places the trams can’t go). According to my phone I’ve taken sixty-two hundred steps thus far today, and I’m honestly starting to feel them. Haven’t seen a thing worth buying, partly because I have no one worth buying for (well, there is Daniel, but he doesn’t seem to want anything any more than I do). So I’m at a loss, and wonder if I shouldn’t just try to make my way back to the hotel, despite it having been less than three hours that I’ve been out and about.

It feels like I’m giving up by doing that, and I’m not ready to do that. But here at Marktplatz, I think I’ve seen everything, at least, from the outside. So… just keep wandering?

If I read this right, they have mistletoe for sale. But what would I use it for?

I’m not yet hungry enough to take advantage of the food stalls that have reappeared back here overnight, so I see no reason to stay. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m reminded that I need to check my email for the results of my antigen test, which I should have received by now, and WILL NEED to get out of the country (to say nothing of landing back in the States). It’s time to return, regroup, and then prepare for one last assault… later.

Wish me luck, honey… I’m going to need it.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

One thought on “‘Lost’ in Basel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: