Weekend trips despite their short time always seem to put me into a state of calm (although, granted I am pretty chilled most of the time) and Basel was no exception. After a fantastic sleep on our woodchip pillows ordered off the specific pillow menu and brought by housekeeping we were ready for another full day of sightseeing in Basel. Originally we had considered doing a trip to the black forest in Germany to sample some of the glorious local wines but Basel has so much to see and do itself we felt it would be a shame to not maximise our time in the city. We hadn’t included the astronomical breakfast in our hotel booking and so just picked up a snack en-route to one of the city highlights – the Kunstmuseum.
The building itself it pretty interesting with carved pillars, a fountain and a lot of sculpture work to take in as you walk into the museum itself. There were 2 separate museum buildings that were joined and so we started off at the top of the main building – worked our way down and did the same in the next building which is connected by a walkthrough gallery. Some highlights – ‘Baboon and Young’ a really cool Picasso sculpture, ‘Young Ladies on the Banks of the Seine’ a modern Picasso piece that could be looked at for hours to take in all the intricacies, ‘Perspectives’ another wacky Dali piece (find me a non-wacky Dali painting), ‘Lake Geneva, Seen from Chexbres’ a gorgeous painting by Swedish Ferdinand Hodler, ‘The Rock Needle and the Porte d’Aval’ a nice and typical Monet landscape. The museum also had a great ‘migration’ exhibition explaining how humans have migrated all over the world as long as we have existed and that by now discriminating and trying to prevent this we are stifling development of the human race in a way never seen before. It was really fantastic and interactive.
After a busy morning of art viewing we headed off to explore some food options. There is a large food market close by but given it was a Sunday the majority of the stalls were closed or not serving. Given the scant options we wandered a tad further and stumbled across El Mexicano – a cute Mexican restaurant with a lot of weirdly Cuban art. It was time for a cocktail and so I opted for a frozen margarita and then chose food based on it being one of the cheapest options – some glazed chicken skewers with Mexican rice, core, a hard corn tortilla and a salad. It was still pricey but considerably cheaper than a lot of other options and also sort of healthy? I told myself that anyway. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the rest of the old town with some local wine stops at Restaurant Gifthuttli (which had a super cool bar and pretty reasonably priced). The old town along the river is gorgeous and would be really pretty in the sun.
After getting ready and chilling out in the room to rest unsteady knees it was time for our final dinner in Basel. We had a massive sushi craving and so opted to try Negishi sushi. This restaurant is not easy to find. We wandered for ages trying to work out where it actually was, despite google telling us we were there. We eventually managed to locate it and settled down to some prosecco and sushi. We had dim sum fritters (just ok), some spicy tuna and salmon sushi which was good and the highlight which was a chicken noodle soup. It was a fairly relaxed option and reasonably priced (for Switzerland, this caveat applies to all the reasonable price comments throughout). A good option for those trying to be on a budget.
After an early night and another blissful sleep with our exciting pillow choices it was a disgustingly early 6am flight just in time for work on Monday. A short 2 day trip that allowed us to visit a new country and city, sample some new cuisines and of course drink bucketful’s of wine. What isn’t to like. For anyone reading this at work – get onto Skyscanner and see where the cheapest place you could go is.