The Rhine & Mosel River Cruise travel blog

We start our walking tour of Basel

Street art really started centuries ago when people painted things on their...

This is painting of St Christopher

More paintings

An interesting view

A view of the steeple of the town hall from afar

An interesting building

The colorful town hall, 16th century, red sand stone

Inside the courtyard of the town hall

St Peter's church where we heard a beautiful organ recital

Basel is Switzerland's second-largest city after Zurich. Basel has a split personality. On the one hand, it has giant, modern chemical research and pharmaceutical companies; and on the other hand, it has a network of narrow alleys that weave together the city's medieval architectural heritage.

Basel is located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet. The official language of Basel is German, but the main spoken language is the local Basel German dialect. Where the border touches France, the people will speak mainly French but will be able to speak German as well. Also, almost everyone speaks English.

The 12th-century Gothic cathedral contains the tomb of the 16th-century Dutch scholar, Erasmus. The city's university houses some of Erasmus' works. He was a Dutch philosopher and Christian humanist who is widely considered to have been the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance.

I mentioned the pharmaceutical companies--well, on 16 Nov 1938, the psychedelic drug LSD was first synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel. He tried to find a medical use for it but failed. So...............

The pictures show St Christopher. Here is his famous legend:

The legend tells that he carried a child, who was unknown to him across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ. Therefore, he became the patron saint of travelers. We then went to St Peter's Church and heard a very talented organist play the beautiful centuries old organ. I've always wanted to do that and it was wonderful!

Today is our last day on the boat:( Tonight is the Captain's Farewell Dinner. We will have Beef Wellington with Baked Alaska for dessert!!

Tomorrow about half our traveler's will depart for home. The other half of us will continue by bus to Lucerne, Switzerland for four more days of adventure. We'll come home on Monday, Oct 14.

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