Take the unpowered ferry...
Take the unpowered ferry across the Rhine. If the water was warmer I would of liked to jump in the river upstream and float back to town. Plenty of locals were doing it but the water was to cold for me. I found Basel to be a very pretty small city. I did have a friend who lives there to show us around. Explore the narrow and hilly side streets. I am fasinated by Roman artifacts. There are ruins of a Roman military site not to far from town. You can explore the museum, walk around the generals house, the amphitheater, temple and other historical sites.
I noticed there are some mailboxes in Basel with special design. One of them I saw at the former city gate Spalentor, another next to the so called Stadthaus (corner Schneidergasse and Totengässlein), and yet another in Riehen near the parish church.
They were designed by Melchior Berri (1801-54), one of the most important architects of Classicism in Switzerland. He built e.g. the building for the Museum on Natural History close to the Münster church. He also created the stamp called Basler Dybli (Dybli = Basel dialect for pigeon). The "Dybli" is to see on the mailbox as well (see picture).
Water for the city
Monks and citizens of Basel created a canal to divert water into the city. From Münchenstein - which means 'Monks house' to St-Albans Vorstad you can walk along this St-Albans Teich (dyke) (or the other way, but this way you do not have to climb). You can start at the Botanical Garden (Tram 10, Grün 80) or from St. Jakob (Tramline 14). There are two ugly points: when crossing the high way by a tunnel (and train). On the way you can visit the gardens of a former 'house'. The track is marked with these small yellow signs.
Basel has a huge number of fountains. One of them, and a very beautiful one, is the Spalen fountain, right next to the Spalentor city gate.
It depicts a man playing the bagpipe. This motif is very popular in Switzerland (see Bern) and goes back to a drawing of Albrecht Dürer.
The relief with dancing folks at the bottom of the column is made after a picture of Hans Holbein.
Cycling in Basel
1. Bicycle route signs on the Rhine River
2. My rental bike by the Rhine, across the river from the Museum Tinguely
3. Cyclist near Schifflände
4. Cyclist at Fischmarkt
At last count 23 % of the journeys within the city of Basel were done by bicycle -- a very good percentage compared with Frankfurt's 9 % for example, though Amsterdam has around 30 % and Copenhagen nearly 40 %.