During my stay in Basel, Switzerland, The Rhine was one of my favorite places to go. Actually, it was my favorite place to go – even over the Cast Bar (Which was pretty darn fun – live music, cheap drinks, and open til 6am!). Lucky for me, our team was staying less than a 5 minute walking distance from the river (Our performance venue and cast bar were right next to it). This was necessary, as we did not have air conditioning, and the average temperature was 33 degrees celcius! (To clarify, for those who have not read previous posts – I was in Switzerland for the Basel Tattoo as part of the International Highland Dancers). I haven’t done much traveling in Europe – and I know many European cities along rivers have a similar quality – but to me it was something unique, and I could have hung around the water for hours if we’d had more time in our schedules.
[Above: The cast of the Basel Tatoo floating down the Rine at 11am on Friday Morning. I’m in there somewhere!]
The ‘Rine river culture’ for lack of a better title – is something I will miss. On hot summer days, people gather along the banks (mostly brick walkways and steps leading to the water) with their mini picnics, drinks and even tiny disposable BBQ’s for grilling their Bratwurst. If you aren’t into just sitting around, you can also walk or run to the German border – just for kicks. It’s about 4km each way. However, the absolute best thing, in my opinion, was these waterproof bags that everyone seems to have. They are shaped like a cartoon fish, and you can put all your things inside, fold it over the ‘tail’ 7 times, close it with the attached buckle, and float down the river (the bag is also a floatation device!) for as long as you want. When you get out, all your stuff is as dry as it was when you put it in. Whoever invented these bags must be making a fortune. If I lived in Basel – I may just float to work in the morning. Or on the way home, depending on the direction 🙂 Who needs a car when you can float on your hand bag to work?