Basel is a prime location to stay if you are looking to not only explore Switzerland, but also France and Germany. It is situated in the Northwest of the country and so borders both countries. Using this to our advantage, on Thursday we decided to take a train to Colmar, a town in France.
From the train station, we walked through a park, Champ de Mars, where we could see various monuments and a fountain. The highlight for me by far was the 1900 Carousel; from what I could understand of the signs using my basic knowledge of French, the Carousel is unique in Europe due to it’s size and being made from wood- it actually took fifty people two years to construct! Unfortunately, it was not actually open when we visited but it was still impressive!
We then proceeded to walk into the city centre. Not knowing which way to go, we contemplated following what looked like a large group of tourists (this was a recurring theme on our trip!) before finding some signs to point us in the right direction. It was then we got our first experience of the cobbled streets lined with medieval buildings and small boutiques with plenty of character.
For lunch, we decided to find a place to sit by the river in the area known as ‘Little Venice.’ Whilst we sat, we saw various people taking boat rides but we were quite surprised to see them return in literally three minutes!
We then continued to wander through the town, coming across various sights such as Saint Martin’s Church, the former customs house (Koifhus), the Dominican Church and the Pfister House.
There is also a chance to see a replica of the Staue of Liberty in Colmar. Throughout the day, we kept seeing images of the Statue on the floor with arrows we assume pointed you in its direction, however, we didn’t actually get the time to visit it ourselves. The statue was built to honour the 100th death anniversary of Auguste Batholdi ( the sculptor of the original), who was actually born in Colmar.
I also got really excited when I spotted a Sephora seeing as we don’t have one in the UK. However, I was quite disappointed as most of the brands were French; the other brands- Urban Decay, Makeup Forever and Benefit are already available in the UK and were a lot more expensive there.
We headed back to Basel at around 17:00 and then caught a tram to Weil am Rhein in Germany to have dinner. I had doner in bread with salad which was really nice but very filling!