Today we were heading into Basel, Switzerland, where my cousin works and lives *and* my aunt works and has an apartment to stay at in the city. My flight to Barcelona was early the next day so we’d planned to come in anyways and spend the night rather than get up and drive an hour from the Black Forest. Susan also wanted to show us some sights along the way, and we had a great day in town.
But I have been holding back from you. Clearly you know there is some level of censorship going on here. Just think how of light the swearing has been as opposed to my regular vernacular, or how I didn’t tell you that sometimes I would use ear plugs to sleep even though technically I was suppose to be available in case of emergency overnight. But, the time has come now to come clean.
That Thursday morning, July 9, I woke up around 6:30am and, out of unfortunate habit, checked my phone. My Passbook app that can hold electric boarding passes and other travel documents was showing an alert for a flight at 8:20. But…. That was supposed to be for tomorrow.
Let me back up a little. I had anticipated doing much more of the logistics of my Spain trip during the two weeks of the school trip. Things like: arranging hostals (budget hotels, different than youth hostels), booking trains between cities, buying advance tickets to the Picasso Museum and La Sagrada Familia to avoid 2 hour waits, etc. Some of these did get done due to my persistence, and some urgency (I mean, I NEEDED a bus ticket to Freiburg), but when 40 kids came back to the hotels, the already weak wifi was sucked almost nonfunctional. Plus it was dinner at 7 & room checks at 9, so it would be around 10 by the time I would have a chance to concentrate on the details but I often only had the energy to brush my teeth and climb in bed. So, little for my trip got accomplished and clearly what was attempted wasn’t very successful.
I had realized even earlier during the school trip that I had bought the wrong ticket for Sagradia Familia, somehow selecting that I should get the Catalanian Resident price. It cost €12 and to be safe I just rebought the correct ticket. I said if that is the only mistake or money wasted or unintentionally spent this trip, then hey, I will be doing great.
And now here I was suppose to fly out to Barcelona tomorrow on a “discount airlines” with a nonrefundable ticket… for today. So. I just got out of bed, looked online for flights for tomorrow, the correct day, and just booked it without even thinking twice.
But I didn’t tell anyone. 😉
A few hours later; Susan, Salena, Saskia and myself climbed in the car and started zipping down the mountain. We stopped just before crossing the border into Switzerland, where everything is crazy expensive, and found Salena some shoes!
Susan wanted to take us to some ancient roman ruins that had been recently discovered but only after the small town had been settled and homes built and at first they didn’t quite realize the significance of what they’d found. In the 70s, I think, there was a story about a boy playing and digging and found a huge silver plate but then hiding it under his mattress for a longtime! The excavations are slow and they know there is much more to discover but didn’t know how to go about with or disturbing too much more of the land people were living on.
After that we were getting hungry and decided to go near Susan’s for lunch or coffee. Upon arriving she found a notice that her water was going to be off for that part of the afternoon, and that’s how we ended up having lunch on the Rhine river!
After lunch, Saskia went to her place where we would meet her later and Susan took us around to a paper museum in Basel. I’m a teacher and like to think I’m a little crafty so I was willing, but I didn’t get what all the fuss was about. Until I saw it. 4 stories in Basel’s old paper mill, demonstrations the history of paper, writing, printing and book making, with old machines, interactive activities and freebies to take. We even made our own paper! It was a great experience.
Susan and I working 9 to 5.
When we came back to Susan’s, Salena went and jumped in the river with Susan while I “rested my eyes.” I haven’t been able to sleep well in weeks and think I tore something in my back. Near my lower back… Like, my waaay looow back. Okay okay, I hurt my butt. It’s totally fine when I am walking but just super painful to stand up or sit down. Which is cool when you travel and are on busses, trains, park benches, restaurants, coffee shops, beaches, etc. So how’s that for no more censoring?
Anyways, we met up with Saskia for dinner, which is also where we were spending the night, went out for a lovely meal and a night cap on the Rhine. We had to take the most ridiculous cutest ferry from Susan’s side to her side, that is just pulled by a line across the river and the force of the current. People bring barbecues and drinks out for the evening and watch the sun go down and socialize late into the evening.
And now I’m ready for Barcelona.