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Travelblog Gone with the Wine

Travelblog and lifestyleblog. Life under the Californian sun - Gone with the Wine. Trips, food and wine from all over the world. Solo and family adventures.

Filtering by Tag: Basel

10 Travel Pictures from My Past, Vol 2

Paula Gaston

Last spring I posted 10 Travel Pictures from My Past. It was fun to look at pictures from my past trips and try to find ones that would fit into the post. Now this blog challenge is back again, and here are my new photos for it:



This photo is from our return trip from Utah to California with a beautiful sunset. On this trip we visited Arches National Park, Salt Lake City and we were able to swim in a hot crater at Homestead Resort



Everyone knows that San Francisco can get pretty foggy sometimes. And when that happens, it happens very quickly and often hides the whole of the Golden Gate Bridge. While taking this picture we were trying to get some souvenir pictures with our guests from Finland. We were not quite fast enough, but instead of ruining the picture, the fog actually made it look pretty cool.



When we visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California, all my daughter wanted was to see Minnie Mouse. So all I can say about this picture is that it makes me very happy!



Some years ago, I stayed in Iceland for a month. The most memorable thing was the varied beautiful nature. I have heard that since then, the tourism there have exploded, but I was able to enjoy everything without too much hassle. The picture is from Skogafoss waterfall. 



This picture is from Basel Switzerland, where we climbed up 242 steps to the bell tower of the Basel Minster. The view from up there was amazing!



Kyoto, Japan has been one of the most amazing places I have visited. There is so much to see in the town, that I could easily do another trip there. The Golden Pavillion, where this picture is from, was extremely crowded.



During the years I have traveled with many kinds of people. When I was a kid, we of course traveled with my mom and dad, and then later with friends. Today, I mostly travel with my own family, who are in the picture; all but our 2 month old who missing from it. This picture is from Nara, Japan, where we visited the Giant Buddha in Todai-ji Temple.



For some reason it was hard for me to find a picture where I'm under a palm tree. So maybe I don't do that very often, even though we live in California. Coming from Scandinavia, I can't ever get used to the palm trees and seeing them always makes me feel good. This picture was taken some years ago in Los Angeles. 

By the way, did you know that palm trees are not native to California, and they were all planted?



One of the best breakfasts I have ever had! We had long waited to visit Hawaii's Big Island again, and we finally went back last year. Since we were jet lagged in the beginning of our trip, we were always up early enough to be the first ones at breakfast. And because of that, we always got to choose the best table of the house and enjoy the sunrise.



As my favorite city, I chose San Francisco, since we live right next to it and I love it! Even though there are many other awesome cities in the world that I really like too. But I will never get bored with San Francisco!


In case you are interested in participating in this challenge, you can copy the list of the topics from here. Originally this was started by a Finnish blog Journey diary. If you do write a post about it, I would love to read it. Please link it to my comments, and also link my blog on your post so we can find each other's posts easily.

1. Wing from the Window
2. Best photo you accidentally nailed
3. Travel Photo that Makes You Smile
4. Nature Picture
5. Up and High
6. A Postcard Image
7. Travel Buddies
8. Chillin Under a Palm Tree
9. "Good morning" Picture
10. Favorite city

Monday Memories: A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

Paula Gaston

Over the years, I have stored all the memories from trips in my heart. Every once in a while, for one reason or another, I think about my travel experiences. I see articles from the places I have been, or advertisements from countries I once went. Then, all those memories come back. Many times I have been thinking about writing them in my blog. That is why I started a new series, called Monday Memories. Every Monday, I will share a story from my past travels. My first memory is from Basel, Switzerland, from six years ago. Have you ever been to Basel?


A long weekend in Basel, Switzerland 


It is the year 2010. My fiancé has just been visiting me in Finland, and on his way back to California, he is going to stop in Switzerland to meet a client. After a few days, I decide to fly to Switzerland to spend a long weekend in Basel with him. There are no direct flights from Helsinki to Basel, so I have a lay over in Berlin. As a great surprise, I will be treated with a glass of champagne and an orchestra by the gate. For a minute, I am wondering if I somehow managed to sneak into a VIP lounge, but no, I have just purchased a ticket to the very first AirBerlin flight from Berlin to Basel. Awesome! In the airplane, we get more gifts. Chocolate, teddybears and other little souvenirs. Can I start my trip in any better way than this?

In the evening I arrive to dark Basel, and I jump into a taxi cab which takes me to our hotel. I am excited to explore the city the next day. My fiancé will be working, but at least we get to spend some time together in Basel on the weekend. It is February, and Switzerland is grey and rainy. 

During our few days in Basel we manage to see all the major sights in the town and also treat ourselves with to some good food. Basel is the third biggest city in Switzerland, and is located where the Swiss, German and French borders meet. There are about 170,000 people living in Basel. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit where the three borders meet, but we did fall in love with Switzerland and would like to return someday to visit other cities too. 


Walking around Basel, you can not avoid seeing history everywhere, and you should visit the medieval town. Spalentor, the Gate of Spalen is one of the three city gates, that used be part of the wall that surrounded the old town. It was built after the 1356 earthquake.

Spalentor, Basel

Spalentor, Basel

Spalentor from outside

Spalentor from outside

St. Alban-Tor, one of the three city gates

St. Alban-Tor, one of the three city gates


One of the biggest prides of Basel must be the Basel Minster (Basler Münster). I walked over one day, and the next day I returned with my fiancé since I thought it was something he would enjoy seeing. We climbed up all 242 steps up to the bell tower. Up from the tower you can get the most beautiful view over Basel and the river Rein. The church itself was undergoing a restoration, so outside was covered with scaffolding, but the inside of the church was beautiful. Basel Minster was built between the years 1019 and 1500, and it follows the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Erasmus of Rotterdam, the well known Dutch humanist, was buried inside the church. The church can be found in Münsterplatz, Basel.  

RATHAUS and the marketplace

You should definitely visit the market place (Marktplatz) in the old town. They sell all kinds of local produce. We bought some cheese which we ate later with some bread and red wine. The most impressive building here is definitely the city hall, Rathaus. It was built after the big earthquake which devastated Switzerland in 1356. The massive decorations go all thru the inner courtyard and to the lobby, so make sure you visit when the building is open.

MUSEUM OF history

History is a big part of Basel and you can learn more about it in the Museum of History, Historisches Museum Basel. While my fiancé was working, I visited the museum and after that I was able to see the town with a whole different set of eyes. The museum is located in Barüsserplatz, Basel.


On one of the rainy days, we spent in the Museum of Art. It has the most extensive art collection in Switzerland, including some pieces from Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Chagall. We also like a lot the work of Arnold Böcklin who is a local artist. The Kunstmuseum Basel is at St Alban-Graben 16, Basel. 


Hammering Man by Jonathan Borofsky was put up in 1989. It is a 13.5 meters high art work, and its arm moves while it hammers. These hammering men you can also find in Frankfurt and New York. We were told, that the hammering man is the most hard working man in Basel. You can find it in Aescgenplatz, Basel. 


This bizarre building was designed by architect Mario Botta. We did not go inside since it is a bank building, but if you want to see it from outside, it's address is Aeschengraben, Basel.

Biz Building

Biz Building


An old theatre of Basel once operated on this spot. In 1977 Jean Tinguely designed a fountain with moving statues in it. There are a total of nine statues, and I must say, it was very unique! Go check it out at Theaterstrasse, Basel.

We enjoyed our short vacation in Basel. We got to see most of the places in Basel but would love to travel back to explore other cities in Switzerland. On our last night we dined in a fine dining restaurant, award winning Gasthof zum Goldenen Sternen. It was nice! The food was good but not spectacular. We really didn't have any complaints but the dessert was the only food I still remember after a while. I mean, look at this plate! 

Gasthof zum Goldenen Sternen

Gasthof zum Goldenen Sternen