Once upon a Rhine

We survived the 5 hour drive through rain, fog and NYC drivers to get to JFK. As daunting as that was, it's better to me than missing our international flight. Delta outdid themselves again with the customer service both before and during the flight. We were stuck at the gate waiting for the horrendous thunderstorm to pass, but better there than in the air . (nice rhyme)

We switched planes in Amsterdam to arrive bright eyed and bushy tailed to Basel, Switzerland. (pronounced Baaa -sell) At the airport you have to make sure you exit correctly. To the left is France and exiting to the right is Switzerland. One doesn't want to mess that up! Actually we looked like the walking dead. We noticed a family of 3, parents and an adult daughter. They were on all our flights, all customs lines, all transfers and now the hotel so we assume the same ship. Adult daughter, who shall now be known as Petulant Patty, was snarking at her mother, pouting and annoyed at them and everything around her (and hard to believe, even me) This should be an interesting week.

At check in- our desk clerk, yah,with German accent, was kind enough to give us a sheet that explained if your room number began with a "1" we would be on the first floor and if it started with a "2" we would be on the second floor. I don't know HOWwe would have managed without that crucial information. Phew!

Basel is the third largest city in Switzerland and the city center is quite lovely. We walked all around and down to the Rhine river, where we will be sailing north on Saturday. It is well maintained with nice parks and historic cathedrals. There are many beautiful public water fountains each with a sculpture or statue. Tim out did himself with his map reading skills. A real Marco Polo. "Io sono qui !!!" The tram service is very impressive. We need more of this in the USA.

There is a free ferry that shuttles people back and forth across the river using the current as it's only propulsion. There is a large open market that takes place in front of the Town hall where many "pedestrian zoned" side streets branch off for strolling and outdoor dining. We sat for awhile, people watched, had french pizza and of course, my red wine.

We ended our excursion by stopping at Paddy Riley's. An Irish bar, you say, in Switzerland? Hmmmm.. The interior reminded us of a similar bar/restaurant in Rome called Scholars.
Petra Dolan, from county Mayo, took great care of us. She is quite the worker, yet engaging and fun to talk with. She gave me some intel on the Shannon Princess, a luxury barge trip in Ireland. 

Bedtime for Bonzos was early. I calculated we had slept about 4 hours total in the past 26, so off to sleepy time. More adventures in the morning!

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