Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Basel, Switzerland

I've been to Basel (population 170,000) numerous times and it ranks as one of my favorite cities in Europe.  
Basel's city hall, more than 500 years old, is a real stunner. It was hard to get a close-up shot due to a festival being set-up in the market square in front.
 The painted walls inside city hall's courtyard are absolutely beautiful.
This is the market square outside city hall being set-up for a festival. Of course I'm several hours too early to snag a sausage and beer.
The Rhine river flows through the middle of the city. Basel is Switzerland's only cargo port. This navigable part of the Rhine allows goods to be shipped all the way to Rotterdam (The Netherlands).
 Photo taken from one of the bridges crossing the Rhine.
Can you see people floating down the river between the orange buoys and the canoe-like boats on the right? Very popular thing to do in the summer.
Basel is a business powerhouse. It is home to more than a dozen companies--each having over $1 billion in revenues. Name another city in the world with a population of only 170,000 that can make this claim. Most of those buildings you see in this picture belong to Novartis, a pharmaceutical company with more than $57 billion in revenues.
No, those aren't real lily pads in the fountain. Speaking of art, here's a piece of trivia: the Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Fine Arts) established in 1661, is the world's oldest art collection accessible to the public.
Open air cinemas in the summer are very popular in Europe. This one is set-up in the big square outside Basel's biggest church in the old town area.
I don't like the idea of going to see a movie outdoors and the idiot in front of me or next to me is allowed to smoke!
Ornate fountains dot the old town area and also spew out ice cold drinking water.
Soldier watching over the fountain.
This dog watches people passing by.
Look closely above and behind the dog and there's a frog-which spits out water from the rain gutters. 
View from plaza area to part of old town.
Very fancy water fountain in city center.

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