The Final Day

European Excursion Day Ten: Tram Police and a Scary Movie

Our trip went by so fast. Even now that I’m writing about it almost a month later, I can’t believe how time flew. I also never thought that I would be sad to get on a plane to England. But both of these statements are true.

The last day of our trip was spent touring the city of Basel. Nicole and Riley were our official tour guides and they showed us the lay of the land. After the fantastic weather we had the previous day, it was due to rain and it did. The tour began in the neighborhood where we were staying, Muttenz. Here we saw a fortified church, because they feared that it would be destroyed during WWII, and some hill top ruins where Jews were hidden during the war. We then jumped on a tram and took it into the city. On the second tram we took a secret tram police man busted us for not having a ticket. Ohh nooo! Nicole handled the situation and Riley helped with the German translations. I just sat there going, “oh my goodness we are going to go to jail in a foreign country where I don’t understand the language!!” So I sat next to Riley trying to make small talk and ignoring the fact we may be arrested. Luckily the tram police man was nice and only gave a warning and showed us where to get tram day passes. This was good because he could have fined us 100 Swiss Francs, each.

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After this small delay we were off to explore. Nicole took us around to many of Basel’s landmarks. This includes the Basel Minster, a 11th century cathedral, with its elaborate mosaic roof. We went through several squares set up with carnival rides, game booths and food stands. It was all very magical and smelled yummy. We saw a fountain made from recycled material; it was made my the artist Jean Tinguely. A major highlight of the day was eating my first kebab. Now I’ve had kebabs in America with the meat and vegetables on a stick, but over here they are different. What I had was a bowl with french fires on the bottom, then sliced lamb, vegetables and other goodness all topped with a white sauce. It was heaven and I wanted it to never end. After our lunch we continued walking the streets enjoying the adorable shop window displays. We also stopped by the city hall or as they say Rathaus. Because we were with Nicole she gave us a bunch of interesting information about the city and the Swiss culture. Like the citizens have to be registered and pay a tax to their church through the city hall. They do this so that they can marry in a church. Another interesting thing about Switzerland is that they have to pick the color of their house from a list of approved colors. Even stranger is that when you have a baby you have to pick a name from the book of approved Swiss names. So there are no Apples or Norths over in Switzerland. We ended our tour at the train station where we bought chocolate and ate some tiny chocolate cookie. I really loved talking with Nicole, it was like talking to my mom again. She was such a mother figure and we talked about so many things. She shared with us and it was a real bonding time. I really enjoyed our conversations, I believe she did as well and she even said that she wished we could stay longer. And so did we. It was another home away from home. I really loved being in that family atmosphere again.

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We spent the rest of the evening at the house. We ate our dinner and talked nonstop. It was great. After dinner we watched the scary movie, The Descent. Which was a lovely way of ending our trip all cuddled up on the couch, eating chocolate and jumping when the scary creatures popped up on the screen. Though sadly after the movie we had to pack up and head to the airport. It was really sad to leave. I wished we could have stayed longer; I think we could have spent all ten days with them and it would have been an amazing time too. When we got to the airport I didn’t want to leave. Who would have guessed that I wouldn’t want to get on a plane to England?! We hugged Nicole goodbye and thanked her endlessly before heading into the security area.

When we landed in England we had to find our friend who was giving us a ride back to Lancaster. We had to do this because our flight was late and the trains were no longer running. It was a nice ride back even though it took awhile because there was an accident and we had to take a different route. I told her about our trip and all the things we did. We chated about England and the difference between our countries. I learned that they call semi trucks louries and there is a good chance that it won’t snow where we are. That was a bit sad. But anyways, the trip was a fantastic experience. Even with the minor bumps this trip was amazing! Backpacking through Europe was on my bucket list and I can now say that I’ve done it. This trip was a trip of a life time. Everything that I saw and did has given me so much to cherish. Our European trip will forever be one of my greatest accomplishments.

Until next time…

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