Basel Itself: Every hotel I stayed in gave me a free tram pass for the period I was at the hotel. The tram system is outstanding but it’s not a large city and so very pleasant to walk about. Basel is a vibrant, international and charming city full of wonderful old architecture, history and museums. In all the twenty years we lived in Switzerland we only drove straight through. What a mistake! Here are just a few things you and/or companion can do in Basel:
  • While you are in the hospital your companion can rent a Maserati and drive the autobahn in Germany. ;) Our Skoda could only get to 200 Km/hr.
  • Marktplatz, Messe, Alstad (old town dating back to 1300's), River Boat tour, Cathedral is one of the most magnificent in the world, three medieval city gates incl. Spalenthor.
  • Room Escape Basel, roomescape.ch
  • Basel Paper Museum, St. Alban-Tal 37, 41.61.225.9090, papeirmuseum.ch,
  • Jean Tinguely Museum, Mechanical machines, Paul Sacher-Anlage 2, tinguely.ch
  • Vitra Design Museum, https://www.vitra.com/en-us/campus/vitra-design-museum
  • Two (not great) photos of Basel

Travel Information for Switzerland:

  • Visiting Switzerland: A few “Must Sees!” - Switzerland is tiny so you can get around in no time. If you only have a day to goof off before or after the treatment I would suggest going to the Interlaken, Thun area to see the Alps. Info at the very bottom.
  • Here is a suggested route by driving from Lugano towards Basel. Switzerland is divided into three sections: the Italian (smallest), the German (largest) and the French. This route takes you to all three.
    • The Italian part of Switzerland is stunning. Fly into Lugano. You can stay overnight on the Swiss side or the Italian side (you will need Euros). Stunning views along the lakes. Here are some things to do and see (photo is from our Hotel room in Cannero Riviera on the West side of Lake Maggiore, which is supposed to be the most beautiful side):
  • Grotto Morchino (traditional old world family style Italian/Techino Restaurant); via Carona 1, Pazzallo; +41 (0) 91 994 60 44; www.morchino.ch. Must reserve.
  • Nice hotel right on Lake Maggiore: Hotel Cannero, Piazza Umberto I nr.2, 28821 Cannero Riviera, Lago Maggiore – Italia. Park in public parking and walk along waterfront promenade. Or reserve a spot at the hotel and drive along promenade and try not to run over anyone! Here’s a photo I took of a postcard of the hotel.
  • Nice views: Monte Gereroso, 5581 ft peak. 1 hr from airport south east; Via Fam. Carlo Scacchi 6, 6825 Capolago; small cog train takes you to the top. Restaurant closed until 2016.
  • Drive to Mount Bre funiculaire at Via Ceresio di Suvigliana 36, 6977 Ruvigliana; 15 min ride to top. Walk or drive to cute typical Tessin village of Bre and its art trail.
  • James Bond Golden Eye Damn at Valle Verzasca
  • Swiss Miniature, 20 minutes south of Lugano airport, Via Cantonale 3, 6815 Melide
  • Botanical gardens in town of Verbania
  • Botanical gardens on Isole di Brissaggo
  • Beautiful Borromean Islands
  • Chamonix is a beautiful place to cross the border from Italy to France to Swiss, especially if you are visiting Como, Italy (nice town on lake). Nice Alp views but not one of the nicest Alpine “villages”. I find it a bit touristy. You will go through the St. Bernard tunnel.
  • Or you can go over the Simplon Pass (Sempione in Italian) – no tunnel so it may be closed in winter. It’s less spectacular but saves you from driving south and then west. Here are some photos as we drove over the pass.
  • You can also use the Gotthard tunnel or pass depending on time of year, where you will arrive near Lucerne. Lucerne seems to be on every American tourist trip and I’m not sure why. There are so many more quaint towns in the Alps. They do have a great transportation museum there though. And the famous covered bridge has burned down but still looks “old”.
  • If you take the Simplon Pass then you will arrive in the canton (state) of
    Valais which, if you like dams, holds the Grand Dixence – a very impressive structure. Leave enough time to take the tour of the interior of the dam itself. Tallest dam in the world and collects water from 35 glaciers!
  • Typical Swiss mountain village: Champery. It’s located in the French speaking part of Switzerland and is less touristy than the well-known resorts. The village is draped with red Swiss flags and red geraniums in the summer. Here’s a photo of the main street in August on my first trip and then I went back on the second trip with my son, daughter-in-law and my favorite little man. Cheese fondue – YUM!
  • What to do in Champery:
    • Cantine Dents Blanche or Cantine de Barmaz at La Barme: these are chalet restaurants open in the summer months that serve typical alpine meals – great cheese fondue and croute au fromage.
    • It’s located in a hidden valley in the middle of the mountains where you are surrounded by Swiss cows (and bells of course!). There are lots of nice walks. You can drive up there so no need to exert yourself if you’re not up to it. Direction: Grand Paradis, then left towards La Barme.
    • Chalet Eden is a nice place to stay. Large, comfortable, well-run chalet in the middle of the village. Owner speaks English. Her family has owned the chalet for 500 years +/-. Cynthia Defago; chalet-eden-champery.ch; 12 rte de la Dent de Bonavau. +41.79.302.66.34. This a photo of the chalet and from our breakfast table.
  • It’s fun to go up the funiculaire/gondola to the ski area, which is on the French border – we always skied on the French side into Avoriaz as is much more challenging. You may get a discount from your hotel but it only costs fr. 10.- in summer.
  • You can also do this!: www.champery.ch, La Vie a la Ferme, Brunch a l'Alpage; Route de Planachaux; Champery; +41.24.479.05.50. Fresh made farm food and cheese; helping with the daily chores, cows, etc. We didn’t do it but it looks fun.
  • There are all sorts of sports you can do typical of a mountain resort. Tandem paragliding is always a thrill.
  • The Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne area along Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) is so beautiful they have made it into a World Heritage Site. I got this photo off the internet because I didn’t get any good ones.
    • Hotel Le Mirador Kewpinski is a nice restaurant up on the hillside with stunning views. Must reserve. Pricey. If not a meal, go for a drink and the view. Photo from web.
  • More views of Lac Leman and Alps at the restaurant called L'Hostellerie de Caux, Rte de Caux. Moderate prices. It’s a ways up into the mountains along a winding / switchback road but so nice once you get to the top. Eat outside. Reserve. If you are a hiker you can drive as far as possible up to the Col de Jaman (pass) and hike up to the large antennae on the pointy mountain called Le Nez (The Nose - photo) for a 360 degree view at the top of the world!
  • There is a cute village nearby called Les Avants. Nice place to stay and they have a Cog train that may go up to Le Nez. Not sure.
  • On the way down you can go thru the vineyards by going to Chexbres and driving along the mountain side. Pretty in fall when leaves turn.
  • Old Volkswagon Museum called Musee Oldtimer west of Lausanne in St. Sulpice; 1000 - 1700 weekend only. We didn’t go but very crazy looking.
  • Musee Olympique – Olympic Museum
  • Chateau Chillon, 9:00 to 19:00 (last entry at 18:00), Av. de Chillon 21, very old castle on the lake. Photo off the internet of the chateau and Lac Leman.

 

 

 

  • Gruyere is a town that sits atop a hill with a cool castle at the very top. Famous for the cheese but best of all is the raspberries and double cream. Yum!
  • The most famous Alps, Eiger, Jungfrau and Moench, are located in the Interlaken area.
    • Lunch with a stunning view: take train or drive to Interlaken Ost train station. Harder Kulm Restaurant on the cliff, no need for reservations. From Hoeheweg (Interlaken's main street) head for the Beaurivage-Bruecke and cross the bridge to the funicular which takes you up the side of the mountain to the restaurant (8 minutes). One hour Loop Trail for good views; Buy round trip ticket including lunch. For reasonably priced parking you can leave your vehicle at Interlaken Ost railway station. Railstation Ost= Untere Bönigstrasse 5. This photo is from their website - we had too much cloud cover.
    • I much prefer Grindlewald, Wengen and Thun rather than spending time in Interlaken city itself. If you have time, drive or take the train from Interlaken to one of those cute villages. More stunning views and they are all typical Swiss towns.
  • Near Basel: Beautiful town of Colmar in Alsace area of France. Beautiful German villages along the Rhine. This is a photo of Bacharach, Germany along the Rhine.

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