The idea of going to Basel came out of short notice and more or less any means to go much further. I had been to Basel before and I really liked it there, so I thought I want to explore Switzerland a little more. The drive is usually about 4 hours long, but we left too late, around 7am instead of 6am as I had planned " and got stuck in all kinds of traffic… after riding back to back on the Autobahn and not being able to go faster than 100km, I got tired of it and we decided to go the backroute " it moved just as faced, but gave us so much for to see.
The Black Forest region is simply beautiful.
It was very, very hot, which did not make things any better for travelling, but it was nice that it was not raining. By the time we finally arrived it was 14.30 " just ready for coffee time. But we needed a bank first. I thought we can change money in Lörrach, but they close for lunch. So we drive through Basel, over one bridge, back over another and back to the center on yet another. Traffic is something else, so many bicycles. And a lot of traffic and many one ways, wow, almost feels like home. Found a bank.
There was a Starbucks right were we parked and I thought, oh well, it is time to try the oh so famous coffee shop. Okay, so I am looking through their “menu” and realize that I am totally outdated. I found all kinds of stuff, from iced double mocca, frappuccino etc to frozen pomegranate juice and while I am still wondering what this has to do with coffee, I realize the only thing I did NOT find was " COFFEE… or at least a milkcoffee.
What a strange place. Ah " a Latte Macchiato at least. So, everybody got their more or less fancy specilty and as I paid …. I was wondering, if the coffee beans are hand picked and washed and if some poor workers are still grinding the beans after walking them per donkey from their origin to Switzerland " other than that, surely nothing would justify THOSE prices for THAT coffee…..
While I am still mumbling to myself over the rip-off and wonder why people go along with it, first I have to go and get some more Franken and Rappen … the bank is right at the corner.. and they have a change machine. How nice. You insert your Euro’s and it spits out Franken. So cool. And I love the design of the Swiss money, it is so colorful.
But, now we are tired of driving around and are off to the Zoo. Don't ask how many times till we found it. ;)
The Elephants were so cool
Off to the Zoo we are…. Zolli" as the Baseler call it. The Entrance is right there under some shady trees and so is the parking " if you are lucky enough to get some. Parking is very limited. Since we arrive rather late " around 16.30 we were lucky, since people were leaving already. But, still it is soooo hot… and it does not seem to cool off at all. We decide to look at the “houses” last and enjoy the sunshine, while it lasts. And we did enjoy it for the first 15 minutes and after that running for the shade. I guess, we were just not used to so much sun anymore. So, we go and look at the bears and the monkeys.
And elephants, Frankfurt does not have any elephants, so I really like them. I go inside the house " no elephants here, they are all outside. But, I still stay inside " it is cool in here. I marvel at a display of how elephants developed and how fascinating evolution is. And how the mammoth is just not around anymore and how some grew to be elephants and other turned into this rat looking thing and of course I forgot the name. And then I think of all those different species and how they change their skin color and shape and I wonder if humankind eventually have no more appendix or what it used to be used for in the first place…and will we lose our feet, because we do not need them anymore, since we drive more than we walk? Nature is the most interesting thing in the world, too bad there is so little left. And I saw a cuckaborra (spelling) and I thought, cool some of my australian travbuddies have those in their yard.
Winking at me
When I saw the sweet water crocodiles I was not so envious anymore though.
Then I come to a very big " but seemingly empty " desert looking landscape. How boring. As I walked on into another house " I saw the lion and the lioness laying in the shade " so they were the ones occupying the large area outside. But even they were being soo lazy. I sit down to watch them a little while and enjoy the coolness in the house and the quietness. The lioness raises her head, as if she is willing to let me take a photo " and again I wish I had a nice camera. I watch her a while longer, but decide to take off as some very noisy children come in knocking on the window to get the attention of the lions.
And I am thinking that maybe Zoo's aren't so great after all. I bet she was thinking, this could be dinner, just for annoying me......
from the inside of the elephant house, but they wanted to stay outside
The crocodiles are the next stop. They seem so big and so still. People are debating about the log looking thing in the water. Is it real or plastic, but as it is inching forward.. it was obviously just a smaller size of the other two crocodiles . I read about crocodiles. Because of controlled breeding the almost extinct Mississippi alligator is now not endangered anymore and is allowed to be hunted again . Makes sense :( so we can put it back on the endangered species list. It is so sad. In Frankfurt Zoo you can see a large globe from 1964 I think. It shows what animals lived in what region. Now they added a paper with the name of the animals and little colored dots to make you see, what species are endangered, highly endangered or extinct already.
And it makes me sad to see that some of the animals I never had a chance to see and I think Zoo's are a good thing after all. If only for breeding purposes, but also for awareness.
inside the lion / crocodile house
The territory of the rhino was also very impressive, and there were Indian rhino’s, something I have not seen before, very interesting, with all those skin folds on them.
There were so many interesting animals to see and the time was just not enough… at least not if you really want to look at them for more than one minute. The giraffe’s were probably my favourite, such beautiful eyes.
Before we left, we had a chance to enter the “Vivarium” a very nicely set up house with fish, but before we even got halfway through, the Zoo was closing and we had to leave.
So, we did not manage to get to see the lizards and snakes in the Vivarium, but there may be another time.