Summer Vacation with Mom: Trains and Basel

On our last day in the Swiss Riviera we finally realised that we had nothing to do for the Monday to Wednesday before the flight home for mom departing from Frankfurt. I had been bugging mom to choose where we would go next, because finding accomodations would be absolutely horrid. Well it turned out that it wasn’t so difficult, so since she has no idea about Swiss geography, we decided that we would go to Basel, or Bâle for the francophones. It worked out for me since I only live about an hour away from Basel, and I was getting pretty tired of traveling and wanted to go home.

We went to the counter to give them our key and information and to call Basel to book the hostel for her, it was quite reasonable price for a hostel, and then we were off to the train station to get to Basel. Since none of our cards worked in the machines, we bought our tickets from the guichet and then waited awhile after buying sandwhiches and coffees for the journey. Our train arrived, and we departed from Vevey heading for Basel. The train was really nice and we got our places in a nice comfy section of the train where there was lots of leg room and luggage storage.

The train ride was only about three and a half hours so we had magazines to read, and we basically just talked about the family or other things that we hadn’t caught up on. It proved to work because before we knew it we were even halfway there! The funniest part of this entire train ride was the people that sat around us. Mom had absolutely no idea what was going on because she can’t do the multi-tasking thing like I do, and since I’m super-observant. I was watching everything that was going on around us, and I noticed this handsome younger-looking man sitting a row infront of us facing us in one of those four person work areas. Well it was probably the fact that we were laughing, and speaking in English because he found us to be quite amusing and something nice to look at. It was obvious that he was francophone, because of the way he stares (I’ve learned to tell), but he kept smiling at me and was distracted from his own crossword, due to either our rhukus or my amazing good looks (I jest of course )

So when we arrived in Yverdun-les-Bains (what an awesome name eh?), he started to disembark the train, and I couldn’t help but notice the outright and obvious staring that he was doing up until the point that he actually got off the train. Full turnaround look even whilst going down the stairs, so I laughed to myself mom being clueless of everything, obviously. I just thought it was a hillarious thing, since I never seem to attract positive attention, but somebody was clearly interested, funny that! So to that random guy of whom I will name Yves from this point forward, I didn’t get a chance to say hello to you since I was talking with my mom, but hey! Hope that we weren’t too much of an annoyance on the train for your travels! Keep on truckin’, mate. The train departed and for the next hour or so we passed through German-speaking and French-speaking regions, I could tell by the announcements and the electronic information in each train about the stops. When it said “Prochain arrêt” obviously we are in a French town, and when it says “Nästa halt” I knew we were in a German region.

Arrived at Basel in one piece, in the heat of humidty and had no idea of where we were going. The map proved to be useless because we couldn’t figure out what side of the bloody train station we were on. So we got a drink, and then headed to find mom’s hostel after checking SNCF train times. We made it there after about an hour of walking, and noticing that all of Basel was under construction and difficult for pedestrians. It’s a normal city, nothing really to see or do, but it would do for the next few days. We got our key and moved her into her very backpackers room, and transferred all the luggage to me to take with me so that she only had a little bag.

We searched for something to eat before left on my train, but the only place with something reasonable was a Pizzeria, where they didn’t speak any langauge other than Swiss German. Needless to say we had a horrible time ordering and communicating with the Iranian family that owned the resteraunt. We eventually got our drinks and food and then we ate. It was horribly expensive like everything in Switzerland but then I went off to the train sation to begin my next two days of commuting back and forth from Strasbourg.

The machine was being evil to me at the train station, but I made it back to Strasbourg with no problems except for the customs guards who asked me a million questions about where I lived and such, which was really annoying but they let me by!

Leave a Comment