The overnight train left me in Basel, well up the mighty Rhine.
When I walked down one street, the houses seemed quite normal - until I noticed that the dates on their walls were from the 1400s and before! I guess this might be a fairly old part of town.
The Atelier Maithe shop in Basel had a rather large amethyst in its window; a nodule from Brazil - for sale, but a bit out of my price range (and a bit big to lug around in a backpack!). I thought mum might appreciate something from here.
Some of the shops in the town had really got into an easter spirit. Not the sort involving crucifixes and sacrificing yourself, but the sort with bunny rabbits and eggs.
A bit later than planned, I finally got on a train moving northwards. First we went over the border to Mulhouse, which with Strasbourg is in the province of Alsace. Alsace has passed between German and French spheres of influence over the centuries, and the local lad I spoke to on the train (who looks blonder than my cheap camera makes out) seemed worlds apart from Parisians.
The European parliament moves between Brussels and Strasbourg every few weeks.
The church is rather old, but they haven't got round to building the other tower.
There is some rather nice food here, as you would expect. I had beef steak cooked with foie gras d'oie (goose liver pate) which was scrumptious. No, I'm not a vegetarian :-).
There are many canal boats which tour the lovely canals pointing out the sights.
Dusan is a lovely Slovenian who was visiting Köln at the time. He had sobered up since my Christmas/New Year 2000 holiday. Have I written that one up yet?
I was in this European capital long enough to see the city's main sight - a statue of a boy taking a leak - and more importantly get some chocolates and stock up on minor gifts for major cuties back in London :-). After all, I couldn't come back empty handed after such a fun trip could I?
Of course, since one of the gifts was chocolate euros, it didn't make it to its intended recipient, but I made sure they found a good home :-)
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