Day 336 – SWITZERLAND: From near Olten to Basel

Urs and Elizabeth in Kappa, Switzerland

After saying my thanks and goodbyes to Urs and Elizabeth, I headed up the hill towards Basel. Urs was keen to see how much my pack weighed before I left; 15kg. That was at least 3kg worth of food that Elizabeth insisted I take with me. They loaded me up to the hilt, and sent me on my way. Thank you so much!

It was uphill for most of the morning…

(click on image for a short video – video will open in new window)

The rain however held off for all day. That was a rare enough occurrence to make me suitably happy. The mostly downhill stretch downhill to Basel after the hard uphill was rather welcome too.

Things really fell together today, actually. My Black Diamond pack had developed a fault in the stitching just before I left Anzere (where I had worked for two months in Switzerland). I had emailed Black Diamond in Switzerland soon after the fault developed, and they replied saying that I should visit their headquaters in Reinach, on my way to Basel. So I did just that, and by the end of today I had a new pack on my back. They didn’t have any of the black colour in stock, so I have an olive green colour pack instead.

I arrived in Basel, and promptly got acquainted with the Rhine River – the river which will be my companion for the next four or so weeks as I skate through Germany.

A close fit on the Rhine River in Switzerland

Massive ships either heaved against the current upstream, or steamed effortlessly downstream just clearing the underside of the bridges as they went.

Basel has it’s charm. The seemingly landmark buildings are all red.

Town hall in Basel, Swizerland

While I was sitting on the shores of the Rhine, a group of four guys walked up looking somewhat suspiciously at my skateboard. I explained to them what I was up to, and they gave me a flyer for a circus happening later in the evening. Having nothing better to do and still not able to contact any hosts, I decided to go along.

Wow. The Basilisk Circus is a circus performed by 7 to 17 year old people. During the year, they go to circus training one hour a week, and then for two weeks a year, the performance is held. It is a very professional affair, despite the age of the performers and the fact that entrance is free.

Joshua the juggler at the Basilisk Circus in Basel, Switzerland

Slack-rope walker at the Basilisk Circus in Basel, Switzerland

There was trapeze, juggling, clowns, tight-rope and slack-rope walking, an act involving long lycra ‘curtains’ up which performers would climb, and perform all sorts of mind boggling acts.

Circus fellas at the Basilisk Circus in Basel, Switzerland

From left is Joshua, Sebastian, Jason, and Sven. These four were the ones who invited me to come to the Basilisk Circus. A great friendly bunch.

When the circus finished, I wandered outside to find a host I had contacted waiting outside for me. He had recieved my email saying that I would be at the circus that night. It was Randall, a fellow Kiwi working in Switzerland. He’s from the North Island, but I won’t hold that against him ;-). We headed to his apartment, and I promptly crashed and slept like a log till morning.

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6 thoughts on “Day 336 – SWITZERLAND: From near Olten to Basel

  • Mum

    You seem to be travelling a lot faster now or maybe its just that Switzerland is small so it looks like you are going a lot further each day than you did when travelling through Central Asia. I mark your route each time you do a posting on a large map of each country you go through and also on a world map. Your bike arrived the other day – pity it's in so many bits!

  • Bubbles (eric)

    i hope you told them about your slacklining experiences in Anzere. Maybe you could have shown them a thing or two.

    yeah…the rain is killing us here at camp too. its hard to find different rainy day activities for all these campers. So dont feel like your alone when i comes to being sick of this weather.