You Say "Basel", I Say "Basle"... Let's Call the Whole Thing OFF!
Reflecting on my latest whistle-stop tour of the renowned ‘Basel World’, I realise that it is now over 30 years since my first visit there. Back then it was better known as “The Basle Fair” but, although many years have passed and there have been myriad changes, one thing was very familiar to my initial excursion: the absence of multi-brand giant The Swatch Group. It felt significantly quieter for their non-attendance but the atmosphere was by no means lacking because of it. It came as a welcome change to be able to comfortably view what this timepiece aficionado’s paradise had to offer.
You may have noticed at the start of my account that I said “whistle-stop”. There is a reason for this that only seasoned Basel-travellers with appreciate. As with many multi-million Euro attractions, at this event nothing comes for free and barely even reasonable. Accommodation in the Swiss host city is like proverbial rocking horse droppings and carries a premium that I, personally, find unjustifiable. Therefore, in trips past, when meetings have spanned several days, I have stayed over the border in two of the neighbouring countries - France and Germany, and commuted. Fortunately, with The Swatch Group no longer involved, my meetings were fewer and I did the ‘Red Eye’ this year (in and out in a day).
I did one year, however, chance upon a hotel in Basel itself on the t’internet - close to the fair, looked OK on the photos, very good price - and hastily snapped it up. On further inspection, when the transaction had completed, I realised it was in the Red Light District!*
To be continued…
*For the record, it was good and exactly as described but in the interests of my relationship I have ever since sought alternate arrangements.