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.
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.
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 CouchSurfing.org 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.
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.
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 CouchSurfing.org 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.