Admittedly, the weather conditions could be better for a city walk. However, we don’t let this spoil our mood and walk first to the Münster and the Palatinate. From the latter you have a wonderful view over the Rhine and Kleinbasel, which can be reached on foot via the Mittlere Brücke or with the “Fähri”, as Celine explains to us in charming Basel dialect. She tells us that when the weather is nice, she likes to spend the evening here with friends. The Rhine is a highlight of living in Basel. In summer she likes to swim in it and let herself float down the river from the Tinguely Museum. Or she gets an ice cream from one of the small pop-up stands that line up along the Rhine, and sits down on the river bank.
Our tour continues towards the Natural History Museum. A place that reminds her of her childhood. She has been interested in fossils, human and natural history from an early age. The aspiring primary school teacher hopes to come here one day with her own class. She tells us that her interests and hobbies are very broad. No wonder she dances, paints, gardens, surfs, and plays the ukulele and piano, to name just a few of her hobbies.
Today, Basel’s old town is quiet, and we’re beamed back in time. We pass a few splendid guild houses and antique shops, which range from a tailor’s studio to a work- and bookshop. When we reach the stores of major international fashion labels on the main shopping street, our trip through time comes to an abrupt end.
We talk about tattoos, school systems in other countries, a desire to travel and Generation Y’s search for meaning in life. I see two tattoos. She has another one on her left upper arm, where the Arabic word “Maktub” is tattooed, which means something like “It is written”. “I read the word Maktub for the first time in the book of the same name by Paulo Coelho, which is now one of my favourite books. For me it means that everything that happens to us in life, all the acquaintances we make, have already been written. Above all, it accompanied me on my journey and helped me to make decisions.” With these words and the desire for more tattoos, we cross the street and try to avoid the green trams. Celine says that she will soon move into a shared apartment in the city center. She looks forward to being right in the middle of the action and not having to get up so early to start her morning shift at ViCAFE.
We go to Unternehmen Mitte, a coffee shop and culture house where Celine likes to meet friends. She shows us her favourite flower shop. In a few days she will buy a bouquet for her mother, who has her birthday on the same day as her.
She can imagine leaving Switzerland to live somewhere else. Not because she doesn’t like it here, but because her curiosity for foreign cultures is so great. She realised that she could follow her intuition when she fell in love in Bali. She quickly changed her plans and traveled to America for love. Today, she is in a happy long-distance relationship. And as luck would have it, the two will see each other again soon because he has a wedding photography job coming up in Switzerland.
Our city tour à la Celine is coming to an end. While she is accompanying us back to the train station, we make a quick stop in the Markthalle . There are food stands with specialties from Ethiopia to Cyprus, flea markets, events, workshops and concerts.
Impressed by Celine’s city tour expertise and Basel’s diversity, especially in the cultural field, we leave the city on the Rhine – without having eaten, but with flowers.