Basel Road Trip


Yesterday was a beautiful Swiss day. Jonathan and I first took a walk along the creek behind his house, and I was amazed at how beautiful it was. It also posed a query I am often obsessed with in these kinds of places: Who pays for all this? The path and creek and forest stretch for miles and is meticulously maintained. Are these part of some municipal, canton or federal budgets that one’s high taxes pay for? This isn’t that hugely a populated area, and yet it must be very expensive to maintain. In any event, it was beautiful.

After our morning walk, we took a 2.5 hour drive to Basel. Jonathan had heard great things about the Gaugin show at the Fondation Beyeler, so we first went to that. The show was good, but a bit too crowded which made it difficult to appreciate the work. I did learn a few new interesting things about Gaugin, an artist I have never much cared for in the past. While I can’t say I suddenly love his work, I do have a greater appreciation for it after the show.

Following the show we drove into the center of the old town and had a really lovely walk around. Even though it was Easter and most everything was closed, the feel of the historic city, the river views, the winding streets and the crisp, sunny day made this my favorite part of the trip.

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Rainy day road trip


Originally my friend Jimmy and I had planned on taking a two day camping and hiking trip to the Wilsons Promontory, but with the forecast for heavy rain, we instead decided on a less ambitious trip up The Great Ocean Road. Even though it was overcast and rainy at times, this ended up being a really good choice. We were joined on the trip by Jimmy’s friend Mark, who provided much in the way of comic relief throughout the journey. It takes a bit of time outside of Melbourne (to the west) before the stretch of road begins, but once it does, it is quite beautiful. It really reminded me of Highway 1 in California in many places, the landscapes can be quite similar and equally stunning. At about halfway up we took a small detour and hike to a place called Erskine Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. I know people are often more impressed by the huge, loud, multi-part falls at Niagara or Iguazo, but there is something more beautiful to me about a tall, thin, single point dropping a great vertical distance. We then headed to a nearby town for some fresh fish, and made our long and winding way back to Melbourne, just in time to miss the heaviest rains of the day and and some intense lightning.

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