Let me show you my new neighbourhood

Well, not exactly. I’m not daft enough to show you my actual street or anything 😉 But I did take a photo from my balcony so you can all see how green and natural it is outside my window. Sadly, birds don’t really like to stay still so this is the best I could do:

BirdUgh, so blurry! Hopefully soon we will get a bird feeder so I can entice my feathered friends to come right up to my balcony. That tree is standing in a little “garden” area (some grass with a hedge around it which I haven’t figured out whether we’re actually allowed to go in yet) and beyond that is the street my building is located on, although you can’t actually access it from the street. If you look out the window at the other side of our flat, you can see more trees plus a kind of courtyard that’s between two building complexes – ours and the one opposite are connected by an underground parking garage that’s below the buildings and both complexes belong to a hospital in Basel. Apparently this kind of thing is common (hospitals randomly owning and renting out apartment blocks I mean, not parking garages under courtyards). The courtyard is where you enter the building. Here have a photo of a random street near mine. Because I won’t sure you a photo of my home but I have zero problem posting one of somebody else’s. Note all the trees/green plants. That’s pretty typical for the area we’re living in. (Also, construction. But ignore that.)

StreetTechnically, we don’t actually live in Basel proper, by which I mean Basel city. After looking at multiple flats there, we ended up extended our range to the surrounding towns in Basel-Landschaft (that’s the other Basel half canton – a canton being something like a German Bundesland/federal state. Basel and a few others are split in two, so you get half cantons. Obviously.). The place we ended up getting is in a small town (village?) just over the border from Basel city. But, although it’s technically Basel-Landschaft, we’re so close to Basel that it’s more like living in a suburb than a separate town. Just as an example, the tram to Basel Swiss train station (Basel SBB) takes 8 minutes – which is pretty much exactly as long as the tram journey to the train station took from my old flat in Karlsruhe (the one before Jan and I moved in together). Also, we’re only a couple of tram stops (or 10 minutes walk) from the zoo, which is clearly important 😉 Sadly, there are no red pandas at this one. Just around the corner from us is a little stream. It’s close enough that I can walk along it in my lunch break if I want to, and in fact the photo below was taken during a lunch break when I decided to walk along the stream to get to the post office (actually just a post counter in a supermarket, but the actual post office closes over lunch time!)


Slightly nicer than walking along beside the tram tracks or down a street that’s in the process of being dug up, which would have been the alternatives to the route along the stream. Also, remember when I said my perfect rainy day would involve going to see ducks during a lull in the rain? Totally possible from our new home!

Back at Easter, when I went down for a visit, we decided to go and find the local woods. It turned out they were only about a 20 minute walk from our flat! Here’s a mouse (I think?) that we spied on our walk:

Mouse?I was so proud of myself for managing to get that shot. Yay for my new camera!
There are various supermarkets close to our new flat. On the main street there’s a Coop, which I haven’t actually been to yet. Then just down the road from that is a Migros, which I have been to. Supposedly Migros is the cheaper of the two, which is why I’ve only been there although Jan occasionally stops at Coop in town on the way home from work. 10 minutes walk in the other direction (along the stream) there’s a Denner – the discount supermarket I told you about in a previous post. The relative cheapness there brings the prices down to about level with a non-discount supermarket in Germany, but it’s still better than doing all my shopping at Migros! I will still have to continue shopping at the expensive places though because Denner doesn’t see everything I want. Or at least that one doesn’t. And I don’t mean exotic things either… I’m talking things like tins of kidney beans! Apart from that, there’s a Migrolino in the neighbourhood. For those of you who are familiar with the UK, it’s comparable to a Tesco Express – basically a smaller supermarket that doesn’t sell everything but is conveniently located with better opening hours that normal supermarkets. Our particular Migrolino is open 365 days a year (so even on Christmas!) until 9 p.m. I don’t know if that’s common to all Migrolinos though.

This is my local Denner
This is my local Denner

So, nature in one direction, Basel proper in the other and excellent tram connections. What more could we need? Oh, and it’s also possible to walk to the Tinguely fountain in 25-30 minutes – we checked. Not bad at all! I don’t know what else to say, so just have some more pictures instead. Some are more “my” neighbourhood than others – a few are over the border in Basel Stadt.

So, that’s where I live now. Pretty isn’t it?