Allschwil, Basel-Landschaft

Okay, now I’ve finished telling you about New Zealand, it’s about time I recorded my last few outings for #take12trips 2016 (in case you missed it, I’m redoing the take 12 trips challenge).

There are two branches of the Müller drugstore chain in Basel that I know of, and both are equally awkward for me to get to! But sometimes I really want to, because they sell things that I can’t necessarily get at the supermarket (and also their shower gel is cheaper). One of those Müller branches is juuust in Allschwil, a town in the canton of Basel-Landschaft that borders on the Basel-Stadt (the city). (I promise there is a point to this story!). Usually I get there by walking to near the zoo, taking a bus that goes through part of Basel city and then walking for another 15 minutes to cross the border into Allschwil, but one day I decided I was going to walk as far as I could then take a bus the rest of the way. The result was that I ended up on a bus that went through the centre of Allschwil and discovered that it’s actually quite a pretty little town. I knew then that I would have to go there one day with my camera. The opportunity to do so came one day when Jan and I had been to IKEA, which meant I had a day ticket. Jan had a choir practice in the afternoon so I decided to make use of said day ticket and go an explore Allschwil. It was a fairly rainy day, but that actually worked to my advantage – fewer people around to tell me off for taking photos of their houses! (Not that that’s ever happened but I’m always afraid it will!). Here are some photos of the town centre:

I thought there were people standing outside the church, but when I got closer I saw that they weren’t real!

More photos:

Once you get away from the town centre, the buildings become fairly “ordinary” and there isn’t really anything to photograph, but it was worth the trip to see the half-timbered houses photographed. There is also a water tower in Allschwil, about a 25 minute walk from the centre. For the price of 2 CHF you can take a lift up and enjoy a view of Basel, the Black Forest and other surroundings. It’s only open on Sundays and bank holidays though, and my trip to Allschwil was on a Saturday so no water tower for me!

I enjoyed my trip to the centre of Alschwil, but I was left with just one question… why don’t I live in such a pretty house?!

Today I’m linking up to Monday Escapes with My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Packing my Suitcase
Allschwil was my April trip for #take12trips 2016.
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Swiss customs: Banntag

Banntag is a tradition in the canton of Baselbiet (another term for Basel-Landschaft), some parts of Solothurn and some parts of lower Zurich. On Auffahrtstag (the Swiss German for Christi Himmelfahrt – Ascension Day) or a selected other day in May, the community divides into groups and walks around the boundary of the the parish. Originally, the point was to check that all the milestones/boundary stones were in the right place and the neighbouring parish hadn’t sneakily moved any to make their own area bigger. Back then, only men were allowed to take part and in Liestal that’s still the case. This year’s ascension day was bright and sunny, so we decided to take part in our town’s Banntag celebration. Here are some photos:

Part of the way round, we stopped at a local vineyard where we were given wine and a sort of bread with bacon bits in it (water and soft drinks were also available, but who over the age of 16 drinks those at a vineyard?).

Later on the route, a large tent had been set up and there was food and drink for sale.

Bunting with the coats of arms of all the cantons had been strung up in the tent. The two to the very right in the photo below are Baselland (in red) and Basel-Stadt (black). The symbol is a Baselstab or Baselerstab – a crosier or pastoral staff. I was sitting on the wrong side of the bunting, so they’re actually facing the wrong way – the Baselland one is supposed to face to the right!

Banntag

All in all, the walk was 10 kilometres. I must admit, I was glad to see the farm that was our goal! Once there, you could get more food and drink – someone was giving out tokens for a little parcel containing a piece of bread and a sausage, but somehow we missed out on that. We did buy a small cake each though – which I had demolished before I even thought about getting the camera out 😉

It was a beautiful day and a nice walk… and also a good opportunity to discover what ground our town actually covers! We left before the real party got started – it’s not much fun when you don’t know anyone, and almost everyone was way older than us – but on the way home I couldn’t resist taking a few more photos of the cows at the farm and the scenery. I still can’t quite believe that this beauty is within 20 minutes walk of my house!

Sukie’s Cake Shop, Karlsruhe

For years I’ve been saying that what Karlsruhe needs is a place that serves a proper cream team. In fact, I’ve often joked that if I ever felt like a career change I would open an English café. It would serve full English breakfasts, sausage rolls, decent baked potatoes with fillings other than sour cream. It would be possible to order milk for your tea without being treated like an alien, or worse, given coffee creamer! Now it seems somebody has beat me to it 😉

Sukie's

I first heard about Sukie’s Cake SHop before it even opened – Annabelle from the Piri-Piri Lexicon (who also lives in Karlsruhe) sent me a photo of the window, which featured the words “English cakes” and “opening on 1st September”. Obviously I was intrigued. As it happened, I even walked by on the very day of the opening, but sadly I was in a hurry (and it was just before closing time) so I couldn’t pop in. I did look through the window though, and I liked what I saw. A trip to Sukie’s was definitely in order at some point in the future! On Saturday, that day finally came. Jan, my friend K (who is Scottish) and I met up at 4 p.m. and headed off to try out some English cakes.

The decorations were perfect – from the inspirational quotes stuck on the walls to the cute upside down teapot lampshades, pretty roses on the tables and various cake-themed items standing around. The café consists of two rooms – we sat in the one closest to the entrance.

All the cakes on offer sounded delicious, but as I was still recovering from stomach problems, I decided to go with something “light”. Jan and I each chose a strawberry scone with clotted cream and jam. The scone looked more like a rock cake to me, but it tasted delicious! K had pumpkin pie, which I tried a tiny piece of and that, too, was very tasty. To drink, I choose a ginger and lemon tea. Jan went for Darjeeling and K had Irish Afternoon tea. Later, I had some Fentiman’s Dandelion & Burdock (I love that stuff!).

High Tea
” 1 pot of tea, salmon and cucumber sandwiches, various small cakes e.g. Victoria Sponge, other small, tasty surprises”

Sukie, by the way, is the name of the owner’s dog and your four-legged friends are also welcome at the café. There are even home made dog treats available so they don’t have to miss out on the fun!

As we were leaving I took a photo of the board listing all the treats that come with the High Tea. I will definitely have to go back to try that! According to their Facebook page, a breakfast is also available on Saturdays and Sundays, consisting of Porridge, Bacon, Scones, Lemon Curd and more. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

You can find Sukie’s at Bahnhofstraße 13 (next to the Eden Hotel). For more information, see their Facebook page and website (both in German).

Gutenbergplatz Weekly Market, Karlsruhe

tea stallThe market on Gutenbergplatz is Karlsruhe’s oldest weekly market… and, according to all the people who told me to go there, also the nicest. It’s probably the largest, too, along with the one on Stephansplatz, which it alternates days with. I’ve been meaning to go ever since I first heard about it two years ago, but until now I’d never made it. Everybody I spoke to recommended getting there early and, let’s face it, I’m far too lazy to get up early on a Saturday, especially since Gutenbergplatz isn’t exactly around the corner from where I live! But the Take 12 Trips challenge gave me just the kick up the backside I needed to actually drag myself out of bed and head on over there.

According to the Karlsruhe city website (view it here, in German only), the Wochenmarkt Gutenbergplatz ( Weekly Market on Gutenberg Square) takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. Both Tuesday and Thursday are out for me – I’m already on my way to work by that time – and there was absolutely no was I was going to be anywhere near Gutenbergplatz that early on a Saturday, but I did manage to get myself there for 5 to 10, which is still pretty early – especially considering I walked there, which took me half an hour! Yep… I definitely think this can be counted as a trip. I even took a couple of photos for you on the way there, almost like a real tourist ;-).

As well as the usual fruit & vegetable and flower stalls, this market has stands with spices, fresh herbs, tea, cheese and various international specialities – I saw a stand selling Asian goods, a van with Italian goods (lots of parmesan!) and a stall selling “südländische Spezialitäten” – literally Mediterranean specialities, but what I saw there mainly looked Turkish and Greek. And, being Germany, there of course had to be bread! I spotted two vans selling various different kinds, both with huge queues in front of them. Here are a few photos. I apologise for the terrible quality of some… in such situations, I’m always paranoid that the stall owner might tell me off for taking photos of their wares instead of buying them!

The square itself is actually really pretty as well, although it’s difficult to notice it. Here’s a photo that might give you some idea of how nice the old buildings are:

Gutenbergplatz

The trees also look much nicer when they’re in bloom or completely covered in leaves. There are two fountains on the North side of square – the Krautkopfbrunnen and the Pelikanbrunnen – but neither has been switched on yet. It went cold again last week though, so they’re probably waiting to be sure that the spring is going to stay!
And now for tourist information part…

What: Weekly market
Where: Gutenbergplatz, between Gutenbergstraße and Nelkenstraße, Karlsruhe Weststadt
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting at 7 a.m.
Nearest tram stop: Yorckstraße or Sophienstraße (more lines serve Yorckstraße)

The market is quite nice and certainly offers more choice than my own local market (which I think has about 6 stalls!). I wouldn’t say it’s something all visitors to Karlsruhe must see, but if you’re into markets and stuck for something to do on a Saturday give it a go! It’s a produce market though, so don’t expect to find clothes, books or anything of that sort! Saturday is probably the best day to go to that particular market as may of the stalls aren’t there on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Alternatively, if you’re around on a Friday, check out the market on Stephansplatz instead. It has many of the same stalls that go to Gutenbergplatz on a Saturday and is much more central (I believe Stephansplatz is considered to be “Innenstadtwest”, with the actual “centre” of town being the castle).

Do you like to get up early and go to the market? Or do you prefer sleeping in on a Saturday, like I normally do? Let me know in the comments.

A Sunday stroll

The sun actually came out today and I felt the need to get some fresh air, so I decided to go out for a walk.
First, I headed towards the train station. On the way there I spotted some daffodils dancing in the breeze.

daffodil

I walked along the front of the zoo, stopping to see whether I could spy the red pandas. On the photo below, you can see a red ball of fur curled up in the tree. The other panda was in a higher tree further along. Most of him was hidden behind a branch though, so I didn’t take a photo.

red panda

After calling in at the train station to see whether they still had my cross stitch magazine (they didn’t – I knew I should have bought all three last week!), I headed towards Beiertheimer Allee (a street leading towards the part of Karlsruhe called Beiertheim… although I actually walked down it away from Beiertheim). In the middle of the street, there’s a large area of green with paths leading through it and a play area part way down. When the sun comes out, the green area (it’s not a park or garden, really) is incredibly popular with parents pushing buggies, joggers and dogwalkers. I spotted more signs of spring in the grass.

flowers

Continuing my walk, I passed the Karlsruhe minigolf course… still closed for its winter break until 1st April.

mini golf

The play area that you can just about see beside the minigolf is actually inside the Stadtgarten bit of the zoo.
Leaving the minigolf course, I turned a corner and came to Festplatz, a square that houses the buildings belonging to the Karlsruhe Kongresszentrum (congress centre), where many conferences and trade fairs are held. The one pictured below is the Stadthalle (City Hall… not to confused with the Rathaus, which confusingly also means Town Hall or City Hall…).

Crossing over Festplatz, I made my way back to the Südstadt and home for lunch after a lovely walk in the Spring sunshine. If only we could have weather like this every weekend!

Look Up, Look Down – The Vierordtbad Tower

For today’s look up, look down entry, I’m using an old photo that was taken right here in Karlsruhe. It shows the tower of the Vierordtbad swim baths at sunset.

Karlsruhe Vierordtbad tower

The “tower” is actually a chimney, and all that remains of the former thermal power station, which provided heat for both the Vierordtbad and the neighbouring Tullabad. The rest was torn down in 1989 when the Gartenhalle was built – that green roof that you can see in front of the tower on this photo is the Gartenhalle, which is part of the congress centre. Here’s another photo of the chimney/tower taken on a different day and from a different perspective:

Krlsruhe Kongresszentrum + Vierordtbad

Got a photo that would be perfect for the theme? Check out Travel With Intent’s blog post to join the challenge and view everyone else’s entries.

Making the most of the sunshine

Sunny days are so few and far between right now, that it pays to make the most of them when they arrive! After weeks of rain, cold and grey skies, the sun came out on Sunday, so I persuaded Jan to come out for an afternoon walk with me. A few signs of autumn are showing up now, but mostly we’re still at that in between stage where most of the trees are still green with only a few traces of yellow or orange. It was a lovely day for a walk though, and I actually managed to get some photos of Karlsruhe with blue skies (unlike all the ones in my Neighbourhoods around the world post…).

Konzerthaus (the concert hall)
Konzerthaus (the concert hall)
This tree in the Nymphengarten has decided to embrace the colours of autumn...
This tree in the Nymphengarten has decided to embrace the colours of autumn (unlike all the ones around it)…
A nice old building squished in between two less nice buildings on Kaiserstrasse, the main shopping street
A nice old building squished in between two less nice buildings on Kaiserstrasse, the main shopping street

It was Stadtfest on that day and also Verkaufsoffener Sonntag (a Sunday on which shops are open for business) so a lot of places were giving out balloons. This tree next to a tram stop was doing an excellent job at catching those that s,all children inevitably let go of…

Balloon tree
Balloon tree

I’ve posted a photo of this old entrance to a swim baths before (the modern entrance is round the corner, and much less impressive). That time there was snow on the ground and the trees were much more bare.

The Vierordtbad in Autumn
The Vierordtbad in Autumn

And finally, a photo taken by Jan…

Me and the Vierordtbad
Me and the Vierordtbad

He said he likes the way my hair looks with the sun shining on it.

Yesterday we woke up to rain again and the forecast seems to be indicating more precipitation for the rest of the week, so it’s a good job we got out in the sunshine while we had the chance!