Friday, 6 September 2013

Welcome to Basel, Switzerland!

With a few days to go till Powerman Zofingen, I arrived yesterday in Basel, Switzerland to kick off my 6 week vacation!

Welcome to Basel SBB!

Yup, you heard that right! I didnt use up all of my vacation from 2012, so I was able to carry some over to this year. Combined with stat holidays, banked time and floater days, I put all my eggs in this 6-week vacation basket! Jealous? :D

So the plan for the vacation is as follows:

  • First week: Arrive in Switzerland, acclimatize and rest before the race (not much sightseeing, unfortunately)
  • 2nd week: Race, then train it to Frankfurt to see my cousin, Shuchita for a few days. Crawl everywhere in pain recovering from the race, being generally out of commission.
  • 3rd week: Visit Munich for three days soaking the local atmosphere before Oktoberfest, go back to Frankfurt for a few days before heading back to Brussels to catch my flight to India
  • 4th-6th weeks: See my family, uncles/aunts and my lovely nephews, nieces and cousins!
For now its only been 36 hours in Europe, but I was surprised by how much of my French skills came back. Switzerland is pretty English-friendly, but throughout the travel, I journeyed from Brussels to Basel via France, then Luxembourg, then France again, before arriving in Switzerland. Nearly all signs/announcements were in German/French and I could understand 90%! Sweet.

Just outside the train station towards YMCA

My home for the next 6 days in YMCA Basel
 That helped me not make any boo-boo's during the transit. Well, other than the fact that I forgot Switzerland doesn't use Euros and sticks to their CHF...and obviously, I only had Euros with me. Once I arrived here, I also got a nice surprise from WIND mobile (my cell provider in Canada) that my SIM/network does not work here. I deliberately called them a few days before I left to put me on an international roaming plan, which they did, but then conveniently forgot to tell me that I might need a replacement SIM for it to actually work. Smart.

Yesterday I went to walk around Basel and see some local sights. What a nice city! Walked around the major pedestrian places for a while and sniffed some local cafes and eats.

Cyclists and pedestrians have separate lights!
Basel Theater

Basel Theater
Barfusserplatz (Bar and chillout place...)

 Then I thought...what better way to explore the city than to run through it? :D So i took the following pics of Basel while running...


Most unique mode of transport I saw here. Looks like a retro 80's first generation electric/hybrid 3-wheeled scooter!
Then I went closer and saw that its actually a hybrid tricycle! Those are two seats with two cranks and drivetrains!
Mittiere Rheinbrucke : There are a few bridges that cross the Rhine river in Basel, this is the 'middle' one.
Steps on one side to enjoy the sun, or swim along the current in the river...
Some random apartment/house complex with 6 BMW's and no other cars
By now I had started running along the river, and doing some random hill repeats (actually every road here goes either up or down, no flats!) when suddenly a guy decided to pick a race with me, not allow

ing me to pass him. I was trotting along at 4:50-5:00 min/km pace, then ran one mile with him at 3:45 min/km pace. That woke my legs up!

The jet lag was creeping in slowly and my HR went through the roof, so i slowed down and jogged my way back to the hostel.

Basel Run - what blog post is complete without some exercise related map/graph? :D

The next day I went on a recon mission to scout out the Powerman Zofingen bike/run courses in 34C heat. You'll find out how that went soon enough (hint, the rumoured hills don't get any smaller in person...!)

Keep pedaling.

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