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Old 30.06.2012, 19:18
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Floridian family new to Basel

Hello, am working in Basel - my family followed. Came in the summer to find that everyone we knew/know has left for summer break (including relatives we have in Stutgart, Germany). My kids start at the ISB in August, but right now they're bored to death in an apartment in Stucki while I'm working. Really looking to connect with some English speaking families, some social interaction. I speak a little German, they speak none & language classes don't start till later in August. My kids are 16 and 14 years old. Any recommendations on things to do - we've done Tinguely museum, museum of Natural History, Muenster... What do families do for fun? Looking to get a car in August when we move to a house, but right now feel a little city-locked (we came from countryside of Florida off a River). We have bikes but went to Kiosk looking for bicycle trails & the agent looked as if I was an alien. We like to hike, bicycle - but in Stucki (apartment) it feels like you're taking your life in your hands driving the roads. Was looking at SBB train tickets - but for a family of 4, looking at $300+ for a day trip to the mountains.

Any advice for get-together activities for verbal interaction is welcome.

Thanks,
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Old 30.06.2012, 20:37
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

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Hello, am working in Basel - my family followed. Came in the summer to find that everyone we knew/know has left for summer break (including relatives we have in Stutgart, Germany). My kids start at the ISB in August, but right now they're bored to death in an apartment in Stucki while I'm working. Really looking to connect with some English speaking families, some social interaction. I speak a little German, they speak none & language classes don't start till later in August. My kids are 16 and 14 years old. Any recommendations on things to do - we've done Tinguely museum, museum of Natural History, Muenster... What do families do for fun? Looking to get a car in August when we move to a house, but right now feel a little city-locked (we came from countryside of Florida off a River). We have bikes but went to Kiosk looking for bicycle trails & the agent looked as if I was an alien. We like to hike, bicycle - but in Stucki (apartment) it feels like you're taking your life in your hands driving the roads. Was looking at SBB train tickets - but for a family of 4, looking at $300+ for a day trip to the mountains.

Any advice for get-together activities for verbal interaction is welcome.

Thanks,
Hi Steve,

Welcome to Basel. I work in Schafferweg so I know the area you are in very well.

I have some ideas for you and please feel free to send me a private message if you would like any more details. (btw, I moved here in October, and for the first month I felt like I was on another planet, it was an adjustment).

My first recommendation is to download Google Chrome. The reason is that it does an amazing job of webpage translation in real time. I would have died without it. So, when you are looking for things to do, it will really make a difference.

Ok, first and foremost, if you are not certain about the car you might want to consider getting the SBB Half Price card. It is good in all of Switzerland for the trains. The cost is 130 CHF I think, but that may only be if you opt for the credit card. I did because I just don't use that card and there are no fees. What, something for nothing in Switzerland???

if you are really certain you are getting a car then maybe this won't make sense for you. I can tell you, from the people I know, just about everyone has the card, even if they own cars. Two trips to Interlaken and it is paid for already.

Second, do you know the area you plan on moving to? I live at the top of Riehen and what I love is I can literally walk to the mountains behind me with my dogs for short hikes. Also, there is an awesome bike trial (the same one that starts where you live on the canal) that goes all the way to the black forest. What is nice about that trail is it is easy to ride, well maintained, almost all paved, and very bike friendly.

Third, my colleagues and I eat in Stucki most days since it is walking distance from our office (I work for Novartis). If you are ever around and want to catch lunch with us, please feel free.

After a little time you will start to discover all the nuggets of how to get around easily in and outside of the city.

Another thing is, you can get out to Basel Land by the tram and there are beautiful hikes there as well. I presume you have a tram card for your family. If not, this is a must have (even if you have a car). Also, if you purchase it for the entire year, you get two months free. What is REALLY nice is, it also works on the SBB for a short distance. For instance, suppose you want to go to Ikea. That would then be free with your tram card. In one direction, you can go as far as Olten with the card for no extra charge.
- A hint with this is, if you buy an SBB ticket for another city, and you have the tram card, and you are going through Olten as an example, you can buy the ticket to start from Olten because your tram card covers you until that point.
- Another hint, you will notice, you are almost never checked for a ticket between Basel SBB and Olten. But, do not use this as an excuse to not have a ticket one way or the other, or you will get caught, as it is part of Murphy's Law.

As I think of other things I will reply, but I hope this is a good start.

Oh, one last one, if you like to swim (and your family), you can buy a waterproof bag, go up stream as far as you like, and swim down the river. Its fun, keeps you cool, and not so bored. Btw, a lot of people will take a flashlight or something and toss it in the bag (on of course) at night and swim in the Rhein which also looks really cool.
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Old 01.07.2012, 09:47
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Hello and welcome to the English Forum.
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Old 01.07.2012, 10:26
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Go to the BLT site, here: http://www.blt.ch/FahrgastServices/A...lugstipps.aspx and click on "Bergregion Basel." You'll get a pdf of mountains (well, high enough to have a chairlift, anyway) in the Basel area. I've done Wasserfallen from Reigoldswil a couple of times, and it's enjoyable. Nice panoramic views of both Switzerland and France from the top. All it costs is a tram ticket. You can also rent a "trotinett" for the way down: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/trot...-mountain.html
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Old 01.07.2012, 10:32
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Hello, with the junior card cost 30 CHF your 14 year old will travel with you for free. http://www.sbb.ch/abos-billette/bill...iz/kinder.html
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Old 01.07.2012, 10:42
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Forgot to say, another good outings site is this one: http://www.wandersite.ch/def_english.html
You can choose one-day, two-day, or longer, and by region. The actual directions and so on default to German, but there are maps, so I think you'd have no trouble figuring it out.
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Old 01.07.2012, 10:51
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Reihan is the other sdie of town from where their children will go to school, but I agree about walking in the hils behind Reihen (one good walk is fro the end of the 6 tram line, up over the hills, past the Telecommunication mast and dropping down to the Rhine near the border by Grenzach.

BUt there are also great walks from the other side of Basel as well.

Go to Bider and Tanner book shop and ask for help (upstairs)in finding the best walking maps for the area.

They also stock cycling maps. One way you spend part of the holidays could be in doing one of the Swiss National cycling routes ( there are 8) or any of the many regional ones, for example it's a one hour trip up to Rheinfelden by bike - go up on the Swiss side, back on the German side of the river.

I agree - you need to get the halbtax SBB train passes. Also, you can takes bikes on trains ( not ICE ones) for a little extra cost - great for going to places such as Lucerne, then exploring the countryside around the lake by bike.

Also have a look at using the Geran train system from the Klein Basel station. There is a suberb day ticket that can be bought "Baden Wurten berg) ticket, that will give your whole family a group ticket for 25euro, to travel to places such as the Rhein falls, Schaffhaussen, Stein en Rhine and Lake Konstanz, or Freiburg in the other direction. (bikes need a ticket, but travel free so you can easily take them and do part of your days out by bike)

Cycle into France (or tra to the border, then walk.) - the Saturday orning vege and fruit market at St LOuis is great, and cheaper than buying in Switzerland.

If we have more weather like yesterday, then daily swims down the Rhine are great.

OR, do you know of the whitewater kayak centre in Huningue, just over the French border. IF you get basic lessons for your teenagers ( and you) and they get hooked, then thats where they will want to be all summer, with plenty of exciting water time.. ( also good for one-off sessions in a raft or on floaty boards)

By the time school starts, you and yous kids could be the fittest newbies in town, and full of lovely bonded family memories from exploring Switzerland together.
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Old 01.07.2012, 13:17
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Welcome to basel, it's a beautiful place to live!
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Old 01.07.2012, 15:39
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

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Reihan is the other sdie of town from where their children will go to school, but I agree about walking in the hils behind Reihen (one good walk is fro the end of the 6 tram line, up over the hills, past the Telecommunication mast and dropping down to the Rhine near the border by Grenzach.
I was not sure where he was moving to, but you are right, it is a distance

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Cycle into France (or tra to the border, then walk.) - the Saturday orning vege and fruit market at St LOuis is great, and cheaper than buying in Switzerland.
Awesome for me as well, I am always looking for a good market. There is one in Lorrach in the mornings on Saturday, but it is saturated by 11 or 12 and then that is that. Also, I like the experience of traveling to a place to get veggies. Do you happen to have an address?

OHHHHHH do I miss my parents organic farm in the US!!!
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Old 01.07.2012, 16:09
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

I'm not sure of the road, I just know how to get there on my bike. It could be Rue de Huningue/Rue de St Louis? And is close to the Rue de Bale itersection.

ANyone else able to confirm that,( or tell me I am rubbish at directions.)
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Old 01.07.2012, 17:39
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Also, when the weather is good the outdoor pools (Gartenbad) are lovely. If you head to the pools in Aesch or Reinach you will probably hear English voices, and they are quite likely to be ISB families. And even if you don't find anyone, you can have a great family day at the pool. The entrance prices are good and there is a café for drinks, ice creams, lunch, etc. or you can take a picnic.

I think someone has already mentioned getting a Junior card for your 14 year old - it will save you loads on public transport on family trips.
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Old 01.07.2012, 17:52
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

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Also have a look at using the Geran train system from the Klein Basel station. There is a suberb day ticket that can be bought "Baden Wurten berg) ticket, that will give your whole family a group ticket for 25euro, to travel to places such as the Rhein falls, Schaffhaussen, Stein en Rhine and Lake Konstanz, or Freiburg in the other direction. (bikes need a ticket, but travel free so you can easily take them and do part of your days out by bike)

There is a similar ticket in France. We take the French Distribus number 604 (blue) from Schifflande (stop is now near the bridge instead of around the back - signs telling of the new location are all around) - to St. Louis train station. For about 38 euro you get a ticket for up to 5 people and go to the pretty town of Colmar.

you can also try and get Day train passes:
http://www.tageskarte-gemeinde.ch/TA...S/Default.aspx

For 38 CHF you can travel all over Switzerland on all forms of public transportation. ONly catch is you have to buy well in advance for a fixed date. They are already sold out in Basel Stadt into August.
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Old 03.07.2012, 17:51
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Re: Floridian family new to Basel

Thanks everyone for all of the wonderful information. We are going to Europa Park tomorrow (4th of July). We also found someone at the SBB Bahnhoff who spoke English and was very friendly - that makes all the difference in the world when you come upon friendly people. The toughest part of being here is feeling that you are expected to travel and hold yourself quietly without smiling (or being happy). Does that sound crazy - Stucki has a lot of Turks and immigrants that don't speak English but make up for it by being so happy and outgoing...It's funny, when I speak my primitive German to the Swiss or especially the Turks or Germans, they ask if I'm Dutch, or Italian or Spanish. When I speak English they are amazed - I think they hear more English, English than American English. And the smiling and motioning must make me appear to be Italian. I would think that my character and form screams American.

We bought half passes and junior cards - now trying to prioritize where we (the family wants to go within Switzerland). Was thinking of Glacier Park in Lucerne.
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