Monday, February 24, 2014

Hello, Switzerland!

I have always wanted to see Switzerland, the land of cheese, chocolate and timepiece, but never got to during my past trips because it meant having to apply for a separate visa. But finally, Switzerland has become a part of the Schengen agreement which means that the country can now be included in the European itinerary without the worries of applying for a separate visa.

However, with such limited time, I had to choose which Swiss cities to see that would be the most affordable, offers the most convenient route and the most sulit. After making numerous searches online, I decided to visit Basel and Zurich since it was the closest to Germany, my take-off point.

I took a train bound for Basel from Cologne early in the morning. I tried to stay awake coz I didn't want to miss seeing the countryside from Germany to Switzerland. But since I was up the whole night till the wee hours, I was very much in need of sleep and I dozed off.

Upon arriving Basel, I went straight to the YMCA hotel located a few blocks away from the main train station. It was deja vu again as I felt like I was back in the spring of 2007 for my European backpacking trip, with a knapsack on my back, a camera bag on one hand and a trolley on the other. I easily found my hostel. However, I had to wait until 2:00 P.M. to be able to check into my room. At first, I waited in the lobby but then I had to grab something for lunch so I requested the staff to keep my luggage in the concierge till check-in time and they gladly took my stuff for safekeeping.

I went out and explored the surroundings, had my currencies changed to Swiss francs and grabbed something to munch on. When it was time, I went back to the hostel and checking in was a breeze. They even gave a free DVD copy on Switzerland and the city map. I was assigned to a room which I shared with four other ladies --- two American teens who just graduated from school, a yoga teacher and a backpacker from the Eastern Europe. There were two double deckers and one bunk bed and I occupied the upper bunk of the double deck. Each bed had its own night lamp, pillow, bed sheet and blanket. There was a huge locker that separates the sleeping quarter from the dining table and a sink with mirror inside the room. The toilet and shower rooms were located on the end of the hallway of every floor shared with the other occupants of the floor. 

The hostel served free breakfast consisting of toast, jam, butter and cheese, muesli, cereal, fruits, coffee and tea. There was also a kitchen where you can prepare your meals.  Other amenities in the hostel include free wifi, elevator services, a courtyard, lounge area and chillout room. 

When everything was settled, it was time for me to explore Basel!

YMCA Hostel is located at Gempenstrasse 64 in Basel, Switzerland.

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Thank you for visiting Traipsing Chronicles. I hope you will continue walking with me as I wander and see the world. Cheers!

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