Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Orientation Visit - Chapter 1 - Arriving in Basel

Before flying to Basel this past week (staying 6 days), I was a bit apprehensive because, while I have been to Switzerland twice, I had never been to Basel city - ever. When I advise prospective college students about which campus to apply to, I always suggest a campus visit. You want to get a feel for the school you are going to hang your hat for any stretch so that you a) feel like you fit, and b) there is enough there, there to give you some options if you are looking for something to do besides attend class.

Fortunately, Roche does a great job to make sure that the trailing spouse is included in the move effort from a great number of angles.  Flying into Zurich, I wasn't feeling it.  But with the seamless transition from the flight to the train - the station being located right below the airport - I began to open up to the idea that this move won't be just one big headache.  When we got off the train at Basel SBB Station, I immediately felt; well, for lack of a better phrase "at home."

Because we got off the train at what would be considered rush hour on a Friday evening, the train emptied in a frenzy; people rushing this way and that.  What with grocery stores and a package store located inside the station, people were pushing to pick up groceries on their way to rush to meet the various trams outside the station.  One gets the feeling that the Swiss have city living dialed.  The connections from airport to train to tram then to home all lined with gift shops, grocery stores in the station, and the proximity make getting around with out a car the most optimal way to get around. 

We are indeed lucky because Darby's boss loaned us her apartment for the time we were there, which is in a great neighborhood, just off the 8 Tram line.  Wheeling our bags out of the station, after purchasing four day unlimited tram passes from the "Kiosk" store, we hopped on to an 8 train heading in the proper direction that just happened to roll up as we were walking out of the SBB station.  Getting to our temporary digs, Darby said, "Don't get used to it.  The corporate housing options for a one year gig are very different."  More on that in a forthcoming chapter.

Next chapter - 2 - Being tourists in our soon to be adopted City.


- The trailing spouse

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