Or: the Trials and Tribulations of an Uptown Girl with a Boyfriend from Old Europe

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Location: Basel, Switzerland

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunny day... sweepin' the clouds away

Though Swissy Pie claims that the Rhine valley has some of the best weather in Europe, it always seems to rain when I'm in Basel. These past few weeks have been no exception, with showers - if not worse - more or less every day. So a few days ago, when I read that there'd be a full lunar eclipse that would be best viewed from here, I didn't get my hopes up.

Good thing, too, because the weather Saturday morning wasn't too promising. Buckets of cold rain dumped onto our heads. The wind flipped my umbrella inside-out and drove the water sideways into our faces. The Rhine, which usually runs swift and dark and clean, was transformed into a roiling yellow torrent. It was so bad that even though we usually walk to do our weekend shopping, we ended up taking the tram both ways.

But part of what makes the weather here so unpredictable is how quickly storms blow in and out. By 3 pm, the sky was clear. Remarkably, it stayed that way. So at midnight, we were able to watch the moon turn a dull coppery red. It looked quite eerie, floating in the dark, star-flecked sky. And since I'd never seen a full lunar eclipse before, it was a pretty neat experience.

The weather today was even better than yesterday afternoon. Sunlight gilded the otherwise drab city. Not a single cloud threatened on the horizon. It was even warm enough to wear shorts! So we set out for a long bike ride through the Wiesental, in Germany. We rode past industrial warehouses, whose parking lots were empty; through quaint villages, whose inhabitants were out strolling; along swollen rivers, whose banks sprouted the first flowers of the season; and next to sun-flooded pastures, where tiny lambs tottered under the watchful eyes of sheep dogs.

Unfortunately, I'm in really bad shape right now, so there was less climbing than Swissy Pie would've liked. By the end of our little trip, my elbow hurt, my knees hurt, my back hurt... But you have to start somewhere!

Note: Since we didn't have a tripod, the photo of the lunar eclipse is borrowed from NASA.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous jessica said...

Don't wear shorts though...people will think you're crazy!! Swiss are very specific about seasonal attire, no matter what the degree actually is!

The weather changes very fast here too, but it's foggy for the most part, which is uuughh.

March 5, 2007 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Un-Swiss Miss said...

Today, it's rainy and cold again. *Sigh*

Yesterday, I wore cycling shorts, which seems to be OK since it's for a specific purpose. (At least, I didn't notice anyone giving me strange looks.) Most cyclists we met were still wearing tights, though.

March 5, 2007 at 12:59 PM  

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