Basel: The Art of Papermaking

With one weekend to go before the start of my final semester of classes, Gui and I decided to take a quick trip to Basel before I got buried under books again. We caught the 8:45am train to Bern on Saturday and then transferred to a train headed to Basel, arriving at the main station at 11:30am.

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For me, Basel seemed like a mix of Zurich and Geneva: plenty of Swiss-German style architecture but also some buildings that looked more at home in the French part of Switzerland. After grabbing lunch at Tibits — an awesome veggie buffet that sadly still has not made it to the French side of the country — we met up with my friend who is studying in Basel this semester and did a little sightseeing in the rain. Highlights included the church where Erasmus is buried and the outstanding Cézanne and Chagall exhibits at the Kunstmuseum. Later that evening another friend joined us for a pizza dinner and a nightcap at a lively beerhall before we retired to our trusty Motel One for the night.

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On Sunday, we had a leisurely brunch at Tibits before heading to the city’s medieval paper mill — a fantastic museum that I wholeheartedly recommend for all ages. Inside, Guillaume and I made our own paper from pulp, practiced calligraphy using a quill, tried our hand at an old-school printing press and even got to marble paper, all while learning about the history of each process. The experience left us in high spirits as we departed rainy Basel for Geneva, buttered bretzels in hand for the ride home. Thanks for following along!

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