Fit Five Friday – Five Things I loved about Basel for an Active and Healthy Getaway
Welcome to the Fit Five Friday
t’s that time of week again! Hopefully you’ve been enjoying this new link up with your FIVE amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, and Zenaida ! Feel free to join in on the fun!
Five Really Cool Things about Basel
While I know it’s also Runfessions week (don’t forget to cleanse your souls/soles with Marcia and the rest), my trip is still fresh and I really wanted to share what a great place this is for an active and fit getaway!
Tons of self-guided walking tours available
While we normally like to book a guide for a walking or bike tour, there were so many self-guided walking tours available online that we felt confident about making our way around. With a self-guided tour you can also take more breaks if you like, sit at a cute terrace for a coffee, have an ice cream or sit in the shade when it gets too hot.
We took our time walking from the Altstadt near the town hall, over the Mittlere Brücke and all along the Rhine until the Tinguely Museum / Schwarzwaldbrüke and then all the way back to the Altstadt again. Where we of course stopped for a late lunch and some ice cream.
@runlaugheatpie Basel is really cool. To be honest we didnt know mich about the place but are enjoying it so far. it is blazingly hot here though which is probably why floating down the Rhine looked so appealing! #travel #roadtrip #basel #switzerland #parkruntourist #citybreak #floating #summervibes ♬ Similar Sensation (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP
From the walking tours, it was easy to choose a running route
If you are a runner and you are training for an event, then you know that even if you are on vacation, it’s a good thing to try to get your training in. Thanks to the walking tour that we did, we were able to use part of the route we walked as a running route.
While we would have wanted to do a full round, we ended up doing an out-and-back simply because it was hot and it was more shady on the side of the river we were on.
Super easy to stay hydrated in the summer sun
How nice to not have to take a hydration vest or a bottle belt with you during a long run when it’s hot! We were able to stop several times for water and at one point I even put my head under one of the one of the several cold showers available at the edge of the river!
Check out just how many drinking water fountains there are! Mind you these are JUST the ones for drinking water, there are many more for other uses.
The City encourages you to jump in!
So I mentioned showers near the edge of the river, and there’s a reason for that – people from Basel actually go in the River Rhine and then float downstream in special swimming / floating zones for about 1.5KM / 1 mile. Once you are done with your floating adventure you can shower off and be on your way. If you are not an experienced swimmer you can take lessons in the summer so that you can join the fun.
I was in absolute awe to see so many people, young and old, pack up their things in a water tight bag called a wickelfisch and then get into the river at the Tinguely museum and float leisurely downstream. When I first read about it I was like “hell, no!” because there is no way I would get into our part of the Rhine. But then I saw how beautiful and clean the Rhine was in Basel (after all they are much, much closer to the source) and saw how people did this with such ease I later changed my mind to “I really want to do that!”
Sadly no bathing suit with me (that did not stop me from taking a dip) and no wickelfisch, but mark my words, I’ll be going back fully prepared and will definitely give it a go.
Basel is expensive, but they had the cheapest e-bike rental ever!
I don’t know why I was surprised, but Switzerland, or at least Basel seems to be really bike-friendly. Of course! It’s Switzerland! They’ve got the Alps! Lots of cyclists spend their holiday cycling hundreds of kilometres through the gorgeous landscape.
From the hotel we each received a Basel Card which gave us free transportation all over the city and the ability to rent an e-bike for CHF 20-. While I am usually the one saying “I don’t need an e-bike!” I was happy to have it. There is some elevation there that we really are not used to!
We were able to cycle just over the border to Weil am Rhein (in Germany) and were happy to have the opportunity to be off our feet and see some different landscape.
(spoiler alert – when we got back to Basel, we stopped off for me to jump into the Rhine myself. I had to! No floating for me though, not just yet).
I’d do it Again
Absolutely loved this trip. Even though it was Hotter than Hades and really expensive (we knew that going there – Switzerland isn’t known for being a cheap getaway), we definitely want to go back. But… maybe we’ll get a hotel on the Germany side – the train into Basel runs into Weil am Rhein so we could easily be there within 15 minutes.
The food was excellent, the people were great – I had a terrible impression of Switzerland after being to Geneva a few times. Basel completely changed my mind.
Have you been somewhere that completely surprised you and you couldn’t wait to get back? Were some of the surprises how easy it was to be healthy and active?
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About The Author
Coffee Drinker. Runner in Training. World Traveler. Concert Go-er. Friend. Wife.
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How perfect. It definitely checked all my boxes. The ice cream, water fountains, floating on the river and the food!! I remember Switzerland being super expensive when I went long ago.
My only out of country running experience was Paris and I was surprised on how many interesting places to run in such a big city and how many runners there were.
Sounds like you made the most of your visit.
Basel is really a dream, but man I need more money to go there again!
One of the reasons I love to run in other countries is just sheer experience of it all. Being a slower runner I’m able to see things that maybe I wouldn’t see if I were at home since everything is so familiar. I have only run a few races in the US but because I wasn’t “from” there, it was that much more exciting! I can’t wait for Chicago because it IS familiar but more in memories and I have such a “home” feeling when I’m there, it’s hard to explain!
Looks like a fabulous place to visit! I love hearing about all the fountains:-)
It really was so amazing!
Having so many water fountains would be heaven! There aren’t a whole lot of them here.
Tubing is a big thing in TX, although I never tried it. There were ample public pools there, though — you didn’t even have to get a card, just go & swim! That’s something I miss.
I have never been to Switzerland, and I know it’s expensive, but all Catrina’s photos really make me want to go there!
I LOVED the fountains! I don’t think I’ve ever been on holiday somewhere and not bought 362 bottles of water!
We did tubing the mountains in the snow in NM!! same concept really, kind of? Floating down the river or in the lake vs. flying down a snowy hill? haha. I miss easy swimming too. It’s a true pain the butt here to just go and swim.
Catrina does make Switzerland look very appealing!
What a fun trip! And I am very impressed with all of the water fountains.
SO much fun!!
I’d ditch my hydration pack for good if I lived in that city!! How incredible!! The only places I think we have drinking water fountains in Gaborone is in schools. Otherwise, you fend for yourself. I’m so glad you were able to get so many fun fitness activities done. I would definitely choose a self-guided walking tour. Although I love what guides have to say about a new place I’m in, I also love my independence.
right?? I mean I’m thinking about my hydration pack now and that I need to clean every thing out and start to wear it for longer runs. ugh. I love guided tours too as much and with a guide. Good to have the choice!
I love this so much! What a fun and cool city and I love how accessible staying well seems to be. I was really impressed when we went to Port St. Joe this past year. It seemed like such a sleepy fishing town, but there were so many walking and running paths, as well as awesome recreational parks. The area is very invested in their kids and staying active.
Yes this is exactly what I loved! Like being well and healthy is a good thing, everyone can do it and you have so many choices as to what to do. Like it’s not a chore or a “must” it’s just a normal thing!