Fasnacht 2017

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Basel will celebrate Fasnacht on Monday, March 6 at 4:00 am with Morgenstreich through Wednesday, March 8, 2017.  And this year, we as a family might just participate in Morgenstreich, as our children have never witnessed the magic of a dark city while Piccolos and drums fill the streets with their remarkable sounds. Nor have they ever witnessed the soft glow of the lights that fill the city as Fasnacht quietly gets underway.

What is Fasnacht you might ask? Fasnacht always takes place the week after Ash Wednesday and for exactly 72 hours, Basel lets her hair down and embraces Fasnacht a.k.a. carnival, where the people relax, parties are everywhere and floats and noise line the city streets.

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What you need to know to celebrate Faschnact in Basel.

Morgenstreich starts at 4:00a.m, yes, that is right, that is not a typo. The start of Fasnacht is early, dark and memorable. You will wake in the pre-dawn light, where the streets in Basel will be packed with people, noise and processions from Fasnacht cliques.

The official parade will take place on Monday and on Wednesday and will start at 13:30. The masked participants will take to the streets of Basel playing drums, piccolos and tossing confetti, roses and confetti from their wagons to the enthusiastic onlookers. The streets will be covered in colorful confetti and sweeties.

2012-02-28-fshnk_117Lantern Exhibit – All of the beautifully created lanterns will be on display on Münsterplatz on Monday evening through Wednesday morning. For those who have never seen this, it is worth a trip to take in these lovely pieces of artwork.

Carnival of the Children – Tuesday is always dedicated to the children. Dress up your children in costumes, give them a sack to carry for collecting sweets, oranges and flowers and take them to the streets. Please keep a close watch on your children, as the wagons are not able to see small people and can be very dangerous.

Practical Advice

The best way to travel to Basel for Fasnacht is not by car, but rather by train. If you reside in the city, consider walking to the event. Trams are on special routes during carnival.

Purchase a carnival badge or Plakette at many public spaces in and around the city. The Banhoff always has

Bring your camera – the colors, the confetti, the cliques all make for beautifully vivid images that you will want to capture.

Watch your children!  Though stated before, safety at Fasnacht is key. With thousands of people, it is easy to lose a little one in the crowds.  Also, the wagons are huge and often times do not have clear visibility.  Keep your children at arms reach.

Have fun!

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Lofty Goals

We’ve had two days of consecutive sunshine; the penetrating warmth we have missed for months now. The sky has been an incredible hue of blue and we linger each night under a starry, denim blue heaven anticipating what the next day will bring.

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The signs of spring are among us and with each observation of green emerging from a once frozen earth, the sound of birds chirping in the distance and tiny buds appearing on once dormant trees, we are reminded of what is yet to come.

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We can hardly contain ourselves with the thought of breaking free of the full-length winter coats, shed the gloves and hats, push aside the blankets and get outside. “Come, it whispers, come and walk my fields, dance in my meadows, push yourself up my mountains.”  We must heed the calling.

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We have set some pretty lofty goals this year for our family and ourselves. One of our goals is to hike as much as humanly possible with our two little ones at our sides, track those walks and calculate how many kilometers we are covering.  An experiment of sorts and an educational experience for all.   So far, we are off to a slow start. But now, with that bit of sun reminding us that in the days and months to come the earth will take on a green glow, we are slowing ramping up our kilometers and getting ready. Our first mountain stay has been booked, and we plan to dust off the hiking poles, back our sacks and make our way back on the trail this weekend.

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The simple pleasure of stepping into nature after a long winter, of discovering what has been hiding among the dark earth and feeling alive again are just within our grasp and you’d better believe we are going to take it!

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The Vet

Furry friends are an important part of our everyday lives, but what happens when you are new to Basel?  Where do you go when your four – legged friend needs a check – up or assistance?  Listed below is our local vet, which we can highly recommended.  The staff is very helpful, they speak English and are all very attentive when emergencies arise.

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Emergency Services:

0900 99 33 99

Kleintierpraxis and Tierphysiotherapie Sevogel

Nauenstrasse 41

4052 Basel

061 373 38 88

Kleintierpraxis & Tierlaade Sevögeli

Hardstrasse 66

4052 Basel

061 311 06 66

Emergencies

If you are new or even an old resident of Switzerland, make sure you are prepared for an emergency in your new country. Take a moment right now and do one of two things.

First, print the numbers listed below and tape them to your refrigerator.

2015-09-24-asunc_268bnweSecond, program these numbers into your phone

Switzerland:

FIRE – 118

POLICE – 117

AMBULANCE – 144

POISON – 145

EUROPE – EMERGENCY SERVICES – 112

Basel Area:

Kinderspital – Pediatric Emergencies – 061 704 12 12

Universitäts – Kantonsspital Basel – 061 265 25 25

Dental Emergencies – 061 281 47 67

Pharmacies – 061 263 75 75

If you are interested in learning more about first aid response, consider registering for a course in English through HealthFirst. The classes are delivered in English and the course material is invaluable. The next course is scheduled for March 17, 2017 at Kindermusik in Dreispitz.

Solitude

Nature.  Awe inspiring and humbling.  Beyond the grandeur, deeper within the Alps, if you are able, you will find your own introspection.  A place of solitude, perhaps, and yet anticipatory of something constructive, progressive, good.  We can all use a little “better” nowadays; we should all strive, not just for our own contentment, but for that of our environment, our species, our future.

This photo was taken near Gemmipass, near Kandersteg, Switzerland.  Other great photos and more on this area can be found on this post.

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A lone hiker

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude