Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: basel

Beautiful things: Gates and doors

There are many things I like to take photos of: clouds, reflections, and cityscapes at night, to name a few. Gates and doors are not the most popular or common subjects to photograph, but while sifting through the photos I’ve taken over the years, I realized that I’ve encountered a number of them that impressed me or are simply beautiful. I’ve gathered a small collection of these gates and doors here for your enjoyment.

Perhaps my favourite of them all are these aged but colourful gates all aligned outside the imperial palace in Hue, Vietnam. This is certainly not what most people went to the palace to see but it somehow caught my attention. There were at least five arched doorways (maybe not even gates or doors themselves?) that were lined up in a row in such a way that it was very pleasing to the sight. Almost symmetrical, but not quite perfectly, which is where its beauty lies.

The second one is this gate somewhere in Basel, the first city that I visited in Switzerland. You can only see the outline of the gate itself but two things appealed to me: the elegant details of the curves on the gate and the vivid colours on the other side. The contrast between the dark silhouette and the bright exterior further accentuated the features of the gate, making it one of the most unique ones I’ve seen.

Onto one that took on a rather different style – a door covered with graffiti in Prague. The sprayed writings on the door made it look quite messy, and in fact the door couldn’t be any more ordinary. Ironically, that’s what made it special to me because it shows that the ordinary exists, even in a popular and acclaimed tourist destination like Prague.

Let’s stay in Prague for a bit and go to the Prague Castle, where two weapon-wielding giants guard one of its gates. The one on the left chose a bat as his weapon of choice while the one on the right had a sharp object, presumably a knife of some sort. Each giant was in action, arresting what seemed like tresspassers trying to bypass castle security. Don’t mess with the giants or you might end up under their feet like that…

This door-and-window combination, photographed in Saint-Γ‰milion, couldn’t be simpler, but its exquisiteness lies in the details. The three pots of flower, the octagonal hole in which one of them was placed, the aged walls, the intricate but delicate patterns on the curtains inside, the cobblestone street…a perfectly serene picture.

And finally…here’s a creepy gate that leads to a cemetery, I presume. I had actually completely forgotten where I took this photo and had to dig through my harddrive to find out that it was in…Edinburgh! Looking through photos of this particular trip, I believe this was taken at the Greyfriars Kirkyard. Indeed Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in Europe and I visited it plenty of times when I was living in Glasgow. In addition to the many spectacular spots that most tourists would visit, Edinburgh certainly hides some secrets very well, like this one… πŸ˜‰

What beautiful thing should I blog about next? Shadows? Clouds? Reflections? Hmm…

The Swiss Escape, part 1: Basel

The reason why the previous entry was so short was because I didn’t have enough time to write, and I was preparing for my trip to…Switzerland! Yes, the Swiss trip has finally happened! I came back thinking I was the happiest girl alive πŸ˜€

Oh, I didn’t tell you I was going to Switzerland, did I? Well, last weekend I took two days off to embark on a journey to Switzerland, the land of chocolate, fondue, and army knives. What more, I had good company. My “chef” happened to be visiting me in Belgium during his summer vacation, so we figured, why not take a trip down to Switzerland? With a direct train from Ottignies to Basel, it really couldn’t get any more convenient.

So we went for four days. The point of entry was, as just mentioned, Basel, which borders France. The train trip from Ottignies to Basel was six hours, passing through Namur, Luxembourg, Metz, Strasbourg, and Colmar, among other cities. Actually, my original plan was just to visit Strasbourg and Colmar for a short weekend trip, but since chef was here and willing to travel with me, who could resist going to dreamy Switzerland? And it’s been my dream to travel to Interlaken with chef – more on that later – since early February, so it was really a blessing that it came true already, so unexpected too.

Back on topic, I didn’t know much about Basel before going there, but it was a mandatory stop from Belgium to Switzerland, for us at least. So then Basel became our first – and last – destination, and off we went into our Swiss escape.

Green trams in Basel. The hostel that chef and I stayed at gave us a card for free public transport during our stay, but unfortunately we checked in too late to fully take advantage of that. It was alright though, the Basel city centre was small enough to navigate on foot and probably more enjoyable on foot as well. Plus, it wasn’t smothered with tourists like Amsterdam, which made our walk so much more relaxing and pleasant.

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