Basel (Basilea in latin .... romans were here 2000 years ago, local celts even before that)

Wednesday, Feb 29 2012 improve your viewing experience: click here for some audio (except on chrome)


The Basel Fasnacht (or carnival) occurs the week AFTER ash wednesday, unlike all other carnivals in the world where 'mardi gras' is the day BEFORE ash wednesday. That decision was made some 1000 years ago!

Fasnacht starts at 4AM on Monday and lasts exactly 72 hours.

We arrive at the Basel SBB train station precisely after a 2 hour 37 minutes train ride


There are a hundred or so 'lanterns' on display in the old town...making fun of politicians, the euro and swiss banks (oh my).

Every 'painting' is accompanied by poetic verses written in local Basler dialect.


view from the old town of 'ecological' Rhine crossing (just a wire and pulley and a rudder)

chain gang: view of incredible six person bicycle... note the disk brake

Parade begins at precisely 13h30... marching bands drums and fifes and guggenmusik.... no trinkets are thrown, just confetti, oranges, onions and candies for kids!

There are are about 400 floats and thousands of bands and some 20'000 'official' participants

The smaller bands are known as Schyssdräggziigli (translation forbidden) .... and LOTS of confetti

The old town hall in the background ... the clock was made in 1511



the banks schyss (translation credit s***t)


the fashion couple


and saving the euro:


the turban wearing fife players and the camouflage wearing drummers...

and lots more people by 4PM....


and after 3 hours of parades (probably lasts for hours more) we head back to the train station

see youtube video of parades here

youtube of some other basler drummers (over 1 million views)

heading back by train with a great view of the Bernese alps over lake Neuchatel