I mentioned in an earlier post which place I would choose if I could never travel anymore. I guess I could play the same game with a country. In fact as long as you are in a country which is not at war, each country has a lot to offer but is often enough ignored. We go far, looking for new places, when we have so many nice opportunities at hand. Just like the famous quote “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”.

Sometimes we have to force ourselves to find out more about our own country, the different traditions cherished in different parts of the country.

Morgestraich5That is just what I did today. And to discover some well-known festivity but totally new to me I had to get up immensely early! The wake up call was rough to be on time to attend the Morgestraich in Basel. At 4 a.m. sharp begins the start of the Fasnacht (carnival) which will last for three days and a real “Basler” checks out from work the next three days to not miss any of the happenings, from the Morgestraich over the Gugge concert to the Schnitzelbänk.

The crowd was enormous and enjoying that the rain had finally stopped. All the lights going out at once in the old town and thousands of piccolo and drum players starting to play is a great experience. The beautifully worked giant lanterns the cliques are carrying around, together with the small lanterns lighting up the mask of each musician, creates a special ambiance in the dark alleyways of Basel’s downtown. The cliques come and go from everywhere and cross each other so that it all looks like a giant well-studied ballet of lights to the bewitching sound of the drums and the piccolos.

After standing in the cold for more than an hour we had a Mehlsuppe (broth made from flour and onion) which we had been very much looking forward to, obviously with a cheese pie (together with the onion pie one of the three main dishes associated with Fasnacht). All bars and restaurants serve them.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss the next Morgestraich on 6th March 2017!