Tag Archive for Europe

Switzerland

Stepping off the plane, I couldn’t help but notice that Basel airport bears a striking similarity to many rural, American airports. There are few gates, limited services, and only the essential airport staff. This might not be your point of entry, but if it is know that you’re not actually in Switzerland just yet. You’re in France.

Basel airport, if you didn’t guess by the name, services the Swiss city of Basel primarily, but at some point the lords of the air decided that it should be located outside the bounds of Europe’s favorite neutral country.

Catching a cab might be difficult here, and there’s no train to the city to speak of. I found a taxi sign sitting atop a weathered Tesla S-series sedan. Sadly, no driver was in sight. That was okay, I had my Lyft app – but they don’t. It was another dead end. Thankfully Uber had penetrated the market, and while I’d prefer not to use their service due to the reported corporate culture, I was out of alternatives.

Switzerland and the EU

Switzerland flag flanked by bicyclesSwitzerland is the first European country I’ve visited that went mostly untouched by the second world war. I say mostly because there several Allied bombings of Switzerland. One notable incident hit Schaffhausen. Stories are mixed. At the time the Allies cited bad weather that threw the bombers off course and confused the navigators. Others say it became a target when it started producing arms for the Axis. It almost makes me want to put “neutral” in quotes, and there I just did.

In any case, those days are long in the past and we’re all good friends now. Existing treaties do not make the country part of the EU, but they do keep up with most of the laws. Read more