berbaselbiet: Where is that? Who knows where that is, is an insider and Swiss!
Such insider places you can find in each country over the globe — I would like to learn about such an insider place in China or Moçambique, in North Carolina or in Peru. Places of silent beauty and genuine nature, where people and paysans live, satisfied and happy, taking care that it rests as it is.
I admit, that maybe you have to have already a certain age and life experience to treasure these “Schatzkiste” places.
At the corner where Switzerland, France and Germany meet you find Basel, the big Swiss city at the Rhine’s knee. Just half an hour drive away you’ll find the “Oberbaselbiet”. It’s the country backyard of the mobil, busy main city.
It’s the cherry paradise of Switzerland – here you see the white-rose blossom clouds all over the soft slopes in April and end May. Beginning in June the trees are hanging full with the red-red cherries. It’s really paradise. The half of the fruits will give the Basel Kirschwater – famous all over the world. No Fondue without Basler Kirsch. The other half is sold at markets and food chains. It’s the income of lots of families here.
Small but carefully cultivated vinyards climb up the hills – a wine land with special taste for insiders grows here. Years ago you might have gotten some bad headaches drinking a little too much of this wine- now better know-how of cultivating a domestic home-wine makes it quite fine.
The small paysan villages lying around in the valleys have melodic names like: Magden, Wintersingen and Maisprach (photo top left).
In villages like Wintersingen many things are still as in olden times but smartly mixed with modern know-how. Anyhow, here all the people know each other, they know the whole life story of each family, not one secret is unknown. They all work mostly still hand in hand. The community is well organized, the village politics give lots to talk at the Stammtisch (a “regulars’ table” or get-together”). The cats sit in the streets, the cows are healthy and outdoors on the green grass. Chickens run across the street when you pass, so don’t drive too fast or you’ll have to pay for a dead “poulet“.
The younger people and couples go to the city for work and at the Disco there at night but return home every day, taking a longer drive for this kind of lifestyle than usual. So visit the links and look a bit around: nothing exciting – but already rare, kind of boring? maybe ~ but healthy. Funny ~ you can smell and feel it, this landkind wellness, when you are there. No stress, no hectic – just smooth and slow life, old tradition of landlife in the air, no big poverty so far.
The “Schatzkiste” (treasure chest) offers you at each corner a treasure. Here a monastery or there a good inn, the “Rössli” or the “Pöschtli” or “Ochse”.
Give your stomach something satisfying: visit one of these many land Gasthöfe: Restaurants that offer, on old wooden tables, what has grown around the countryside here: A good “Röschti & Bratwurst” with a Feldschlössen, a good beer from Rheinfelden. Or a “Chässchnitte” (melted cheese and an egg on a piece of bread, first briefly laid in white wine and then baked in the oven). In winter, cheese Fondue; don’t forget the Kirschwater at the end.
Some men (ocassionally some couragous women) are always sitting at the “Stammtisch” — a round “conversation” table mostly in the middle of the restaurant’s room, where they sit every day at once, drinking a beer or in winter a Kafi mit Kirsch or Pflümli (kind of Irish Coffee, not with whisky but with Kirsch in it) — talking about the news, the politics and often playing a “Jass” (it’s a genuine Swiss card game, played by 4 players).
In Fall this landscape has its second big performance: Thanksgiving is near and the land offers with full hands its presents: yellow-orange burning forests after the first frost. Trees full of apples and pears. Dark blue shining grapes and lots of nuts. Pumpkins in all shapes and colours… You can stroll over the hills and thru the forests with hazlenut bushes, oaks, lots of all kind of berrybushes, and X-mas trees, waiting for the big dressing in silver and gold in December. You can fill your pockets with all that nature offers. I told you– it’s like paradise. Cows and sheep with full mouths, watching you crossing their fields. Sit in the last warm sun rays of the year and listen to the silence. No cars roaring, no “handies” (cell phones) ringing, no whatever. Just la Dolce Vita in the Oberbaselbiet – for the moment you can hold on for a while and rest and be yourself.
Let’s slowly get back to the roaring cars, and ringing handies, but still to a cosy place: Rheinfelden ~ at the end of the circle. It’s down the hills at the Rhine — next door over the bridge you can already eat some German specialties — passing over the border is no problem in EU times — just walk thru.
Rheinfelden is a very old village with an ancient middle part. Fun to walk around. It’s also known as Kurort. Salty water of the “near Salinas” helps you cure Rheumatism and else. If you are a fisherman you will find some real promising fishing places along the romantic part of the young river Rhyn.
A nice dinner at one of the Rhyn-terraces with fish and a Feldschlösslen beer & some good friends or family members will top the visit of one of my favourite places, where I go to when I need some real recreation.
~Uf Wiederluege from Oberbaselbiet, the cherry paradise of Switzerland!
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