Intrepidation. My first trip to Europe and taking a river cruise from Basel, Switzerland to Ansterdam on the Emerald Dawn with Emerald Waterways. Now, I am a simple type when it comes to traveling and hotels. I dont do 5 star hotels, I carry in my own luggage and get myself to my room and back when it is time to leave. I truly felt pampered as we stayed in the Steinenschanze Stadthotel in Basel. The taxi unloaded our luggage from the car and carried it to the front of the hotel, where the hotel staff brought it in. The hotel was very accommodating as we checked in earlier than our time. One of the rooms was ready and they quickly found another room for the other party in our group. They took the luggage upstairs and had it there before we arrived at the door to our room with another staff member who was there to show us how everything worked in the room. Basel is a very friendly city that tries to accommodate everyone language wise. Many people speak English enough to help English speakers. The main language seems to be German with some speaking French and even an occasional Spanish speaker was found. We were very surprised to find one young woman at a restaurant who spoke English like it was her first language, but it wasnt.
Getting around Basel is really easy. Trams run very regularly all over the city and outlying areas, as well as buses. The hotel staff gave us maps, suggestions of some of the things going on in the city and also directed us where we wanted to go. The neatest thing was, we each got a 30 day pass for unlimited use of the Bahnhof (trams and buses) for use while we were staying there. Not only did we use them to where we wanted to, we also rode them some just to sight see by going out to the end of the line and back.
At checkout again, the staff were so understanding and friendly. They called to find out which dock our river cruise was leaving from, then called a taxi large enough for four of us and our luggage. If you are going to Basel, be sure to check out or check into the Steinenschanze Stadthotel.
I am actually excited now to perhaps go visit my brother and sister-in law. They teach internationally and will be teaching in Basel starting in the fall. I know they will love it in Basel. They will love the countryside, the city, the transportation system. It will be perfect for them.