Strasbourg is great. We behave like proper tourists, ask for vegan food everywhere and take pictures of foie gras and chicken with their heads still on in shop displays. There is a square called «Place du Marché aux Cochons de Lait», the «Suckling Pigs Square», which of course does not refer to Flying Piglets. Despite such irritations the city exudes both a wonderfully relaxed and stimulating atmosphere, a place to live.
We leave Strasbourg behind and cycle along the Canal du Rhône au Rhin. House boats and decommissioned cargo ships bob up and down along its banks, ancient rows of trees line the bottle-green canal and the further we get from the city the dreamier the scenery. The fine gravel crunches under our wheels and then: a beaver! Later we even come upon a whole family of them with their offspring. However, they aren’t beavers, and no muskrats either, but nutrias. (We shall tell you a little more about these amazing animals in our next blog entry.)
We film young swans, butterflies, a hummingbird hawkmoth, a grasshopper and observe many birds. Shortly before Basel, we sleep under the open sky. Above our heads a passenger plane plows a furrow through the clouds. At night mice rustle and apples plump from trees. Suddenly, autumn is upon us.
We cross the border at the Novartis Biotech Centre. Basel is beautiful and rainy and life at once obscenely expensive again. We spend the night near Peter’s Church, the organ resounding through the glass panes until late into the night. We dine (vegan) at the «Hirschi» (Hirscheneck), one of the oldest autonomously run restaurant collective in Switzerland.