So the first away qualifier of the 2012 European Championships. We opted to travel out by train as had had enough of flying after our South Africa trip. We left Three Bridges on the 6.10 train to London and we soon arrived at St Pancras to catch the 8.26 Euro star to Paris, arriving at 11.47.
We arrived into Paris in glourious sunshine and made the short walk to Paris Est from the Garde Du Nord to catch our direct train to Basel. We stopped off for a coffee as had a couple of hours to spare. We made the coffee last as long as possible as had very few Euros with us.
So the next leg of the journey was the 2.24 from Paris L'est arriving into Basel at 5.56. We jumped into a taxi and within 10 minutes arrived at our hotel, the Hotel Dorint An der Messe. We had soon checked in and dumped our bags before heading out in Basel. The Hotel provided a free travel pass for all trams and buses for the 3 days we had in Basel which was a right result, so we got a tram/bus map and made as much use of this pass as we could!
We ventured out for some food and drink and soon found a nice looking place. 2 main courses, 2 large and 2 small beers later we were in shock. £68! Yes £68, no not for the resturaunt but our small meal and drinks, ouch! Not even a starter or pudding or a coffee! double ouch!
Monday 6th September
It was up quite late for a change. We caught a tram into the city centre and stopped at the Marketplace, then on to the middle bridge over the Rhine. We were on tram line 14 so carried on to the ground to have a quick look around.
After a quick look round we moved on and headed to the Three Countries Frontier, the actual meeting point of Germany, France and Switzerland is in the middle of the Rhine, but we got close enough.
Tuesday 7th September
So we made a very basic plan for today. It was made up of
Beer & Food oh and beer
and mutch to our surprise that is what we did. After 2 coffees and 2 croissants for about £100 we headed to the Cathedral. It was free to enter :-), but they charged you to go up the tower :-(, but we decided to splash out and go up anyway. There were stunning views over Basel.
Next we decided to stroll round Old Basel. Its a really really nice place and before you knew it it was time to quickly head back to the hotel before heading out for food, drink and the match!
It was the usual chaos getting into the ground, but once we had squeezed our way in there were no further problems. A good view despite the netting across the whole away end. The 4,000 England fans were in good voice and it turned out to be a comfortable 3-1 win!
Wednesday 8th September
Time to travel home........
So it was up relatively early on Wednesday morning. We caught the number 30 bus from our hotel to the station in time for a coffee before catching the 10.02 train back from Basel to Paris Est. We stocked up on Orangina as they were giving them away free, woo hoo, something that didn't cost a fortune! Once we were back in Paris it was the 16.13 Euro Star to London, arriving 17.34. Everything had been on time up to now but of course the train back to three bridges was late and over crowded. We finally got home just before 8pm, tired and skint. It was a wet trip home, it was raining when we left our hotel, poured down in Paris but the clouds rolled back as we arrived back into sunny Sussex!
I am glad we now have a long break until the next long away qualifier which is Bulgaria in September, Wales away in March should be an easy and cheap trip!