Arrival in Basel

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Sandra

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Hey there fellow perfume lovers! How are you all doing?

Please forgive me. I had grand plans of reviewing something for you this week, but I had an unfortunate encounter with some serious gluten upon my arrival and I cannot stand any perfume or strong smells. My poor tummy is in agony here.

Arrival in Basel

City Hall Basel

We arrived in Basel safe and sound two weeks ago. The first three nights were spent in a hotel right smack in the center of the city and then we were moved to our temporary apartment.

It is funny, you would think that since we moved only within Europe that we would be feeling completely at home already. Honestly, though, cultural differences are quite big even within Europe and I am feeling out of sorts, a bit lost. Thankfully we have a lovely relocation agent shuffling us along like pieces on a chess board from appointment to appointment and making sure that we are dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s. She is a God-send actually and I am so grateful for her assistance. German is spoken throughout Basel and I can at least communicate with people with ease.

If I may be perfectly honest with you, I was getting a bit depressed at the beginning here with the exorbitant prices. Just walking into a store to pick up garbage bags can get my pulse dangerously high (the cost for 10 bags is CHF 23 and I can only use the official bags from the city), let alone paying three times more for cleaning supplies. Don’t even get me started on the cost of meat.

If I am able to look past the prices of the groceries, I am actually able to find a lot more variety for this family with allergies. Speaking of grocery shopping, we are so lucky to be right next to the German and French borders. Everyone hops over the border to do the major shopping once a week and the savings are incredible not only because of the cheaper prices but also because we can claim back the taxes.

That all aside, my first impression of Basel is that we have landed in a gorgeous city, rich with history, colourful architecture and full of friendly people willing to assist is any way they can. It is sublimely clean in the city. The air is fresh and unpolluted. The tap water is sweet and clean. Public transportation is punctual and frequent and takes us everywhere so there is no need for a car.

We hit the jackpot in coming to Basel with respect to the weather. It isn’t too cold and we have lots of sunny days which I am told is normal. Having the sun shining is especially helpful when we are house hunting. We can see what the house will really offer us. Here are some pictures of a recent house we saw which had magnificent views from the top floor. Unfortunately it was a bit small for all of our ‘stuff’. There is another house in the same area of town which we are hoping to rent. Fingers crossed…

What perfume discoveries have you made lately? Anything I should try?

Oodles of fragrant kisses.

Sandra xo

38 thoughts on “Arrival in Basel

  1. Sandra it looks gorgeous!!!! If you can shop across the boarder but still live in such a beautiful town I say it’s a win win.
    New discoveries for me are Fum Perfumery….a small all natural indie company out of California. They have only released three scents and they are all quite lovely.
    And if you can get your nose on St Clair Scents Casablanca I recommend that one highly!!!!

    Good luck to you and your family xxoo

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    • How right you are Brigitte! It is a win win situation so far. We are loving the city. Thank you for the tips. I will go and look for perfumes next week.
      Sandra xo

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    • Hey there Gina, Hope you are doing well. I have no idea why things are so expensive. Interestingly enough it is across the board expensive. Thankfully we don’t have the habit of eating out.
      Sandra xo

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  2. Sandra, it must have been a rocky start with you being so unwell. That’s tough.
    Basel looks like a stunning and very liveable city, aside from the costs (at least you have found a way to get round them!). Good to hear there is a greater food selection for your allergy needs. Friendly people count for so much.

    I hope you find a suitable house soon that I know you will make into a beautiful family home.

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    • Hey Tara, it was stressful until we moved into the temporary housing. Then I have been able to control the costs somewhat by cooking every day. We found a house where all three of us can be happy and we hope to sign the contract this week!
      Sandra xo

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    • Hey Portia, I am thankfully on the mend and am much more careful now. I am actually looking forward to moving into the house and unpacking my perfumes!
      Sandra xo

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  3. Good luck, Sandra! I hope you get used to the high prices. Hopefully it means a well regulated job market and fair payment even for unskilled workers. Basel looks quite lovely, hope you get a chance to explore the city soon.

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    • Dear Ingeborg, ha! I don’t think I can ever get used to these high prices – they remind me of Norway. I walked into a furniture store today and turned right around when I saw the prices. IKEA here I come! 😆 Basel is beautiful.
      Sandra xo

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  4. The very best of luck in your new hometown. When you’re feeling better you can start exploring. It looks like a gorgeous city, and bordering France and Germany gives you so many options. Great for your shopping. Switzerland is an expensive country to live in obviously. I visited Geneva about 10 years ago and couldn’t believe some prices we encountered. We actually went across the border to France one day for lunch. We got lovely meal for four people, including bottle of wine for the price of one dinner in Geneva. But still, it was a nice visit there. Switzerland is very orderly and calm and I’m sure it will be a good place to live once you’ve found your feet. And you also speak German. I’m impressed.

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    • Heya Cassieflower, Basel is a beautiful city and I look forward to seeing it in spring and summer. The prices are mind boggling but there are thankfully ways around them. Gosh does it help knowing German! It isn’t like the Netherlands where everyone speaks English.
      Sandra xo

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  5. Congratulations on your move (and phew that you are close to the borders and not entirely restricted to buying everything in such a ferociously expensive city. Though also beautiful. Your photos have been a real pleasure to see). I hope that you find the perfect house, and that you are feeling better soon. What awful extra stress on top of moving house!

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    • Dear Crikey, we finally found a house and hope to sign this week! Slowly feeling better thank you. I am sure that Basel will be a wonderful place to call home.
      Sandra xo

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  6. I totally understand you feeling a bit lost. Mybe knowing and trusting that these feelings will pass comes with moving as often as you have done, but you have them nevertheless to deal with (I most certainly would!). I think you also didn’t have much time to get used to moving again, so maybe all the various parts in you need catching up. It may also be that it is easier to settle in the the Netherlands than in Switzerland, if I am not mistaken the Swiss are quite private… but once you are friends it is for life.
    The costs in Switzerland are notoriously high, I am glad you found a way round that, pffff to have to spend that amount of money on garbage bags…a big downer. Still Basel looks lovely, and pink tulips to remind you of your former home!
    I discovered Naja, a good deal, wonderful. Wearing it today and swooning. I also discovered I have a beautiful vintage no 19 in my very own collection…lovely surprise.
    Grüezi mitenand and lots of strength!

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    • Hiya Hamamelis, You are right in saying that this feeling will pass. It just takes time. A feiend in Rotterdam told me that they go away for a week at thw six month mark. She said it really helps when the routine settles in with the culture shock. I may take her sound advice. About the flowers – I already miss them.
      Isn’t Naja a gem? I loved wearing it when the linden trees bloomed. Fabulous surprise to find a vintage No. 19 in your closet. I love No. 19.
      Sandra xo

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  7. 1957. You’ll love it.
    Sheesh. What a story. But you will settle in, years of practice. The hard times will suddenly give way and you’ll find yourself at home once again. Yeah – cool that you have German at your fingertips. Big hugs to you all. Servus! Bussis. ❤️

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  8. Switzerland is really expensive. I only have been to Zurich some years ago, but the prices were so high, that i would just do a day trip there and return to germany in the evening.
    Basel seems to be a beautiful city. Enjoy your stay.

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  9. It looks like a fairy tale place. I have travelled a bit, but it STILL astounds this rural Aussie gal that there are buildings from centuries ago being used today. I don’t think Aussies really fully comprehend how young our Westernised country is in comparison.

    Yikes on the gluten. Not pleasant by any means. Do you find your intestines swell and feel like they are about to give birth? I am very close to getting a dr to investigate a formal diagnosis, but it is simply easier to avoid gluten. I am feeling ill just thinking of it. I imagine the Swiss to be quite pragmatic and understanding about food allergies.

    Only new scent, dear Sandra, is Carthusia’s Essence of the Park. An angelica ladden linden blossom that smells DIVINE on a high wind day. I cannot wait to test it on a very windy spring day.

    I can confirm that anything containing white musk or that generic musk found as a filler in most modern scents is likely to be re homed. I am bored to tears of it and anything with it will be banned from my home.

    Wishing you a wonderful new home to settle in. Xx

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    • Hi Kate,
      Well you have a good idea what it is like to be celiac. It not only swells but is excruciatingly painful with many other symptoms. I say that if you feel better not eating gluten, don’t eat it. Save yourself the headache and tests.

      To be honest with you, it still blows my mind away when we read how old a building is. I try to imagine what life may have been like back them and then my imagination runs wild.

      The houses here have to have a bunker in them – from the cold war era I suppose. Fascinating.

      I need to get my nose on some Carthusia perfumes. They sound perfect for spring and summer. Thanks for the tip.
      Sandra xo

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  10. Hi Tanja, day trips into Switzerland are a wonderful idea. I have also heard that many Swiss go to Austria to go skiing. Find that funny for some reason. Basel is gorgeous I am sure we will love it here.
    Sandra xo

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      • please post a picture of the views. As a banker, my dad got to travel to quite a lot of countries, esp. in the 1980s, and I think the country he considered the most beautiful at the time was Switzerland!

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  11. Good luck with the relocation. Gorgeous pics! It sounds like a real adventure. I used to work for a Swiss-owned freight forwarding company eons ago. I remember the Swiss as being quite reserved but exceptionally fair.
    You’ll certainly be getting a whole lot more sunshine than in the Netherlands 🌞🌞

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