My 26th birthday in Basel ...

As a 26th birthday treat, Tim took me to Basel to see the 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year' exhibition at the Natural History Museum. And what a lovely day it was. The exhibition, which is organised annually by London's Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, was truly inspiring - especially the children's categories, which included photos that I'm sure many adults would be incapable of taking.

A particularly captivating shot was of a red kite soaring beside the shadow outline of a plane. My personal favourite of the exhibition was of two penguins in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, one sitting on the ice having just jumped from the water; the other in mid-air, about to plop onto the ice. Afterwards, we strolled along beside the River Rhine to Der Vierte Koenig (a play on the name of the nearby five-star hotel The Three Kings) where we enjoyed a delicious lunch. I tried seasonal salad followed by crepes filled with mascarpone and leek. The restaurant was lovely and cosy, with a touch of glamour: wooden chairs and tables, beautifully laid out with crisp napkins and shiny glasses. Peeping out through windows straight over the river, it felt a little like being inside a ship.

We strolled around the shops, admiring Basel's interesting architecture and feeling the sun on our faces, before taking the train home. On the journey we were rewarded with clear views over the rolling Aargau countryside to a backdrop of snowy summits. We spent the evening (after Tim had finished sulking about England losing the rugby) drinking champagne and eating Tim's delicious homemade Victoria Sponge with strawberries, before sitting down to a dinner of roast salmon with asparagus, potatoes and cherry tomatoes. What a lovely way to welcome in my next year. P.S. Oh, and did I mention that Tim's birthday present to me is a weekend horse riding in Canton Jura? So excited!
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