Basel Autumn Fair 2013

I have always been fond of Basel - and especially in the autumn. The terracotta spires of the Minster rise from a golden canopy of leaves and the winding Rhine reflects the autumn colours in a surface broken only by the occasional boat. The city looks particularly charming over the two weeks of its Herbstmesse (Autumn Fair). The big wheel pokes over the sloping medieval rooftops, enhancing the city's skyline; a swinging pendulum thrusts above Kasernenplatz, its passengers screaming in delight.

The Herbstmesse was founded around 500 years ago and nowadays is huge, spreading over seven of the city's squares. Yesterday, while visiting the fair, Tim and I munched seriously tasty crepes (filled with melted ground chocolate instead of Nutella) and enjoyed a few leisurely rounds on the big wheel. We inhaled the sweet smells of waffles cooking mingled with the earthy scent of roasting chestnuts. Tim went thrill seeking on that swinging pendulum, and then we wandered back along the Rhine as the sun began to dip behind the city. If, like me, fairground rides strike fear into your heart, the atmosphere of the Fair is the reason to visit: the smells, the laughter, the excited screams from the rides, the soft smoke in the air... Here are some snaps from our visit.

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