Basel Field Trip 2011: Day 1

Basel Day 1:

We arrived in Basel a few hours late on Saturday afternoon. Not because of the snow in Edinburgh but due to the plane breaking down and having to be replaced by another from Milan. Edinburgh Airport has changed recently and is not the worst place to spend a few extra hours waiting for a flight. It is expensive though, which was something like preparation for Basel. I was last in Basel in 2000 when it was 2.36 Swiss franc to the £ now its only 1.47! Ouch!

The hostel; Basel Backpack, suited our needs well, a place to drop after a long day of galleries, museums and sightseeing. It has a kitchen and a common room, which was great for the budget conscious noodle munchers amongst the group. After sorting the rooms out and a short break for juice and coffee it was off to take immediate advantage of the free travel pass we all received when we checked into the hostel. Free city travel for all tourists, what an excellent idea. The trams are regular and easy to navigate so getting into town was no problem and only too 10 mins. Trying to cater for the individual food needs of a large group is never easy so we headed for a part of town with various outlets and agreed to meet an hour later. Sure enough an hour later we were altogether and heading for the Cargo Bar by the Rhine. The bar is small but very friendly with a great a[r]tmosphere. Cool tunes, fine wine and a range of good beers and coffee. Of course it didn’t take long for the effects of an early rise and the air travel to take their toll and it was off to bed at a very respectable hour.

Field Trip September 2010: Peterlee, Sunderland & Newcastle

Slide show of our 1st field trip of session 2010 -11.

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Berlin Day 2

After such a long, tiring first day it may have seemed to much to ask for everyone to be up and raring to go by 9am, but up everyone was, even if not altogether awake. So far the most inconvenient if not altogether tiresome aspect of the trip is getting tickets for the trains and trams. The problem is compounded by 2 of the 4 machines in the local station being broken and trhe 3rd not accepting notes. 23 brits paying one at a time does not make for happy locals already late for work. Several missed trains later it was off to Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum fur Gegenwart (Modern Art) Berlin.

As always this made a big impression on the first time visitors. Top tip here is to e-mail or phone ahead and book in as a student group as this exempts the whole group from entrance fees. The main spaces of the museum present an exhibition which uses thematic and surprising dialogues and individual appearances rich in associations to cast works from the Nationalgalerie, the Marx and Marzona Collections as well as the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection.

Highlights included: Rodney Grahams “Torqued Chandelier” 2004. Richard Artschwager’s “Archipeligo”, Robert Kusmirowskis, full scale paper train “Wagon” and “Un jardin d’hiver” by Marcel Broodthaers.

A certain amount of persuasion was required to get everyone out and of to the architecturally stunning Berlin Hauptbahnhoff for a “traditional” German transit lunch.

BK Whoppers don’t take long to scoff so within the hour we were on the rain to Zoo Station on hopping on a bus tour of the city, a little cheesy perhaps but a great way to see the city. All the main sites and history were covered a rather witty tour guide. On return to Zoo the students were left to their own devices and it was off shopping to Ka De We followed by a rather splendid dinner at Café Einstein.

Berlin Cont….

Last night,  eveyone, well almost everyone, (no names) made it out for the city centre walk. U-Bahn to MoherStr then to the Holocaust Memorial, a tremendously moving experience for all. The momorial is particulary unsettling and sombre at night. We plan to return during the day on Thursday so people can experience the it in daylight. On to the Brandenburg Gate, Unter Der Linden, Friedrichstrasse and a brief stop at Kunsthaus Tacheles before heading for food then bed. Not a bad 1st day


ContemporaryArtETC… in Berlin

Sipping latte and organic cola in the St Oberholz internet cafe is not the worst way to settle in to Berlin by any means. It has been a hectic, long day starting a 4am for most of our weary travelers. Finally though we are here. Despite a slight blip getting the train into town we were greeted with the the customary warmth of the East Seven hostel. Everyone is content but weary so perhaps the 3 mile walk through the city centre will sort the hardcore from the early bedders. To be cont……