Tomorrow at 4 am exactly Fasnacht returns to Basel once again.
This carnival takes place on the Monday after Lent each year and can only be described as a 72 hour binge of piccolos , drums and Gugge music, cheese tarts, flour soup, beer, wurst, more beer, knee-deep confetti, crazy costumes and endless parades through the streets. It is actually hard to do the carnival justice with words you really have to come to Basel to experience it properly but here is a link on the carnival anyway http://fasnacht.ch/?pm_1=21&mid=21
I shall be getting up tomorrow at 4 am for Morgestraich which is when the Carnival offically begins. It's a very electricifying experience when all the town lights are switched off and the Fasnachters light up their beautifully painted lanterns and begin marching through the streets, banging their drums and playing their piccolos. It's very important not to get in the way of the marching cliques, I might add, as you will end up as roadkill. I've witnessed this before and they make no distinction between children or the infirmed.
I suppose the downside of Fasnacht ( apart from being potential roadkill) is that it is relentless. For three days there is non-stop noise which if you have ever been to Switzerland is not exactly the norm! Something I actually quite enjoy about the whole thing. Where I live makes it nearly impossible to sleep for the three days but I do find lots of wine and cheese-related meals do make for interesting dreams of the cat nap variety. I also live in a house of Fasnacht fanatics. For them this is like Christmas ( they are adults I'd like to add.) I see them scurrying about finishing their costumes, preparing food, behaving like six year olds before Father Christmas comes. Tonight I shall take my friend who is coming from London just for the event ( and to see me of course) for a walk through the old town where you can see the lanterns resting against fountains and shops waiting for their big entrance tomorrow morning. Many will be covered up so as to not ruin the surprise but it's a nice feeling wandering around the town in the few hours before it all begins.
Have a day or a night ( as the case may be)
Ps Here is a youtube link of Morgestraich
Pps - a special message to my Sis - feel better soon and don't forget our discussion about the 'potential benefits' of steroids :-)