We woke up to construction noise in Lucerne and set out fairly early to explore the city. You know who else set out fairly early? Ever single other foreigner in Switzerland. All of the guidebooks laud Lucerne as Switzerland's most beautiful city, but the hords of tourists that allocation brings was not so beautiful. We tried exploring some of the side streets, but after a couple hours of dodging selfie sticks we decided to quickly hit the highlights and head over to Basel earlier than we originally planned.
Aaand I'm sure glad we did. Basel was a breath of fresh air - a beautiful living, breathing city. When we arrived (a little grumpy), we were welcomed by our lovely host, Helen, at Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, had a really nice chat over a glass of ice tea and took a quick tour of the hotel. It's a really charming place - I'm obsessed with the old furnaces and the wall paper. Also, while the building is structurally sound, is has settled several inches lower on one side, so you feel a little drunk walking up the stairs. All adds to the charm though :)
After being a somewhat revived with the ice tea, we set out to explore Basel armed with Helen's good recommendations. We unfortunately did that thing again where we forgot to eat until mid-afternoon, became re-grumpified, and Meghan insisted we needed a break from Switzerland. So we ate fried rice and red curry in a restaurant playing 90s country music and Selena in the background. And you know what? Meghan was totally right. We emerged anew, ready to enthusiastically take in Basel for the next two days.