My flatmate S and I decided to take an impromptu bike ride to Arlesheim, a town about 8 miles south of Basel. Pretty bike path along the river and castles? Yes please!
While we arrived in Arlesheim with no problem, we couldn’t find the road up to the castle. Pesky castles on hills. So we ended up pushing/carrying our bikes most of the way up a steep hill on what turned out to be a deer path or goat path or something equally unsuitable for bikes. Apparently there are supposed to be paleolithic and neolithic caves around there, but we were too distracted by all the bike carrying to notice…
Reichenstein castle was closed, but it was still pretty nonetheless. A short distance away on the way back down the hill (we found the road – it was on the other side of the hill!) was a Hermitage that contained the ruins of another castle. Also closed. Remind me not to go sightseeing in Europe again on a Sunday.
Once we recovered from the mountaineering expedition and took in the scenery we spotted a very strange building down in the valley.
Turned out to be the Goetheanum, the international center for Anthroposophy which apparently is a philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner. I had not heard of this before, but my flatmate S had actually worked at a Special Education school that applies this philosophy. S said it was incredible how well the methods worked for the kids. Wikipedia tells me that the idea is that we should try to develop imagination and intuition separately from other sensory experiences, and we should apply the scientific method to our investigations of the spiritual world, and treat individuals as holistically as possible. The philosophy extends to the arts, special education, agriculture, and many other disciplines.
It was late afternoon and there were some pretty menacing-looking clouds that rolled past, but the skies also graced us with a pretty wicked double rainbow that we had to play around with.
I’ll have to take some more day trips to find more gems like these!