Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Fun with Mikey!!

Since Michael (Mikey) had finished with his teaching stint, it was time for me to show him a bit of the city and he was more than happy to comply!!

Our first stop was to climb the tower of the Basil Minster.  If you remember, they would not let me go up by myself earlier in the week but now I had my climbing partner so up we went.  And I do mean up!!!   The first stairs were easy but then they got REALLY steep and REALLY curvy and REALLY narrow!!! 

There was a rope hanging on the right pillar of the staircase and we both used it to help us, but both came out with skinned knuckles!!

We stopped at the landing, standing next to this huge bell. 

We laughed about the fact that we were glad that it hadn’t rung while we were standing there, but about 5 minutes later (when we were outside on the ledge), it did ring and scared us to death.   We both said a few choice words!!!

After a few photos from the very narrow ledge…

Michael happened upon a door at the end of the passageway and was SUPER happy to see that it opened, revealing another set of stairs……

….so up we went. A few photos at the next level….

….and….oh look….ANOTHER door!!!!   Up again……

….and you guessed it….. yet ANOTHER door!!!

When we finally got to the top, we were level with the gargoyles clinging to the eaves of the tower……

After viewing the city from all angles, we started the intrepid task of going down the stairs….

The only thing that helped was that the stairwell was super narrow and I was able to hold to the center pole with one hand and keep the other hand firmly against the other wall.    It reminded me of how my Mother looked when she was teaching me how to drive…grabbing hold of every surface available!!!

After we thankfully reached level ground, we were off to the Tinguely Museum to view his mechanical sculptures.   If you remember the fountain that I posted about earlier in the week  ……

It was built by Jean Tinguely and we were super excited to see that he had an entire museum of works only 1.4 miles from our flat!!

As we walked, we were amused by the gas (petrol) station. As opposed to our 12 lane, 48 car edifices, this one was 2 pumps just slightly off of the street…..

It was also fun to see a “Give and Take” library on one corner…..

Michael kept insisting that he take lots of photos of me since I am not normally a part of the photos. But, after the 6th or 7th photo overlooking the river, I said enough……

As we approached the museum, we were impressed with the beauty of the setting…..

….and then with the first work of art….a fountain of course…..

We purchased our tickets and were given the requisite sticker to put on our clothing. It was nice to have TWO stickers in hand as it meant that I had my favorite museum partner with me!!!

Being good Americans, we started at the END of the exhibit rather than at the beginning, but that meant that we saw two of his largest creations first. We approached the first one, and stood looking at it, along with a number of other visitors…..

Then I spied the button on the floor and as soon as I put my foot on it…..

It was magical to stand and listen to the cacophony of sounds and watch the gears as they worked with the levers!!

The next work was even larger but had lots of interesting parts to see. This view is actually from one end of the work……

We were amazed to see that you were allowed (and encouraged) to climb on this work even while it was in motion…

In the US, this would be a lawsuit waiting to happen!!!

We moved on thru the museum, learning more about Jean Tinguely as we went. He was an anarchist and communist and we shared nothing in common with his outlook on life, but yet we loved his art style. His pieces were designed to move in some form or fashion and they captivated us!!!

Some even produced art themselves…..

I read some about this piece and it said that he was trying to ask the question about who the artist was…..the person who built the machine, the person who ran the machine or the machine itself!!!

Although he had some large pieces, we also appreciated the smaller ones that moved quietly and simply……

These were some of my favorites…..

Although I couldn’t see them in motion, I appreciated the intermixing of bare wire cogs with colored shapes.

There was one room that had a long line of sculptures and I giggled at the equally long line of buttons to be stepped on…..

The only difficult part about the museum was that all of the art works had a timer so that they wouldn’t run all of the time. There had to be a rest period between activity. We acted like a couple of kids as we tried to place ourselves the correct distance behind the previous oglers but well before the next group so that we could be the ones to ignite the machines!!

Several of the machines were destructive, such as this one where a chain was thrown against the wood stand. I wonder how often the wood has to be replaced…..

This was a museum that was interactive and super fun!!!

I found a couple of quotes by Jean Tinguely that I loved, but this was my favorite……

“Dreams are everything — technique can be learned.”

I will leave you with one last video from an entire ROOM of farm tools…..

We ended our last day in Basel in the proper way…..a pasta dinner in our flat…..

Tomorrow we head to Naples!!!

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