Basel, Switzerland and the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois
Another of the city’s most famous traditions, the Basler Herbstmesse or Fall Festival, begins the last week of October and lasts for two weeks into early November. For over 500 years, Herbstmesse has been a widely popular event for the city and the neighboring countries. With many offerings for children and adults alike, the festival is spread throughout the city, with the main section located in the Münsterplatz . At the top of Old Town, the giant ferris wheel lights up the night sky and offers its riders spectacular views of the city and the Rhine River. With as many as one million visitors during Herbstmesse, it is the largest festival in Switzerland and a precursor to the Christmas Markets.
As we wandered through the streets filled with festival goers, the intoxicating smells of scrumptious foods filled the air: fresh wurst (sausages) roasting over an open flame; the aroma of gingerbread and spice from a Lebkuchen-like biscuit called Magenbrot; the fragrant and slightly sweet batter of crêpes cooking in a hot pan; and the subtle citrus, honey, and almond flavor of Läckerli, which is the centuries old spice cookie that originated in Basel.