It’s a strange feeling taking the bus to Basel airport from the station, you were in no man’s land for a stretch on the road until you reach the airport. On the road you noticed that right and left there was nothing, because it was almost no man’s land.
A town on the borders of Switzerland, and on the borders to France, not forgetting Germany. There were even two stations, one in France if you were travelling in that direction and the main Swiss station. My first journeys to Switzerland were by train as 50 years ago flying was not as affordable as it is today. I remember the train crossing into Switzerland at Basel after travelling through France during the night. I also remember seeing the Basel zoo which is on the French-Swiss border.
A few years ago I travelled by train to my son’s wedding in Germany. The train pulled out of the station and made a stop just a few minutes later along the tracks to another station. The border guards mounted the train and you saw them on the platform, some even with their dog.
Or were they police. Eventually you see so many uniforms you are not sure what they are. The customs officers might even mount the train with a few questions about goods to declare, although that does not often happen. The last time it happened to me was when I was on my way to Germany via Schaffhausen on the Swiss border, but that was many years ago.
Being in the middle of Europe as Switzerland is can have its confusion. Even locally we change languages after an hours train journey from Solothurn where they speak German, to Neuchâtel where French is the language and it is still Switzerland.
It might be a small country, but being in the middle can have its problems.