June 06, 2008

Fussball Fever

What happens when 160,000 fans converge on a small town for the opening of the European Soccer Cup? Fussball fever breaks out! It's a national epidemic here in Switzerland, but nowhere more prevalent than in Basel where the month long competition kicks off (literally) Saturday evening in a game between the host country and the Czech Republic.

Rain or shine, the stadium and the "Fan Zones" will be packed with spectators and huge television screens have been installed on the sides of the Wettstein Bridge for passersby and viewers seated on bleachers set up on the banks of the Rhine.

A leather goods shop window features
a soccer field and bags in the national colors!

The Swiss obsession with chocolate is only surpassed
by their obsession with football!

Even the wine shops get into the act
featuring products from the host countries,
Switzerland and Austria

The Basel specialty of "L├Ąckerli", a sort of gingerbread,
is not immune to soccer madness!

Souvenirs of every kind encourage us
to root for the home team!

As you can see, everybody has gotten into the act and the normally staid shop windows have been transformed into national bill boards! It is a sight to behold, and the excitement is contagious! HOPP SCHWIITZ!!

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