Dr. Maryvelma O’Neil led students enrolled in a summer cluster course – The History and Art of Switzerland – on an exploration of Zürich and Basel during a weekend study trip (7/8 June 2015). Dr. O'Neil explained, "On Saturday morning we ambled through the cobble stone streets of historic Zürich and along the Limmat River. We later toured the fine collection devoted to major Swiss artists at the Kunsthaus, among them Albert Anker, Ferdinand Hodler, Alberto Giacometti, Giovanni Segantini.
At mid-morning on Sunday we descended from the train track in Basel – Europe's busiest international border station – to the thunderous roar of FC Basel football fans. (Their team lost to Sion in the afternoon match). Within ten minutes we were in the quiet lanes of the old city on a two-hour guided tour that highlighted its golden age during the first half of the sixteenth century as well as its Pritzker Architecture Prize winning architecture. After lunch on the Rhine and a hike along the river (bobbing with locals adrift with the lively current on an unusually hot afternoon), we all enjoyed the very animated and interactive visit at the Tinguely Museum.
Going far beyond the clichéd image of Switzerland (cheese, chocolate, Heidi and army knives), our class discovered the color and local character of two cosmopolitan cities that continue to make vital and distinctive contributions to this multicultural and plurilingual nation in the heart of Europe.
The great Swiss artist, Paul Klee, famously said, 'A line is a dot that went for a walk.' We connected them over and over again: at last count the tally was 25 kilometers before we returned back home to Genève, ville internationale."