Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Basel Tram People

           In the city of Basel where I'm currently living, the trams are a very useful form of transportation. They are also interesting in the sheer variety of people using them. I always carry a small sketchbook with me, and will draw the people I see whenever I have the opportunity (about every day). These drawings are just from inside the trams and at tram stops in Basel, Switzerland.

                First here is a map of the tram network in Basel, all the lines are color coded and numbered, and where the trams don't reach, the gray bus lines do.

             A typical tram in Basel. They're similar to subways except they run above ground on rails in the streets. Each of the cities in Switzerland have different colors for the public transportation, Basel is green, Zurich is blue, Bern is red, and I'm not sure about Luzern or Geneva. Notice the bikes? Basel is also a very bike friendly city.

               These drawings are all very fast, at the most 5 or 10 min. People don't stay on trams for very long, you get on and you're usually at your destination in ten minutes. This fast type drawing is very good exercise to train my eyes and hand, and very invigorating to do. I always leave with a greater appreciation for the subtleties of people around me.

         The man who has his arm raised was practicing for Basler Fastnacht on this night. It is the largest festival and carnival celebration in Switzerland. Many people practice music and work on costumes all year in preparation for this 3 day event. He was carrying a big drum set that rested on his shoulders and chest. He was with a young woman who was carrying one of their masks.

Basler Fastnacht

            The young teenager who is staring out of the center of the page noticed me drawing people and came up to me and insisted I draw him. He was very cocky and his ego just was tickled all over when I proceeded to draw. He was with a group of very rowdy teenagers. They all came onto the tram in a storm of yelling and pounding on the tram windows. Many people moved to other parts of the tram to be away from them, but I wanted to draw what I could of this rowdy bunch.

                The big woman in the coat on the above page was talking to the tram driver. This was funny because every time the tram stopped (about every 3-5 min.) she would get out to let people in, and then get back in to continue her conversation. 

Yes, and people bring their dogs onto the trams, all the ones I've seen are very well behaved.


  1. Mir gefallen Deine Skizzen sehr! Mach weiter so!

  2. Good job Tim. You are getting a real good taste of Switzerland. And yes, dogs can go on public transportation, and the owners have to get them a ticket. Child fare!

  3. Thanks Mom and Liza!
    Haha child fare for dogs.