Rheinfall!

Schaffhausen Travel Blog

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first view of Rheinfall

I first learned about the waterfall on the Rhein when I took a train from Germany to Zurich.  We stopped in Schafhausen, then crossed a wide, creamy turquoise river with a bright white waterfall.  It passed so fast I barely registered the waterfall.  But I remembered it and we started planning this trip, I thought we might be able to visit.

Turns out, we could.  We had planned to drive to Zurich then to Lake Constance, but I had already been to Zurich so I suggested the waterfall.  Everyone seemed open to the idea, so we worked it in.  Driving up from Zurich, we found it interesting that we crossed into Germany for a short stretch, then back into Switzerland. 


The waterfall and park are actually in Neuhausen am Rheinfall.

close up of Rheinfall
  We found the parking area – right next to a very cool looking ropes course.  If only I had known, I might have insisted on more time here so I could play in the trees.  Guess I’ll just have to come back!  We walked down a long slope to the water’s edge.  It was a short, but wide waterfall, but powerful.  We walked along the path and up some steps until we were at the top of the falls.  Then we crossed the pedestrian/train bridge.  From up there, I could see that the water was pretty shallow up top, but moving really, really fast.  I would hate to fall in and be swept over those falls.  Yikes!  We were almost over the bridge when a train came through the tunnel and rushed along side us.  Cool!

Once across the bridge, the path went up the hill to an old castle which now has a restaurant, youth hostel and even an elevator down along the waterfall.

castle across river
  It was a bit of a hike over here and we didn’t feel like walking back, so we decided to pay for the little red boat to take us back across the river (below the falls).  We actually decided to buy a combo ticket so we could ride the yellow boat over to the little rock island and walk up the steps to stand on top of the falls.  It was a little scary because the water was really strong at the base of the falls.  The steps were steep and narrow and jammed with people.  Being one of the last people on the boat, I was one of the last up the rock.  You get right there next to the waterfall and can feel the mist.  It was a little unnerving to be so close to the forceful, flowing water.  But still, a cool experience.

From the park, we drove over into Schaffhausen, parked, and walked the pedestrian street looking for a restaurant.

boat tours
  There were several places serving Italian food, but we were looking for something a little more local.  No luck, we just settled at an Italian place with tables in the center of the wide, pedestrian zone.  I had a carbonara pasta that was good, but the biggest event was that a bee crawled into my bottle and I had to pour it out into a glass and scoop the bee out with a fork.  I thought it was dead, but later it was gone, so I figured it just stumbled away.  

Dinner took longer than we wanted, but that’s how it is sometimes.  We walked back along the scenic, cobblestone road and went off in search of our hotel a little over an hour away. 

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first view of Rheinfall
first view of Rheinfall
close up of Rheinfall
close up of Rheinfall
castle across river
castle across river
boat tours
boat tours
lower fortification
lower fortification
side view of waterfall with castle
side view of waterfall with castle
waterfall from top and side
waterfall from top and side
top of the falls
top of the falls
behind the islands
behind the islands
top of waterfall from bridge
top of waterfall from bridge
shallow but fast water
shallow but fast water
train!
train!
entry to castle
entry to castle
restaurant at castle
restaurant at castle
castle walls - inside
castle walls - inside
view through castle window
view through castle "window"
castle walls from outside
castle walls from outside
castle side and elevator
castle side and elevator
Schloss Laufen with train tunnel
Schloss Laufen with train tunnel
low rainbow in mist
low rainbow in mist
riding the boat to the island
riding the boat to the island
steep steps up
steep steps up
me by the waterfall
me by the waterfall
top of the island
top of the island
waterfall rapids
waterfall rapids
waterfall and castle from island
waterfall and castle from island
looking down on other island
looking down on other island
Rheinfall
Rheinfall
yellow boat about to dock
yellow boat about to dock
mist from waterfall
mist from waterfall
looking down steep steps
looking down steep steps
island in waterfall
island in waterfall
leaving the island
leaving the island
waterfall from boat (right side)
waterfall from boat (right side)
waterfall from boat (left side)
waterfall from boat (left side)
ropes course
ropes course
ropes course - looks fun!
ropes course - looks fun!
corner building
corner building
fountain
fountain
Schaffhausen store fronts
Schaffhausen store fronts
Haus zum Ritter
Haus zum Ritter
Square in Schaffhausen
Square in Schaffhausen
steps in Schaffhausen
steps in Schaffhausen
Schaffhausen
photo by: portia