The Friday and Monday surrounding Easter weekend this year were public holidays in Bavaria. Since I had a long weekend, I decided to do a whirlwind tour through Strasbourg France, Freiburg Germany, Zurich Switzerland, and the Rhine Falls near the Swiss-German border. The last stop on my whirlwind weekend was at the Rhine Falls!
On Easter Monday, the first of April, I boarded this adorable little Regional Express train from Zurich’s main station to Schaffhausen, in Switzerland. After a 40-45 minute train ride, another short bus took me from Schaffhausen over to Neuhausen am Rheinfall, to go check out the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall.
When I was planning the trip, I discovered a nice restaurant directly overlooking the Falls, Schlössli Wörth. I made a reservation for lunch a few weeks in advance, and it’s a good thing I did, because the restaurant was completely booked when I arrived. The restaurant is in this structure. The docks are shared with tour boats that go directly up to the falls.
All of the tables in the restaurant line the outer ring of the building, and have great views out toward the falls. My table had a fantastic view.
This is what I was looking at while I ate. I couldn’t stop staring out the window. I’m extremely happy that the sun came out for this part of my trip.
My meal was amazingly good, also. This is a fillet of perch with saffron-butter over risotto. It was so good, I had a glass of wine. I almost never drink wine. This restaurant is a little pricey, but it was well worth it.
After treating myself to a nice lunch, I got on with the business of being a tourist at the Falls. From the shore, it looks very impressive. There are several different tour boats that go on different paths near the Falls.
I chose the yellow boats, which go to an outcropping of rock in the middle of the falls. You can climb up a winding stair to get a higher vantage point, with the waterfall on either side of you. The only way to get to this point is by boat. Here’s the boat.
In this photo, you can see one of the boats approaching the rock with the stairs. This shot gives you a sense of the scale and size of the waterfalls, since you can see tiny people on both the boat and the rocks.
“We’re headed right for the Falls!”
When we reached the tiny boat ramp at the base of the rocky outcropping, I was hilariously amused to note that standing off to one side, waiting to get on the boat to return to shore, were a pair of Mormon missionaries. The Mormons have been my constant companion as I tour all over Europe, Their little plastic name badges (Elder Smith, Elder Cunningham) are a source of bemused comfort now. But I digress.
The stairs are actually quite narrow and the entire structure is much smaller than it looks. It felt a little too crowded while I was there, and it was difficult to get good pictures from the stairs without other people in the frame. That didn’t stop me from trying, though.
Since I’ve been on the Maid Of The Mists at Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls, this seemed like a bit of a smaller waterfall to me. Still, it was damned impressive. I like waterfalls as much as I like tall places and trains. Now I need to see Victoria Falls.
What’s your favorite waterfall?