Swiss Postcards : Schaffhausen and Neuhausen am Rheinfall, CH
On the Rhine Falls
Tourists on a passenger boat and on a viewing platform marvel at the face of Europe’s largest water fall: the Reinfall on the Rhine River between the Swiss Cantons of Zurich and Schaffhausen.
Travelling around Switzerland is like luxuriating in a box of the rich, truffle-filled chocolates that the country is famous for.
Everywhere you go, picture-postcard scenes meet you.
And, if you have Swiss friends to guide you and a Swiss Travel Pass in hand, you don’t even have to work hard: accessing these magic places is easy.
We were headed out on a simple day trip from where we were staying near Zurich: we were taking a train to the SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen) railway station at Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall, another train across the river to Schaffhausen, and then a third train back to Zurich …
Viaduct over the Rheinfall
Our rail trip to the Rhine Falls gave us a good view over the roiling waters of the Rhine – and of the railway and pedestrian viaduct that crosses it. (iPhone5)
Accessing the Rheinfall
The medieval castle of Schloss Laufen, sitting high over the Falls, now operates as a tourist attraction …
Courtyard over the Rheinfall
… and houses a restaurant and a youth hostel.
The Castle also offers an elevator down to the river for those who don’t want to make the short walk.
The Roar of the Rhine Falls
At river-level, it is easier to appreciate the power of the 150 metre- (490 ft) wide falls.
Boats on the Rhine Falls
The tourist boats on the river are colour-coded: some do a brief tour, some let you out at the rocks in the middle of the falls, and some explore further.
Boat on the Rhine Fall
The tourist boats are dwarfed by the spray from the 23 metre- (75 ft) high falls.
On the Rheinfall
We opted for the short trip –
Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall
– which never-the-less gave us a good view of the castle on the right bank of the river, …
Central Rocks in the Falls
… and of the island rock structures in the middle of the falls. The taller rock has a boat dock and a walking path up to the Swiss flag at the top.
Tourist Boat on the Rhine Falls
It was a very short train trip from Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall, and across the river to Schaffhausen – with it’s landmark 16th-century circular fortress. (iPhone5)
Built using forced labour between 1563 and 1585, today the circular Munot Fortress is accessed by a walk bridge over a deep moat.
Inside the Fortress
The inside of the Munot is dark and eerie; I have no idea how it must have been configured in the old days when it was defending against French invaders.
Old buildings might be interesting, but this one is little more than a shell – albeit a fascinating and unique shell – with diagrams; …
… so having newlyweds using the site for their pictures made the walls come to life!
Top of the Munot
At the top of the Munot, there are plenty of tables where you can enjoy a coffee or ice-cream.
View over Altstadt
Alternately, you can admire the views over old Schaffhausen …
View over the Rhine
… and the river; …
Wedding Party on the Munot
… or you can just people-watch.
Head Towards the Light!
We worked our way back down through the dark tower, towards the light of the fortress’ doorway.
Altstadt through the Vines
From there, we were pitched headlong through the vines …
… and past the quaintly tiled rooftops, …
Stairs to the Altstadt
… and down the steep stairs towards the Old City of Schaffhausen.
Crosswalk to the Old Town
Schaffhausen has been called “Erkerstadt” because of the 171 Erker (oriel bay windows) in the city.
I love the abstract layers that are produced by reflections: photographer, photographed; old town; modern shop with new products.
A Town Square
Waiting for the Wife
Girl in the Fountain
Haus zum Ritter (built in 1492)
Like many of the building fronts in Schaffhausen, Haus zum Ritter is wonderfully decorated with frescos.
Erker : Oriel Window
The oriel windows in Schaffhausen were built as status symbols on the houses of rich merchants.
Swiss Cheese Trap
Some of the ornate building-fronts house quirky shops selling unique items – like Swiss cheese traps.
Beautiful Building Front
Other buildings appear to exist for their own sake.
A simple day trip, but one filled with postcard-views.
Until next time,