How to reach by train:
1) From the city of Shaffhausen S8 to Stein am Rhein (1:15 h)
2) From the city of Winterthur S29 to Stein am Rhein (1:04 h)
Stein am Rhein
One of the smallest but the most beautiful Swiss towns on the Rhine at the very beginning of Bodensee. The highlight of this old town is a large number of houses with beautiful paintings on plaster in the main street. The size and genre of these stories is different: from ancient biblical and up to the half a house to decorative and small quotes. Closer to the promenade, there are modern versions of the painting, mainly in the graffiti style. The structure of this town is a main street in the center and a typical Swiss village outside it. The main street it about 500 m long but all the houses along the street look like the houses from fairy tales. The most interesting fresco paintings have the following houses: Zum Roten Ochsen, Zum Steinerner Trauben, Zum Schwarzen Horn, Zum Weissen Adler and at Rathausplatz (town house).
We need a bit rest before visiting our next point: the Rhine Falls. I think now I understand why people like this town. You are sitting in the main street – it is very calm, very romantic and you feel comfortable. Last years I prefer smaller cities and towns with one or two beautiful streets or just city center. This is a place when you can walk, you can reach all the objects easily, but it is not so boring like in a village where nothing happens. Just imagine you can meet here your friends after the working day and you do not need to overcome any traffic jam. Or may be am I talking like this because I am getting older and older? In any case, I could see that the tourists behave here different from like in large cities – there they are always in a hurry- to do this photo, to take this, to go there. Here the tourists are much slower and this is good for sightseeing – just enjoy what they see during drinking a cup of coffee near these fascinating houses from fairy tales. Or they read these quotes written on the houses and start to discuss these meanings and messages with the relatives and friends. That is just amazing! In my opinion, people not only see the sights and spend time together but they are getting closer to each other, they try to understand each other.
The main “water” sight of Switzerland
The most famous sight of this canton is the Rhine Falls (in German: Rheinfall). This is the biggest plain waterfall in Europe. It is located between the cantons of Zürich and Shaffhausen. The age of falls is 14 000-17 000 years and it is 150 m wide and 23 m high. The rock in the middle of the falls is the highlight of the Rhine Falls.
How to reach:
- By train from the south – the stop “Schloss Laufen”, from the north and in winter – the stop “Bahnhof Schaffhausen” (from this stop you take the bus 1, direction the city of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, the stop “Zentrum”)
- Special for tourists there is a tourist train from Parkplatz Burgunwiese in the city of Neuhausen. The route is to Rhine Falls and back. It takes you ca. 10-15 min. Note that this tourist train only goes in the period from April to October.
I do not know why but the most tourists whom I saw that day at this place were people from India. Big families with all the children were sitting on the bank or walking around and taking the pictures. We had luck – the weather was perfect with much sun and clear sky.
If you want to experience the falls closer, you can take several boot tours on the Rhine. It is possible to take a boot route to the rock, a round trip in the river basin or a leisurely cruise to Rheinau. The scheduled boat services are available from April to October.
One interesting fact about the Rhine Falls is that it can look differently. It depends on how much snow it was in this region in winter or how rainy the summer was. Sometimes the flooding can happen and in this case, you see the rock less. The Water takes it to its territory. But when the level is middle or low – it is allowed to go by boot to the viewing point on the rock. The stairs on it is not so wide. On my pictures, I believe this is the middle level of water at the falls.
Near the Rhine Falls, there are some cafes and restaurants (in the castles), just at your choice. For me it was nicer to sit near the water in the fresh air and not in the castle restaurant. We met the sunset there on the bank and went home.
What is the impression of this waterfall? Here you can really see the power and empire of the Water!
The poetess Munia Khan said “Do not feel sad for your tears as rocks never regret the waterfalls”. The life goes on, do not regret…
If you need more information, please visit the web-site: rheinfall.ch.
P.S. Our route by car: Flumsenberg- Teufen (Appenzell)- Stein am Rhein- Rheinfall – Flumseberg. About visiting Teufen (the goal was the traditional old Swiss restaurant) I wrote in one of my previous posts.
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