Switzerland 05-06: Schaffhausen/Rheinfalls

This was one of those trips that had been on my list for a while and was just waiting for a good day to do it. Today seemed like a good day. So I got my train direct to Winterthur and wandered around there for half an hour before getting the train on to Schaffhausen. Winterthur was another place I wanted to see, and it was very nice and very pretty but it seems its main attraction is art museums, so I think I saw everything else.
The first thing I wanted to do in Schaffhausen was to see the Rheinfalls. I knew which bus I had to get and in which direction but I have never been able to work bus ticket machines in German and that’s even harder when there are no machines and you have to buy them from the driver.

I asked if he spoke French, he apparently didn’t and he sold me a ticket in a mixture of mimes and pointing. “Rheinfalls?” “Si,” I replied, forgetting French, English and German and reverting to Spanish.
He was a lovely driver. When we got to Neuhausen, a lot of tourists got off the bus and stood around outside Migros looking lost. He immediately got off the bus and even though he was speaking German, I understood that to get to the falls, we had to follow the yellow footprints on the pavement.

There isn’t all that much I can say about the falls, apart from put in a load of pictures. The water falls a grand distance of…. 23 metres, so i assume, when the guidebook says they’re the highest in Europe, that they’re the ones at the highest altitude, which surprises me a bit. They’re very vicious though. Still photos really can’t do justice to this bubbling, foaming, splashing water, so much of it!
I walked across to the other side of the big pool, where there was the usual sort of tourist stuff, restaurants, souvenir shops, benches, and sat down on a bench to eat my bread and butter and enjoy the view:
Then I went on to Schloss Wörth, which turns out not to be a castle these days, but another restaurant and the launch point for the boats that take the brave people right to the middle of the waterfalls.

Look at that big lumps of rock in the middle:
There are people on top of it. And underneath both those lumps of rock are massive leaping waves which are undercutting the platforms in a very scary way. The rock will still be ok for a few years, but those boats look scary. They bob up and down as if there’s a sea monster underneath and they go right into the big waves. I would have liked to go on them and I would have done, but they look scary.

Then I decided it was time to go back to Schaffhausen. I walked back up to the main street, following the footprints back, only to find, when the bus arrived, it was the same bus and the same man. I’d checked my guidebook and knew what to say, although pronouncing it would be harder, but when I got on the bus, he recognised me and smiled and I just said “Bahnhof” which was easy enough.

Schaffhausen is very pretty. It looks old and it looks all nicely decorated and the shops are quite well hidden. Not in all cases, but quite often. There were a lot of people there, but it didn’t have the same tourist feel as somewhere like Zurich or Lausanne.
And finally:

Because no trip is complete without the river photo.

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