Water fall 23 m drop 150 m wide
Water passing speed – 700’000 liters per second
The roar of water was incredible. We were standing on the platform viewing 700’000 liters of water per second plunge across a width of 150 meters into the basin below. It was an overwhelming yet captivating sight.
On our last day in Switzerland we visited the Rhine Falls, known as the largest waterfall of Europe because of the immense amount of water passing through. After a relaxed Glacier Express Tour and stay in Kloten, our appetite for new exploration was back. We considered the options of taking Zurich City tour versus visit to Rhine Falls and we zeroed down on Rhine Falls. Ever friendly hotel receptionist promptly handed us the train route map and gave detailed guidelines.
Kloten to Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall was an hour train journey. In Switzerland, train travel is not only efficient but also very joyful affair. As we were travelling to Northern Switzerland, we could see a different landscape. Train passed through agricultural fields and small towns with urban touch. The wild nature appeared little tamed in these parts. We passed through a junction Winterthur. From the train the town appealed so much that we decided to get down here while returning.
Brilliant Sunlight and rippling water sound greeted us on the Rhinefalls station. We Followed the rippling sound and got the first view of Rhine river. The foaming river appeared calm, but the sound heard was creating some different picture. So, we followed the path and reached the entrance.
We chose winding walkway over a panoramic lift to reach on top. We climbed up a few turns and WOW! Got the first sight of the waterfall. Spectacular! The massive amount of water foaming and gushing into the basin below is just spectacular! Keeping the pace, we reached the top to get the full view. From this spot we could see the Rhine river passing over the cliff-face. On the left side could see the huge rock known as Rhinefallfelsen. The river base here is very huge. With the morning sun shining behind, we spotted small rainbows in the water sprays. It was so beautiful; I could have stayed there watching the hide and seek play of rainbow and sunshine forever. Standing on the top could view other side of the bank; train passing through the archways; beautiful castle, tourists enjoying a walk around the castle, boat rides across the river. So beautiful!
The birds eye view of the fall, the flag of Switzerland waving proudly on the backdrop of huge water spray, the buzz of tourists; all this created an impression of business and efficiency coupled with luxury. The Nature’s abundance made available to the tourists in a classical luxurious fashion. Its like proclamation; ‘Unmatched. Excelled. Luxurious.’
From the top a small path takes you through a cave under the rock. This was the most exciting part; the cave opened on to a platform at the Rhine Fall basin straight in front of the roaring water. It was incredible. We felt the water roars & vibrations through the body. We could sense the crushing water pressure. Just like experiencing the vast expanse of snow on Jungfrauch, this abundance of water in its ferocious flow felt enthralling. The small platform was busy with the tourists eager to take snap with backdrop of RhineFall. We were no exceptions.
The narrow walkway from the cave is a small climb to the castle. It took us round the Fall on the other side of the fall. This presented the view of a steady flowing Rhine river below. The castle hosts a small museum showcasing the history of Rhinefalls and early stages of construction. In Switzerland, gastronomical delights are part of every tourist’s place; may it be top of Europe or top of largest waterfall. The sunny afternoon, clear blue sky was a perfect set up to enjoy the meal and the tourists were obliging. From the castle we took the Panoramic lift to get down. On one side could see the train station and from other side the river flowing.
Taking the rainbows with us we boarded on train to take a totally unplanned, just a ‘we-felt-so’ stop at Winterthur. We were surprised to see the activities on the road. Unlikely the quiet villages we visited this was certainly an urban place. It turned to be a small town enough to get around easily at the same time have a big-city atmosphere with malls, restaurants and some happening places. Just opposite to railway station we spotted the Migros, Switzerland’s supermarket chain and decided to have a look. I was keen on knowing the local varieties that give insight on the way of living.
Dairy, Chocolates, fruits & vegetables and much more. The three storied supermarket offered everything for day-to-day life. ‘Do It + Garden’ section with summer special offers was a pleasure to the sight. We picked up some ready-to-cook pasta, cake and chocolate ganache varieties. The bakery section was so aromatic. The shining pretzels, baguette, short bread fresh from the oven. My sweet tooth was nagging me for the macarons and melting pastries. It was irresistible. Enjoying this detour, we took a seat in the foyer just to watch the locals come and go. There was group of kids aged about 5-6 yrs, trotting with their teacher; probably on field trip, watched families do regular shopping, elderly people taking their own time in shopping.
Parked outside was a food-truck with Indian style sitting arrangements made in front. The small stage which was not there when we entered was set now in front of the truck. A local band was getting ready for the performance. A small gathering was enjoying food truck offerings. Within minutes the band struck their first notes. It attracted more crowd. A typical day for locals. Watching these activities leisurely, we got a glimpse of local life and were very happy to experience this.
Reluctantly we left the supermarket. We could have continued the stroll, but time was a constrain. Winterthur offers a lot for Art and Science. With more than 10 museums and science centre it would take another two days of stay. We were to catch our return flight from Zurich airport the same night. So we had to shorten the visit and return back to hotel.
It was very fulfilling day. Our vacation could not have a better conclusion; A day spent visiting Rhine Falls and a peek in the local life that called for home. We packed our bags and departed for Zurich airport eager to go home and pen down the blogs.