|Boats take visitors right up to Rhine Falls.|
Located in a bend of the Rhine River near Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland, Rhine Falls can be accessed from either side of the river. It’s not the tallest falls but rather the broadest at 492 feet and the largest by volume of water that pours over the rocks. At the highest point water drops about 69 feet, but you can still feel the vibration when walking on the designated path. And it makes an excellent backdrop for photos.
|Stairs lead to the top of the rock in the Rhine River.|
|Be prepared to get wet on the observation deck.|
Boats on the river offer several different cruises. One tour will take visitors to an observation deck on the Zurich side that juts out over the river for a bird's-eye view of the falls. We weren’t quite daring enough to paddle a canoe close to the falls but watched one boat take passengers right up to the surging water.Other amenities include a visitors' centre, children's playground and the Historama, an interactive exhibition about Rhine Falls.
|Stein on Rhine is a typical Swiss village.|
After our boat ride we stopped for ice cream before heading back up the path and on to Stein on Rhine, a typical Swiss village with a well-preserved medieval center open only to pedestrians. The site of the city wall, which now consists of houses, and the city gates are also preserved. Since the weather was just about perfect, many people sat outside enjoying al fresco restaurants and cafes. We walked around admiring the charming gingerbread architecture, fountains, and beautiful frescoes painted on buildings—and smiled at children scaling a wall to dip their bodies into the cool river. It didn’t matter that we weren’t alone in soaking up this iconic Swiss adventure; in fact, sharing the scene made it even more likeable.Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier