Switzerland, Rhine Falls – Europe's Largest WAterfalls
Near Lake Constance there are the largest waterfalls in Europe. And they are amazing. They are about 60 kilometers from the city of Konstanz which takes approximately one hour by car on A4 freeway. You need to leave the freeway at exit to Tägerwilen. Then follow the directions to Schaffhausen, a city in Switzerland.
The waterfalls are situated near the town of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, on the upper stream of the Rhine 5 kilometers from Schaffhausen. You may park your car at paid car park (5 euro for first hour, every following hour costs 2 euro). Follow the arrow directions pointing at "Rheinfall" (the Rhine Falls) and go downhill asphalt pedestrian sidewalk. The bubbling waterfalls appear behind the bushes. The falls are 150 wide, the water falls down from 23 meters, the depth is 13 meters. 750 cubic meters of water fall down every second..
The impressive buzz of the falls will lure you to take a boat ride below the waterfalls and stop in their drumming heart. The guide takes you to the rocks and you can climb it up to its peak. The summit has a fence on it. You can watch the waterfalls up from there. On your way back, get in a yellow boat which shows you the first variation „Felsenfahrt Panorama-Sicht“.
The Rhine Falls were formed about 500 thousand years ago when glacier melting started. The Rhine formed its own route from Schaffhausen westwards to Klettgau 200 thousand years ago. There the Rhine met the Malmstein and created the unique waterfall considered the largest waterfall in Europe.
Josef Hanulik rode the Rhine Falls as the first in 1976. Couple of curageous persons tried it in 2006. Now it is forbidden to ride the waterfalls for safety reasons. Massive flow of water and constant inflow creates great environment for eels which are beyond count. Don't forget to take a look from your boat.
The falls are lit in the night. Thus creating an impressive experience. Fireworks take place every time there is some holiday. A fire parade is local tradition with the falls lit in the background. It takes place every year on July 31 or August 1.
There is Chateau Wörth nearby. Also, there is Chateau Laufen which is often a destination for boat tours. Another thing to do might be walking down a tree alley or to look inside working water mill. This will get you to the left side of the waterfalls. From there, you can enjoy a view of two huge stones as they are withstanding water forces in the waterfall whirl. You can approach Chateau Laufen either on foot or by crossing a massive bridge across the river.
The time runs fast here just like water. And the weather changes quickly too. Don't forget to take a raincoat with you it might come in handy.
Text and photos: Šárka Vacková
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