We decided driving to Salzburg in one day was rather tiring. So to see Switzerland, and enjoy it without being completely exhausted, we decided to spend a night near Zurich and make it an overnight trip.
So the first place to go was Rhine Falls, in northern Switzerland. It is the largest waterfall in Europe…kind of the equivalent to Niagara Falls in the States, but nothing to that size. A German family who we spent a future afternoon with (special post on that coming up soon), said that the name Rheinfall sounds like another German word which means “a disappointment”. Now, please note that’s not really what Rheinfall means, it just sounds like a German word that means that. :) But it does kind of apply, since Rhine Falls is somewhat a rather modest waterfall.
Not that it wasn’t spectacular or anything! We were able to sit on a bench facing the waterfalls to eat our lunch, then walk all the way around it for various views. The only thing you had to pay for was parking and if you wanted to take a boat ride to the middle rock (below with the flag), or view it from the castle-like structure across the falls. The fun difference between Niagara Falls and Rhine Falls, is that you can walk across Rhine Falls on a bridge. :)
We have good friends back in the States whose family is from this exact area (incredible, aye?) and told us that their Grandpa did his tool-and-die apprenticeship in a small building with a waterwheel right beside the falls. Indeed, there was a waterwheel! However, not illustrated by any pictures. :(
Heading out from there, we took a little drive about 20 minutes away to Hallau. We spent the entire time up at the church in the vineyard, overlooking the village. One thing I wish we would have been able to do more at Falkenstein Castle, was just sit. But Natasha was antsy and not in the mood for sitting that afternoon. However, the church had a stone wall all around it and while Daniel and I sat and looked at this:
Natasha and Maria explored the church and graveyard behind us:
Maria and I were fascinated by the immaculate little flowerbeds in front of each headstone. The church was built in 1491. Can you imagine? That’s one year before Columbus headed for Asia and got side tracked in the Americas.
By the time we finished our gazing over the countryside, we were fairly famished. In our drive south towards Zurich, we ended up in Germany once again and found a restaurant in little village along the way. It was hardly open…we were the first customers for the evening! But they were friendly and welcomed us in. When we eat out, I am all for the traditional dishes. Alison (my personal adviser on Swiss food, and who told us about Hallau and tomorrow’s sight seeing trip), told me about some typical local food, and even though we weren’t in Switzerland, Germans eat very similarly. So I had Wurstsalat mit Käse, which is a cold sausage salad with cheese. It was very good. :)
We finished the day at a comfortable Holiday Inn north of Zurich, and enjoyed some truly English television. :)