The true joy of travelling comes from being able to enjoy a place even when it is raining. Although of course a beautiful setting helps quite dramatically and Switzerland is quite honestly gorgeous come rain or shine. Which is quite a good thing seeing as we saw most of it in the rain while I was there last month.
For someone who has never really seen a proper waterfall in my life, seeing the largest waterfalls in Europe was a pretty good start. Taking a trip from Lucerne to Rhine Falls in took quite a chunk out of my bank balance but it was worth every penny as when the waterfalls came into sight I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. To say they are breathtaking is an understatement and photos really do not do them justice. So all I can really say is that if you’ve ever got the chance to visit them, don’t pass it up.
For just 13 Francs (£9), we were able to take two separate boat trips across the river to the base of the waterfalls. They are easily the best boat trips that I have ever been on and for what we got I would have happily paid nearly double that price. The first boat took us directly to a large rock that jutted up towards the sky and was situated between two sections of the waterfalls. Upon arrival, with the spray of the water hitting us in the face we disembarked from the boat and began the rather steep ascent to the summit. Stood at the top we had an aerial view of all of the waterfalls and it was an entirely different experience. Admittedly, being afraid of heights meant that I stood rooted to the spot, with my hands tightly wrapped around the barriers while my knuckles slowly whitened, but having said that it is not an experience that I would have wanted to pass up just due to an irrational fear. Two boats came and went in the time that my little group stood admiring the view and then reluctantly (and slowly in my case) we descended back to the boat. Back at the dock we boarded the second boat and this one took us on a circular route of the base of the waterfalls. The boat took us close enough to be able to reach out and touch the flowing water, the roar was almost deafening and the spray coming in through the open windowed boat all came together to create an exhilarating experience that I cannot recommend enough.
After our boat trips we took a short walk up the hill and across the bridge to the castle. After paying another 5 francs (£3.40) to enter the grounds we again descended the hill and found ourselves situated on several ledges that jutted out right into the waterfall, leaving you both exhilarated and soaked. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before and being able to get that close to a waterfall situated in the middle of a large river wasn’t something that I had ever expected to be able to do. In fact, I had thought we would only be able to admire it from the shoreline but I could not have been more wrong. The entire experience was aptly finished by rising back to the top of the hill in a glass lift, providing us with one final aerial view of the roaring waterfalls and it just drew the day to a beautiful close…