A daytrip to see the Rheinfall and wander the old town of Schaffhausen.
For our final day of free Swiss rail travel, we decided to stay close to home.We headed northeast, to a curious finger of Switzerland on the north side of the Rhine River – which otherwise forms the border with Germany. The train stops directly at the Rheinfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, where there are some impressive viewing platforms and an historic castle now converted into a restaurant. The waterfall was beautiful, though the flow was at an annual low – it being winter, and there being no rain for the past week. The low-angle sun (1:30pm, a few weeks after winter solstice) painted a pretty rainbow on the mist of the falls (a “mistbow”?). Read on, and check out the Rheinfall gallery and Schaffhausen gallery.
This winter has, so far, been pretty much a bust. Virtually no snowfall, with plenty of warm weather and rain to ensure that the little snow doesn’t stick around. I decided to head for one our closest big-mountain neighbors, Mount Ascutney, an hour down the Connecticut River, because the trail passes some nice waterfalls. If there’s no snow, at least there will be ice. I spent about an hour at the falls, enjoying the indirect lighting as the rising sun illuminated the open woods to one side of the stream. One nice feature of an icy stream, I discovered, is that you can stand on the ice in mid-stream and explore many angles you might find to be too wet in summer. Got some nice photos! More to say below.