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Virgen 2003

Pentecoste - May 2005

Travelling in Switzerland

Rheinfall at Neuhausen

In Germany the week-end of Pentecoste ist a long week-end since the Monday is a free day, I visited on these days my friend Fiona, originally from Scotland, who is married in Switzerland since many years.

She lives with her husband in the Swiss town Neuhausen near the place where the river Rhine has its famous waterfall. It is not far away from the German border, about 4.5 hours to go from Mainz by train.

The Rheinfall near Neuhausen is only about 26 m high but rather wide.

The day of arrival was a splendid sunny day. Although I came in the late afternoon there was still time for a 2 hours walk around the Rheinfall. There are two large rocks in the middle of the fall. One of them (with the Swiss flag) can be accessed with a tourist ship in a bit advanterous looking approach.
The Rheinfall is located in the Swiss Kanton (administrative region) Schaffhausen. Schaffhausen is in the very North of Switzerland. Although Switzerland is famous for the Alps, the landscape here is dominated by smooth hills, forests and fields with little villages in between. Although the Saturday was a bit rainy (as visible on the foto below) we explored the landscape around Schaffhausen in a longer walk by feet.
The landscape around Schaffhausen as seen from a view-point on one of the hills: fields, forest and little villages.

A bit complicated in this region is the border. You never know if you are in Switzerland or in Germany. There are Swiss islands in Germany and vice versa and the trainline goes from Switzerland through German towns to Zürich (the largest Swiss town). It might be, that some of the Swiss locals make use of it for shopping, which is much cheaper in Germany.

Between Flühli and Schüpfheim:

There are regions in Switzerland which are more visited, others are less visited. On Sunday we went by train via Zürich and Luzern a bit to the inner part of Switzerland. Luzern and the lake (Vierwaldstätter See) are as known as the mountains of the Berner Oberland with Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and the town Interlaken with a nearly Mediterranean climate. We were in the less known valley of the river Waldemme in the West of Luzern and in the North of the high mountains of the Berner Oberland.

Starting point (photo on the right) was the bus station in Flühli.

The map on the left shows the part of inner Switzerland where we made our walk. If you click on it you get a wider overview where in Switzerland the region is located.

The day surprised us with a mixture of blue sky, clouds and a bit of rain. But anyway the forecast was much worse than the real weather in the end. So we were quiet happy and enjoyed the landscape.
My friend Fiona was in particular curious about this way since it was announced as a "swamp walking way". She did for a long time research in peat bog analysis and is rather interested in all sorts of swamps.
The announcement was a bit exaggerating but we found also some little swamp areas. The photos below show swamp flowers.
On the right however you see a typical mountain flower you find in various smaller and larger species in the whole Alps. It is gentian [lat.: gentiana].
I studied in earlier times a bit of biology and was always interested in the mountain flowers.
In one of my early holidays I made photos of about 80 species and tried to find out their name with a botanical determination book.
The second part of our hiking became finally a bit adventerous. Although it was clear that we wanted to go down to the little town Schüpfheim and go back from there with the train, it turned out that to find the way down was not so easy. We had only a very rough map printed out from the Internet, and the way we planned to go was not marked. The marked way to Schüpfheim however went always up instead of down. Nevertheless we stayed on it, since it was more secure to follow the signs than to get lost in side valleys. In the end we had to climb the top a mountain from where you could look 700 meters down to the villlage (photo on the left). So our trip became a bit harder than expected and we were rather tired afterwards. But it was a very nice day.