It was still one of the nicer days I'd experienced in Switzerland up until that point. My first two weeks in Switzerland consisted of near-constant rain and cloudiness, so alternating showers and sun were a definite improvement!
The constant rain did have another advantage: the Rhine was carrying unusually high levels of water, to the point where we heard high-water warnings on the radio while driving to the falls (this may have amused the German-speakers). We had the hope that high water levels would make for particularly beautiful falls; this turned out to be the case.
At first glance, the falls - though beautiful - aren't all that spectacular (okay, comparing them to Niagara Falls really isn't fair, but it is what my mind jumped to instantly). The photo at the top of the post is more-or-less what you see when you first come to the falls. What you need to do is to get close to the falls.
There are several options for getting close to the falls: you can take a boat tour, walk around the falls, or go to the viewpoints by the castle. We settled on the former two options (note that only walking around the falls is free; you have to pay for the castle viewpoints, and somewhat obviously for the boat tour. There is also a boat that will ferry you over to the castle, if you don't want to take the trek around).
What we really wanted to do was take the boat tour to that little island in the middle of the falls. Unfortunately, we were told that the Rhine was running too high for the boats to land safely, so that tour was cancelled. We decided on the longer boat tour, which takes you a little ways downriver before heading back to the falls and taking you close to and past the falls twice.
|Downriver is pretty too!|
|And, um, to goof off...sorry folks we shared the boat with|
|This is one of my favourite shots from the day, though I will say I wasn't too happy with my photography overall.|
Going over the bridge was really cool - it's long over the broad, fast-moving river, and crosses just behind the falls
The walk ends at the castle, where we took a break for ice cream and/or beer before heading back.
I'll leave you with one more shot of the mist coming off the falls.