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Visiting World Wonders: The Rhine Falls

Let’s talk about the Rhine Falls today.

For the previous post in the series, click here.

Hey everyone! Today’s world wonder is a dreamy place straight out of your imagination; what you would think of if I asked you to picture a quaint town from a fairy tale. This natural wonder is none other than the largest, most powerful waterfall in Europe and one of the oldest waterfalls in the world, the Rheinfall or as we know it, the Rhine Falls.

The Rhine Falls is located on the High Rhine, next to the town of Schaffhausen, in Northern Switzerland. It is very ancient, much more than most if not all the wonders we have discussed here. The falls were formed in the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 to 17,000 years ago. The river has shifted its course over the years but the waterfall has stayed strong with most of its volume attributed to snow-melt in the upper ranges. I visited the Rhine Falls in the summer of 2017 and as my first foray into the country of Switzerland, which I had built up in my head so much, it made quite the impact.

We were driving from The Black Forest(Which I actually have written about,to read my post about it, click here ) in Germany to Zurich in Switzerland, where we were staying for the night.The plan was to stop at the Rhine Falls for a gala lunch before we went our way. As we crossed borders, the scenery change albeit subtly. From the dark forests and high hills of the Schwarzwald mountain range, we were descending down towards flatter terrain. However, nothing convinced me that I am in Switzerland, land of snow, of castles and fairy tales, like the first time I saw the Rhine falls looking out my window. It looked like something out of a painting, a brilliant blue waterfall with a bridge going through it and a castle on its right.

The Rhine Falls is not very tall, I’ll give you that, but it more than makes up for it with just how wide it is, not to mention how absolutely stunning. It is without a doubt, the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen and I have seen quite a few. Although there were viewing platforms on the river bank, we decided to take a boat up the Rhine, to a rock in the middle of the waterfall. (We are quite the adventurists!) The boat ride was great because it got me to see the waterfall up close and personal and it is, in my opinion, the best way to see the falls.

We went to the falls in the peak of the tourist season, so the rock was very crowded and staying on it became more of a daredevil task than we were expecting. I did manage to take a few pictures, despite being jostled around and holding on to my camera for dear life. It was worth it for the view, which was extraordinary and was like standing in the middle of the waterfall. The whole area around the waterfall also contributes to the imaginative aspect of it all. With the Wörth Castle on the hill next to it, a train crossing the bridge on the waterfall (I can only imagine how beautiful the view must be from it), the architecture of the buildings on the banks and the town of Schaffhausen, it was all,just like stepping into an artist’s imagination.

We then took our lunch, within view of the Rhine falls, so in my book, the best lunch we took all vacation. After that, we bid adieu to the gorgeous waterfall, which for me, had been such a surprise. I hadn’t expected it to be such a highlight of my vacation, but it was. Words fall short to explain what it felt like, to be in front of such beauty and natural grandeur: that aquamarine blue water, the rainbows the falls made with the sunlight, the greenery and the beautiful Medieval architecture all around. I hope the pictures do it some justice as it was the best possible introduction to Switzerland for me, and I hope even more, that I get to go back to this beautiful, magical place again.

THIS POSTS’S QUESTION: Have you ever been to the Rhine Falls? What was your experience like? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

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Life Travel Uncategorized

Visiting World Wonders: The Black Forest

Let’s talk about The Black Forest today.

For the previous post in the series, click here.

Hello everyone! Today’s wonder is a natural one and one that I personally have been intrigued by for years. I studied German as my third language in middle school and for one of my assignments we had to do research on tourist spots in Germany. That’s when I first came across the Schwarzwald, or literally, The Black Forest, named so for being so dense that it actually appears black. My interest was piqued; Could it really that dark?

The more I looked into this mythical place, the more interested I got. The Black Forest region is responsible for many good things in the world today. To name a few, cuckoo clocks, black forest cake and the most fascinating to me, fairytales. This area has most commonly been associated with being the backdrop for many of the Grimm Brothers’ fairytales with notable ones being Hansel and Gretel and Little Red riding hood. (If you couldn’t guess it yet, I ended up doing the assignment with the biggest portion of it dedicated to the Black Forest.)

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Now that you have somewhat of a backstory on me and the Black Forest, I hope you can understand the level of my excitement to visit the forest of literal fairy tales. We stopped at the Black Forest while driving from Mannheim to Zurich and it was an actual dream come true. I had been so fascinated by this place and now, I was actually there. It was mind-blowingly unreal.

To answer the most obvious question, yes, I honestly believe it really is that dark. It’s huge and it stretches over the mountains as far as you can see. I only walked through a very small portion of it and that too in peak daytime but it was pretty dark inside and this is at the edge of the forest. I can only imagine how dark it would be further in the forest.

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We stopped at one of the charming little towns that are in the Black Forest and did two really awesome things; We had an authentic Black forest cake and we went to a Cuckoo Clock workshop. As a cake lover who has had many different Black Forest cakes growing up, the best one was definitely the original, in the heart of the Black Forest itself. Plus, I get to say I had Black Forest cake in the Black Forest. It is immensely satisfying.

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In the Cuckoo Clock workshop, we saw many different cuckoo clocks of different sizes and different methods of working. Some had just the cuckoo pop out every hour, some played music, some even had characters that moved and played out entire stories with the music but all clocks had an incredible level of detail and were made with a lot of love and it was obvious how proud the lovely people at the workshop were of their work. We ended up buying one ourselves for our bedroom and fulfilling all our childhood dreams of having an actual cuckoo clock in our room.

We also witnessed the hourly show on the giant cuckoo clock in the town square and it was nothing short of magical. The Black Forest was every bit as charming, mythical and straight out a  fairy tale as I imagined it to be and I am so glad I got to actually visit and see it with my eyes and experience the magic in the place in person. I hope I get to go back again someday and experience more of the fairytale that the Schwarzwald is.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you ever been to the Black Forest? Do you think it is actually as ‘Black’ as the name suggests? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!

For the next post in the series, click here.