Day two on the Big Swiss Trip…
I pretty much ended up going to Schaffhausen by accident. I had my handy ‘Rough Guide to Switzerland’, and in the introduction it mentioned a place called Schaffhausen in the very north-east of Switzerland (as far north east as you can go without ending up in Germany, basically). It had a pretty painted building in the description, and so I just thought “That looks cool, let’s go there”! Besides, I needed somewhere to stay after Bern and before Zurich, and the hostel there was cheaper than ones in either of those places.
So, Schaffhausen. First off, I have to rave about the youth hostel. It’s in an actual castle! OK, maybe more of an old manor, but the point is I slept in a tower like a princess! It was very cool. Also, shoutout to Chelsea and Megan, who I met at the hostel and who sound like they’re having an incredible time backpacking – best of luck on your trip!
Schaffhausen itself is pretty small. There’s lots of foresty green bits, but the main attraction is the Rheinfall, a short walk out of town. It is what the name suggests – a waterfall on the river Rhine. But what an impressive waterfall! This water just comes surging over the rocks and down into a large pool, before it turns the corner and carries on down the Rhine. It’s so powerful and loud, and the spray was going everywhere. You could take a boat to get closer, but even some of those were getting tossed around by the force and the currents. You need to experience it at least once.
Then, at the top of one of the cliffs overlooking the waterfall, there’s a schloss (castle). It’s not as big as it looks once you get closer, but it’s still really cool to look around the courtyard, and you get even more amazing views from out there. You can even wander down a path through the woods along the riverbank, which goes on for ages.
I had the chance to wander round the town too. It’s all old, pretty buildings painted in different colours. I found the painted house I found in the Rough Guide, which really is impressive, the entire building is a work of art, not just the facade. But like I said, it’s nice and small, so you get to see a lot in one day.
Next stop: Zurich!