The Castle at the Top of the Falls
I first caught a glimpse of the Rhine Falls while I was in the train to Neuhausen am Rheinfall, a small town in Switzerland. Something about it seemed so mesmerising—maybe it the Laufen Castle perching proudly at the top of the falls, the clean, misty water of the Rhine, or the rainbow forming from the mist below.
I was excited just looking at the marvel from a distance.
Once my family and I dropped off at the Neuhausen am Rheinfall station, I could hear a resounding murmur of the water thrashing down to the bottom of the falls from afar. The sight was mostly blocked from the station. It wasn't until we reached the first of the two lifts to the falls that we could see the sights a little closer, in all its glory.
Descending down, and walking a little further from the wooden platform, I was happy that I could see this sight. The water was clear and the powerful tourist boats fought against the currents at the bottom of the falls to get to the rock in the middle. There was a really long, winded and scenic road to the castle and a rail bridge at the upper portion of the river.
We could get to the Laufen Castle at the top by two ways. Either by one of those tourist boats, or the really long sets of stairs to the top. Since Switzerland really knows how to burn a hole in your wallet, and it already did when we bought the whole package for a full tour of the Rhine Falls from the station in Baden, we chose the scenic route.
I'll be honest. The climb to the top was as difficult as pronouncing the names of the cities in Switzerland. The flights of stairs were tall and narrow. Luckily, there wasn't a huge crowd. And the people were nice enough to make way for those who were faster in covering the flight of stairs. The stairs also had separate platforms for people who wanted to take pictures.
The sights and experience of climbing the stairs was a different experience too. You could feel the warm spray of the waterfall while you climbed up, and I've already blabbered on about the view several times.
Three-quarters of the way, at the upper portion of the falls and below the castle, we got to the rail bridge leading to the castle on the Rhine. And it isn't until when you get to the bridge that you realise how wide the Rhine is. On one side of the bridge is the pretty little town of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, buildings and infrastructure waving up and down the hillside, and on the other side are the falls.
Countless flights of stairs later, we reached Laufen Castle. There wasn't much to see inside Laufen Castle as most of it was restructured into restaurants and hostels. So we started our way down the lower chambers and pathways of the castle.