22 April 2009

Pöllatschlucht (Pöllat Ravine)

I just found a new favorite nearby spot today! There's a ravine under Neuschwanstein, which you can see from Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge), but I didn't know you could go down into it until today. What a great place! I had a couch surfer (Stelios) in town from Cyprus for the day, and I just found out about this place, so after the castles we took the path down into it. It was really beautiful and I know I'm going to spend a lot of time there. Another nice thing is that there weren't many tourists at all. I can't believe it took me so long to find out about such a great place so near the castles. Everyone only ever talks about the castles! This place is tops in my book.

You can see Marienbrücke at the top

To give you an idea of scale, look at how small Stelios is in comparison. (lower right corner)

A brief pan around

I will be returning soon, that's for sure!

19 April 2009

A Bike Trip to Röthenbach Valley

I set out to Halblech to ultimately go to "Flysch im Röthenbachtal" which is a series of rock formations in the Röthenbach Valley. The ride was pretty easy most of the way, and I rode pretty far into the Halblech Valley before I had to get off of the bike and walk. Then I had to hike up for like 30 minutes, which threw me because I was going to a valley! But it was on the other side of a large hill so it took about 45 minutes to get to. There were parts of the trail that still had snow on them, which was irritating because I had my summer sneakers on. I decided to just go anyway because I rode 14 km to get there. It was pretty cool and worth the ride. It would've been nicer in the summer because the path in the valley was covered in snow and I couldn’t walk far.

I lingered for a little while, then set back with my wet shoes. It was a bit chillier on the way back and I was exhausted, but it was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. A nice little day trip.

On the ride there

Somebody stacked up all these rocks in little piles next to the river. Really strange.


Info: Flysch (swiss: float) is a special geological formation which was formed in the Cretaceous period. The formation was uncovered from the river Röthenbach near Halblech and has an age of about 85 million years. It shows in an outstanding manner the rhythmic recurrence of sediment cycles. Due to tectonic movements they have been folded and are now partially standing in an upright position.


17 April 2009

Bodensee Day 2: Rheinfall & Stein am Rhein

We set out pretty early to get to Rheinfall. After driving around in circles for about an hour because of a closed road, we finally crossed the Swiss border. It was only a short drive beyond that. We found parking and walked through the unimpressive town to the Rheinfall, which was huge and loud and really beatiful. It's hard to capture the scale with photos or even video. You can see the people standing on top of the large rock to the right, which helps a little, but you really needed to be there. Unfortunately it was packed, but not nearly as packed as when we left. We were dumbfounded by the number of cars and tourists that arrived just a short time after we did. It was Easter Sunday, so we guessed that everyone must've just gotten out of church.

Anyway, it was a great start to the day! Afterward, we followed the Rhein to Stein am Rhein, which was a really cute, quaint town. The painted facades were especially beautiful. We stopped by the river for a bit, which was nice. It is much cleaner down south than it is up north. Then we continued on through the mountains. Pretty much just taking the most scenic route back.

On the walk to the Rheinfall

Rheinfall statistics

An 18 second noisy panorama. It's hard to capture the feeling you get being there.

A few panoramas

Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

A mountain stream somewhere in Austria

On the way home

That was our trip! We passed through three countries in one day. How about that!