Date of Travel- Summer 2015
Time spent- 2 nights at Reinfall (1 overnight stop on the way).
Accommodation- Chez Jpzen and Hotel Reinfall
Places we ate- Restaurant Park am Rheinfall
Activities- Glass panoramic lift over the falls, Schloss Laufen adventure trail (viewpoint over the falls), Adventure Park Rheinfall, Boat ride to ‘The Rock’ (the island in the middle of the falls), Fire on The Rocks (firework extravaganza!).
Our main reason for visiting the Reinfalls was the annual ‘Fire on The Rocks’, which takes place on 31 July every year. We got the Euro Tunnel through to France and after a days drive had an overnight stop in Freyming France at a little bed and breakfast called ‘Chez Jpzen’. We actually drove through 5 countries to get there too which was pretty cool! (UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany).
Our overnight was a perfect little place which was clean, comfortable and very handy for the motorway. It was as if we were staying in Jean-Pierre’s home, with a lovely breakfast being served to us in his front room.
We then had half a days drive to get to the Reinfalls (through France and Germany). The Hotel Reinfall was a 10 minute walk to the falls and had car parking at the back. We had a family room with a double and a bunk for the kids. We spent the first day exploring the falls (it is quite a walk around the falls and the river Rhine). We had a picnic next to the falls and then walked around to catch a boat to Schloss Laufen adventure trail, where we went in the panoramic lift over the falls. In the descriptions I had read, I had imagined it as a Willy Wonka style lift ‘going over’ the falls. It was in fact a straight up and down glass lift lasting no more than a minute or two, but did however offer some cool views across at the falls. The highlight of Schloss Laufen adventure trail was definitely the observation platform hanging over the falls. The power of the falls and the mist they produced certainly took our breath away and we got some fab photos of the boys looking over at the white water.
GLASS LIFT VIEWING PLATFORM
We got down to the falls early the next morning to be first in the queue for the boat ride over to ‘The Rock’.
We had heard (and seen the previous day) that the queues climbing up ‘The Rock’ were long throughout the day (see photo). We took the trip which drops you off on the jetty below, allowing you to climb to the top, before jumping back on the boat for a ride past the spray of the falls and returning you across the Rhine.
‘The Rock’ is situated right in the middle of the falls and offers a great up close falls experience- like you are actually stood in the falls! We were glad that we had gone early as virtually had the staircase to ourselves and got some great pictures on the viewing platforms half way up and at the top. Later on in the day people queue the whole way up the staircase and back down as it is only a small area, with the platform at the top fitting no more than 8 people.
Our afternoon was spent at Reinfall Adventure Park, which was amazing! We had pre-booked this via email in the UK as knew it was something that we really wanted to do. This is the best high ropes we have ever been to (by far!)- just on such a bigger and better scale than the ones in the UK.
I had a panic when we arrived as it is so high and you navigate it yourself without an instructor. But, after being given a demonstration of the system, I was impressed with the safety which meant that it was impossible for anyone to unclip both of their carabiners at the same time. Each person was given thick gloves to wear and instructors were stationed around the course to help if needed.
The boys were amazing and Jake (age 7) completed really high obstacles and zip wires, while Callum who was 10 at the time even managed the ‘Panorama express’, a 460 metre zip wire! This obstacle course also has the most beautiful views of the falls.
That evening was the annual ‘Fire on the Rocks’, which takes place every year on July 31st. It is a big firework display over the falls, with the falls being lit up with different coloured lights.
We had pre-booked via email a table at ‘Restaurant Park am Rheinfall’, which offers a set menu for the event. We had a table right next to the window with views across at the falls.
The food was probably the poshest meal the boys had ever had, but they enjoyed trying different things (although I’m not sure Jake was too sure of the melon soup in a science bottle!).
Everyone went out onto the veranda later on to watch the fireworks. It was a really busy event and all around the edge of the river was really crowded, so it was nice having the veranda to walk out to and also meant that we could enjoy a drink while watching the show!
We really enjoyed our 2 days at the Reinfalls and felt like we had enough time to do everything that we had wanted to do. I think our family highlight was definitely the Adventure Park which the boys talked about for weeks! From the Reinfalls we drove through to Italy to spend 2 weeks at Lake Garda. It was meant to be a 6 hour journey (288 miles), but we broke down near to the Gotthard tunnel (in a traffic jam waiting to get through the tunnel) and the whole journey ended up being a complete and utter very expensive nightmare!