Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Trip to a Waterfall–part 1

We were looking for another outdoorsy activity that would let us see some nature, yet not be too horribly strenuous on our tired legs or out wallets.  There was some discussion which in the end concluded with the decision to visit the highest waterfall in the alps.  Everyone hopped in the car and we drove about an hour to get there.

First up we had to get tickets to get in to the park, it was pretty reasonable, about 5 bucks a person as I recall.  The entrance and lower area of the grounds was by far the most touristy thing we had seen so far.  There were many many booths selling cheesy t-shirts as well as the omnipresent salve made from groundhog fat.




Tickets in hand and Henrik on back, we set out on the epic adventure.




Despite all the booths around the entrance, after 100m or so into the park, it was just nature. 




The boys were allowed to buy hiking sticks and were making fine use of them as they trekked through the forest on the way to the falls.  I think they had a fine sense of adventure.




The park is arranged so that there is a long trail winding up the side of the mountain next to the falls.  So every 10 min or so you walk back over to get a nice view, then wind up some more trail to the next station.  The first 20 min or so is even paved, but it quickly became so steep that it was in no way pram-friendly.


The first and largest waterfall spot was right at the bottom.  Unlike typical North American attractions, there were no fences or other warning things here.  Europeans try to leave a lot of the safety up to “common sense” in the interest of not marring natural beauty with signs and railings when possible.  This allows visitors to get quite close to the action, but also assumes you can control yourselves (and your kids) from plummeting over cliffs and waterfalls.  There are no lawsuits being filed because the state did not explain that jumping off a cliff was dangerous.


You can see here that quite a lot of people are enjoying the falls very closely.  Despite being a warm day, the mist off the glacial fed falls made this quite a chilly spot to stand for too long.




As Mike always likes to test the limits of common sense and safety, he wanted to get as close to the falls as possible for a good look.




He managed to prove that his judgment is perfectly acceptable and no Starrs were swept away.  They did all get wet though.




More to follow.

No comments: