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Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast Episode 95 Transcript

May 25, 2024 Last Updated on May 25, 2024

Add these 5 stunning waterfalls to your Switzerland itinerary

You can see the full show notes and listen to this episode > here.

Hi there, and welcome to episode 95. I know you’re going to love this episode because, well, everyone loves a waterfall, don’t they?, and that’s what we’re chatting about today – five of Switzerland’s most breathtaking waterfalls.

I’m joined today by Melinda Schoutens, whose love of the Swiss outdoors has led to her co-authoring four books about Switzerland.  You may remember Melinda from episode 74 when she shared some of her favourite hikes to Swiss lakes and castles with us. Today she’s got some equally stunning locations to tell us about – five waterfalls that are easy to get to but will take your breath away with their beauty.  

Before we get started, did you know that you can receive suggestions for the best places to visit in Switzerland delivered straight to your inbox each month? 

My mission is to provide you with all the information you need to plan your dream Swiss vacation so each month subscribers to the Holidays to Switzerland newsletter receive Swiss travel inspiration and practical tips that I’ve learnt on my dozens of visits to Switzerland over many many years.  

Each month’s newsletter is curated with useful information that will take the hard work out of planning your trip to Switzerland. Don’t miss out on all the juicy goodness – subscribe now at holidaystoswitzerland.com/newsletter for your monthly dose of Swiss-piration!

Now let’s hear from Melinda.

Carolyn Schönafinger: Welcome back to the podcast, Melinda. It’s lovely to have you with us again. For those listeners who perhaps haven’t heard you on the previous episode, could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your family and Fresh Air Kids.

Melinda Schoutens: Sure. Thanks for having me back, Carolyn. That’s really you. Yeah, for those of your listeners who have not tuned in to the other one, we are Americans who moved to Switzerland for work in 2007. And because the country is so beautiful, we immediately fell in love with it. And so we started spending all of our free time exploring, hiking in the Alps, and really connecting with the landscape. And we welcomed our first child into our lives in late 2008. And at that point, we had to make a decision, how are we going to keep doing what we love with an infant in tow? And so we decided that we just loved Switzerland and hiking too much to give it up just because we had a child. And so we strapped him on in a little carrier or in a stroller, and we took him everywhere we went. And then we welcomed our daughter in 2011. And the outdoors has really become an extension of our parenting so much in fact that we started writing books. So we have a series of books, Fresh Air Kids Switzerland. In which you said a bit earlier.

Carolyn: Wonderful. And what a fantastic way to grow up with such beautiful scenery around you and all those wonderful outdoor experiences.

Melinda: Yeah, I agree. I think Sometimes our children now think it’s normal, and we sometimes need to remind them that this is their life and where they were born and where they’re being raised. It’s really magnificent. And I do have to say our kids are pretty good about saying, oh, mum, it is really beautiful, or they do notice the small things, like a sunset or a sunrise, and they appreciate the beauty of nature, which is really nice for us as parents.

Carolyn: Yeah, that’s fantastic. Now, I know you’re really passionate about hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. And of course, you’re spoiled for choice in Switzerland. So for those people who are listening and are planning to include a hike or two, or even just a walk somewhere somewhere when they visit Switzerland, what are some of the essential steps that they need to take before they set off on their hike?

Melinda: Yeah, I’m glad that you asked that. It’s a really important question and really something important to prepare for prior to coming to Switzerland. One is you can hike in low areas, so in rolling hills and very easy hikes in Switzerland, but you also have the Alps, and the Alps are a little bit more of a step up. So you need to take the preparation quite serious when you’re in the Alps. But one of the first things we recommend doing is checking the weather for the region you’ll be visiting. And by that, there’s a great app you can get or look online for a Meteo Swiss. And I know you’ll include some of this information in the show notes for your listeners. But it’s good to look at the forecast. If you’re visiting an area that has an active webcam, you can take a look at that, particularly if you’re visiting in times when there may still be snowfall, you can see if there’s any fresh snowfall. You can also look at anticipated precipitation or storms for the area. That’s really important. Another one is just knowing where you’re going. So if you’re not sure and you’re staying in a hotel, you can always ask someone at the hotel for a map.

You can always check with tourist information centres, but never hesitate to ask if you don’t know. We also recommend wearing proper hiking boots, and I know that they’re heavy to carry. It’s something we hear a lot, but they’re so heavy to carry and they’re very bulky. If you plan on hiking, you’ll really need them. And the reason being is they have the adequate and appropriate thread for navigating the trails. And tennis shoes are not a substitute for hiking boots. So that’s a big thing. And just knowing that the hiking season in Switzerland is typically late June through September. But again, it depends on weather and snowfall of the previous year. Those are important things. And then checking timetables. Switzerland And this mountain is phenomenal for getting around with public transportation. But if you’re going up and down a mountain using a gondola or a funicular or any type of lift, then you need to know the last trip down the mountain because the lifts will not wait for you. So that means you would be stuck at the top of the mountain without potentially accommodations. So when you go into the gondola station, they usually post the last trip down the mountain and up the mountain for the day.

So please just pay attention to that.

Carolyn: I’m glad you mentioned that, actually, because after we spoke last year on our interview, I know you brought that up. And then, I don’t know, it must have been a couple of weeks later, I was in Switzerland. We were staying at a hotel having dinner, we were just about finished. I think it was like 9:00 PM at night, and this weary couple came in. They’d been up to the nearest mountain, and they hadn’t paid attention to the last time of the cable car. And they missed it. So they had to hike down the mountain. Luckily, it wasn’t too steep, but it took them a good couple of hours. And they were exhausted and hungry and thirsty because they hadn’t taken all that stuff with them because they just assumed that they would get the last cable car down. So it is really, really important, as you say, to know the timetable and make sure you’re there in time to Yes. To get on the last cable car of the day.

Melinda: Yeah, it’s so true. And if you’re travelling with children, that’s the last thing you want to have to deal with at the end of a very long day, because it’s hard for little ones to walk down a mountain at the end of the day. So yeah.

Carolyn: Absolutely. And what are some of the essential items that you recommend that people carry with them when they’re going for a hike?

Melinda: Yeah. Like I said, we moved here in 2007, and we’ve been hiking throughout the entire duration of our time here. And we’ve really noticed that the weather is changing and can change very quickly in the Alps. So we always recommend that you have layers for all weather because sometimes you’ll just have cloud cover, But then the sun is covered and it gets chilly. So having layers is very important. Sun protection, even in cold temperature, sunglasses, a sun hat and sunscreen are important. Raincoats, particularly. 

I know today we’re going to talk about waterfalls. So having a raincoat, particularly if you’re in an area where you can get some of the mist, you may get wet. So having some type of rain protection is very helpful. I always love to have a small pair of gloves, some type of scarf, we call them buffs, and/or a hat, a knit hat, because they pack down really small and light, but they’re really helpful if it’s really chilly. So we recommend that. Again, the hiking boots are good. And having food and plenty of water, particularly in the summer months. Switzerland is phenomenal about having a lot of public fountains that you can fill up a water bottle with drinkable water.

But sometimes they’re not accessible or they’re not accessible at the times that you need them because maybe you run out. So make sure you have enough drinking water for everyone in your group. We also recommend that you have a well-stocked first aid kit and any medications that you use on a regular basis in your home country. And I say that because a lot of medications are not available over the counter in Switzerland. So even an Ibuprofen or something for a headache, which is very common in the Alps at higher elevation, a cell phone and your charger. 

Definitely a camera. If you don’t use your cell phone as your camera, having a camera is really nice to have. And the last thing I would recommend is to, if you’re going alone, which we typically don’t recommend, but if you’re going out, even as a family, you can just tell the hotel people where you’re going. Oh, we’re going up to this today. We’re going to this trail. Just so they know if you’re not back, they know exactly where you may be. So to tell someone where you’re going is always helpful.

Carolyn: Great advice. And what about hiking poles? Because you can never go on a hike in Switzerland without seeing lots of people out hiking with their poles. But for someone who’s coming, just say for a short vacation, is it worth their while bringing hiking poles or buying them when they get there, or do you think they’re not really necessary?

Melinda: I think it’s a great question. It’s certainly a personal preference. I like to hike with hiking poles, particularly when I’m coming downhill. It just provides a little bit more stability, and it absorbs some of the shock that your knees would otherwise take. I understand that they are cumbersome for packing. They now have poles that telescope, so they fold down very small. Those are great if you feel like you want to take those, I would highly recommend them. If not, it is possible, I believe, to rent them in some of the outdoor sporting shops. You can even check with your hotel prior to coming if there are any rental places that you can pick them up while you’re here, and they wouldn’t be super expensive. Those are the two recommendations I would give, but they are quite helpful, I will say that.

Carolyn : Yeah. Okay, good. One last question before we get into learning about some of these fantastic waterfalls. How do we know the difficulty of a hiking trail? If we’re looking at a map and we think, Oh, that trail sounds good. How do we know if it’s going to be easy or medium difficulty or quite extreme?

Melinda: Yeah, that’s a great question. Switzerland has a phenomenal trail system. They have 65,000 kilometres of well-maintained and marked trails throughout this very small country. And they designate the level of trail by solid yellow trail markers. You’ll see them everywhere. There’s massive signs everywhere. You’ll also see them in forms of painted, almost like a diamond. Sometimes you’ll see them on a garbage can painted on a tree. The solid yellow trail markers are the easiest to navigate, and they require the least amount of skill. Those are what we typically say are ideal for beginners, people who are not particularly comfortable or accustomed to hiking, the solid yellow trails are your best bet. 

If you are familiar with hiking and you want to do a little bit of mountain hiking, the white, red, white trails are really for the mountains. They do require sure-footedness, and people who are familiar with hiking on mountain terrain. You may be required to follow over narrow paths. Sometimes there are even hand holds that additional stability. These you’ll see, you might see a yellow trail marker, but at the tip of it, the point of that marker, you would see the white-red-white, and that indicates that it is a mountain trail.

And then what I would say for visitors, the most dangerous of all, and that I do not recommend for visitors or for people who do not have adequate skills, are the white-blue-white alpine trails. And those are really, I always say, they’re best left to the professionals or people who are really accustomed to hiking on these. They require additional equipment, anything from crampons for crossing over ice fields or glaciers, ropes, navigational tools. But this is really for people who are accustomed to traversing alpine locations. So I never recommend these for families, particularly with children. You can get into a lot of trouble very quickly.

Carolyn: Okay, well, that’s good to know. Stick to the yellow marked trails and perhaps the white, red, white, if you have a bit of experience. So that’s all the really important stuff that we need to get out of the way. Now, let’s talk about the fun part of this chat, discovering some of the beautiful waterfalls in Switzerland. And there’s probably no better place to start when we’re talking about waterfalls than the Rhine Falls, which are near Schaffhausen in the north of Switzerland. So what is so special about the Rhine Falls?

Melinda: Sure. The Rhine Falls are Europe’s largest waterfall. Though they’re not high, they’re very vast. Like you said, it’s in Schaffhausen. If you’re interested in combining the falls with hikes, there are a lot of options in that area for hiking. Visiting the falls is easily accessible by public transportation. I would allow 2 to 3 hours for this activity. The best time to visit these falls are typically between April through November, but the falls are really at their prime between July and August. Again, it depends on the year. This area is really beautiful. It’s a real hotspot for people to visit. 

And what makes it special is you can take boats right up to and around the falls. There are several different types of boating trips you can take. Some last 15 minutes, some are much longer lasting an hour and a half. You can even take a brunch boat trip, so you can have a nice brunch and then enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the Rhine Falls. The area, again, has a lot to it. If you’re interested in combining it with boat rides, museums, or even a climbing park, there’s a lot of activities. And they do illuminate these falls in the night, but not on a full moon.So if you want to see it from a different perspective, you can check them out during the night.

Carolyn: Okay. So typically people would travel from Schaffhausen, is the nearest point?

Melinda: Yeah. When we did it, we hiked in from the train station in Schaffhausen, going through the downtown and then hiking along and then coming from the falls from a different vantage point than you would typically take if you are coming from public transportation. But if you just want to arrive by public transportation, you can do that and still really appreciate the majesty of these falls. They’re quite impressive.

Carolyn: And last time I visited, we actually had a rental car on that trip. And so there’s the possibility, too, of arriving by car as well.

Melinda: Yeah, absolutely. Yes. And it’s a very popular destination, so you’ll see a lot of people, but it’s really something to be seen.

Carolyn: Yeah, absolutely. Many of our listeners are probably going to include the Jungfrau region in their travel plans, and they may even have a visit to the Lauterbrunnen Valley on their itinerary. The village of Lauterbrunnen is home to Staubbach Falls, which is probably one of the most photographed waterfalls in Switzerland. But you’re going to tell us about another waterfall in the valley, Trummelbach Falls.

Melinda: Yeah. Yeah, you’re definitely right. Staubbach Falls is definitely one of the most highly photographed waterfalls in the area. And I think the reason being is it’s so accessible and so easy for people to take an Instagram photo and really appreciate it. But yeah, Trummelbach Falls is Europe’s largest underground waterfall. So that makes it really special because it’s all subterranean or underground, and it’s accessed by an elevator. So when you go in, you’ll go into an elevator and then you’ll go to witness the falls that way. Myswitzerland.com says these waterfalls are fueled by glaciers in the area, and they pump an astounding 20,000 litres of water per second. So when you’re in it, it’s quite the experience because of the noise. And you can almost feel how powerful the water is that is coming through these falls. It’s really quite impressive. 

And so the area of Lauterbrunnen, as you mentioned before, is home to 72 waterfalls in that region. So it’s very well known as being a waterfall valley. If you’d like, you can hike from Lauterbrunnen to the falls and back. We did that, and that’s about 6.5 kilometres. But if you’d prefer to just take public transportation, public transportation will deliver you right to Trummelbach Falls via a bus stop. There’s a relatively short walk. Something to know is that there are stairs to navigate in Trummelbach Falls. I would allow between… It depends, again, how long you want to take, how many photos you want to take, but roughly 2 hours with the bus coming and going and visiting the location. 

Something important to know about Trummelbach Falls is that children under four years of age are not permitted into the location, and that’s really due to safety reasons. Most people overseas who are coming to Switzerland are not travelling with their dogs, but if for some reason you happen to be, dogs are not permitted either. The Falls are always dependent on the conditions of the weather and the water condition. So just take a look at the website before planning your trip that it is indeed open. It’s typically open between April and November, and then July through August has a little bit longer hours. And there is a fee to access the falls, but there are really very beautiful because it’s underground, so it gives it a different allure than some of the other ones.

Carolyn: Yeah, very true. And I’ve done that hike that you mentioned from Lauterbrunnen to the falls many, many times, and it’s just so picturesque. And it’s very, very flat, too. So it’s really suitable for everyone that wants to get out and do some hiking.

Melinda: Yeah, absolutely. And something that’s really nice in that area is once you get out the crowd of Lauterbrunnen and you’re out towards some open meadows. We had a picnic lunch there, which was really beautiful. So it’s something you could add on to your day if you want to have a picnic. There are some shops that you can pick up fresh cheese and bread and just really enjoy the area. But I wanted to say, Carolyn, before we go to another one, is that for people who might be a bit claustrophobic, Trummelbach Falls may not be your best bet. You do get into an elevator when When we got in, there was quite a lot of people in the elevator. You’re going underground. So it’s just something to keep in mind.

Carolyn: Yeah, that’s very important information. Now, not far from Lauterbrunnen is the beautiful Lake Brienz, which is well known also for its incredible turquoise-colored water. And cascading down the side of the mountain into the lake are the Giessbach Falls. What can you tell us about these impressive waterfalls?

Melinda: Yeah, these are really stunning. I think what makes the area so beautiful is, as you mentioned, Lake Brienz, which is phenomenal. But then you have the Grand Hotel Giessbach, and that was built years and years and years ago. I have the date here, between 1873 and 1874. So the hotel is grand. It’s set in a gorgeous location. You have the waterfalls, you have the lake. It’s a really stunning location. There’s a lot to combine it with. But the Giessbach Falls are 14 tiers to this waterfall, making it quite impressive. And there is a short loop walk that you can do in the area. It takes roughly 20 minutes. And you actually get to go behind the waterfall. So it’s a really different vantage point. And when you look out, you can see the lake, you can see the hotel. So that adds some real charm to this location. And for people who are really interested in different forms of transportation, the Giessbach, they have the funicular there, which is really quite old, and it holds 40 people, and you go to the falls that way. So it’s accessible via public transportation. The Giessbach Bahn or funicular was built in 1879.

So it’s really quite special, the whole area. This is also not a location that’s good for strollers. And if you’re going with children, just make sure you hold on to their hands and that they can navigate the roughly 20 minute walk.

Carolyn: So for those people that aren’t familiar with the area, you can actually arrive by boat across Lake Brienz from either Brienz or from Interlaken, sail across the lake, which is beautiful in itself. And then you arrive at the Giessbach station or pier, hop out there, and you can walk up to the hotel. But as you said, the funicular, it’s a great experience to ride that up to the hotel. And once you’re there, you just get those magnificent views of the waterfalls.

Melinda: Absolutely. And I’m glad you mentioned the lake, because even after all these years, we find a boat ride on any of Switzerland’s lakes, not only to be beautiful, but I find it really relaxing. So it’s really nice if you’ve had a long day or a couple of days that happen to be long. Some of the boat rides can last an hour or more. So it’s a great way to take in Switzerland’s scenery without having to do too much and have a different way to see it. So it’s quite nice. Yeah. Yeah, and these falls are also illuminated during the evening.

Carolyn: Wonderful. And are they accessible all year round?

Melinda: From my understanding, you can see them all year round. You can also check with the hotel. If you want to have a coffee in the area, they are open April through October with specific hours, and then again, November to March with specific hours. But make sure before you visit, you just take a look at when the hotel is open. If you want to combine the waterfall with having a coffee or a meal at the Grand Hotel, that you hit it during their opening times.

Carolyn: Yeah, or even stay overnight and get to see when all the day tourists have gone, how wonderful would that be?

Melinda: Exactly. And when they’re illuminated, that’s probably really very special. So that’s a great tip. Yeah. Yeah.

Carolyn: Another magnificent waterfall in the Bernese Oberland is the Reichenbach Falls. And for any of our listeners who are fans of the Sherlock Holmes novels, they might be familiar with Reichenbach Falls. So where exactly are they? And what do we need to know about visiting these falls?

Melinda: Yeah. These falls are located in Meiringen. They’re about 110 metres high. And like you said, they’re famous for the Sherlock Holmes book, when Sherlock Holmes was duelling to the Death with Professor Moriarty in the book, The Final Problem. And that book was published in 1893. But the area really commemorates that famous event in the book. So Sherlock Holmes fans will really get a thrill out of that. But if you’re going, you can access by public transportation, taking the Reichenbach Fall Bahn, or you can park. There are very limited parking spots at the base of this waterfall where the bahn goes up, where the funicular goes up the mountain. But there’s parking within close proximity. 

There is a small charge to go up on the funicular. Once you go up, the falls they’re quite impressive. They’re beautiful. But once you’re up there, there’s really nothing to do unless you decide to walk down. We did this last summer, and we did the very short hike down the mountain. It’s relatively easy, though there is a gradual descent with some steep sections and a few stairs to navigate. So that’s important. And then at the end of this hike, you will be on a road with cars. So just keep that in mind. 

The hike down takes roughly one to two hours, depending on how many photos you take, if you want to stop and have a picnic. And the descent on that is about 340 metres. So you are going down. This is where you alluded to earlier, poles may be advantageous. If if you would like to carry them or to rent them. It’s important to note that these falls are only open between May through the beginning of October. In the winter months, the falls virtually have no water coming out, so you won’t see much during that time at all. 

If you’re going in the area and you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, there is a Sherlock Holmes Museum located in the town of Meiringen. And if you are going up by funicular, there are some specials that you can get for public transportation for the ride up, the Reichenbach Fall, Bahn, the funicular. And then you can combine that with a discounted ticket to the museum and the Aare Gorge in the area. So you can take a look at that.

Carolyn: Very good to know. Okay, so the final waterfall that we’re going to mention is much lesser known, especially to international visitors, but it’s still in the Bernese Oberland, and this one is just outside the town of Adelboden. Now, I’m not sure on my pronunciation on these falls. I have actually been there, but I don’t profess to knowing exactly how to pronounce them. But I’m going to give it a crack and say that they’re called the Engstligen Falls.

Melinda: Yes, I think you’re exactly right. And just like you, Carolyn, I’m not a Swiss native. German is not my mother tongue. So whenever I say anything within this interview, Even saying it last night to my daughter who grew up here, she said, Mum, you have to roll it. You have to see it a little bit. Yes. So yes, the area the Engstligen Falls is about 600 metres long, and the falls have actually been protected since 1948. From the research that I conducted, it’s the second longest waterfall in Switzerland. Really absolutely beautiful. If you are not interested in walking far and hiking, you can still witness the falls from the bottom of the lift station. There’s a short walk that will allow you to see the lower falls that’s just under a kilometre, so it’s quite short. 

As you said, the area is the Berner Oberland. It’s in Adelboden, What we recommend is if you’re fit and you’re capable and you don’t mind going downhill, you can take the lift up to, which is a really beautiful area. It’s about 2,000 metres, and it’s a plateau area where in the summer months, they bring the cows up to graze. The area is really magnificent. We went up a few years ago, and we stayed in one of the huts up there, and it’s very peaceful. It’s very quiet. But for being a relatively small area, there’s a lot to do in ways of hiking. There are theme trails. If you have children, there’s the Globi theme trail in the area. 

You can stay in one of the Alpine huts, which for us is such a fabulous experience to fall asleep and then wake up and see that area. There’s very few people, and you get to witness the sunrise, and it’s quiet, and it’s peaceful, and the cows are out and grazing, and their bells are ringing so it’s really phenomenal. And also, if you’re a bouldering enthusiast, there are a lot of bouldering rocks in the area where people come and they just have a go at it. But once you’re up at top, I definitely recommend you have a look around. Maybe you have a coffee at one of the huts. And then to really witness the falls and appreciate them. There’s a four kilometre hike from Engstligenalp, and it takes roughly an hour and 30 minutes.

You are dropping 640 metres. So the descent is quite steep, and you get so close to the falls. I remember we did this with our children, and I remember being like, oh, we’re going to be so wet by the time we’re finished. But for the children, it became a game, and it was really quite fun. But you’re very close to the fall, so you do get that spray in the mist. But it was really magnificent. And they’re just really quite beautiful to see and to be able to see them that close up. It makes it really special. So this one is great if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, if you like to hike, you don’t mind a hike that’s a downhill. You can also go uphill, obviously a lot harder going uphill, but it’s still quite beautiful. So this area is really phenomenal.

Carolyn: Okay. And what about public transport from Adelboden? And is there a bus or something that takes you to the base of the falls?

Melinda: Yes, there is. And I’m just looking through my notes here. There is public transport There’s a bus stop at Adelboden, and the name is the Unterdemberg. So yes, you can get there by bus in the area, and it’ll deliver you right in the area. And then you can from there take the lift up to Engstligenalp, and then explore that region and come back down. Something else they also have for the Globi theme trail, which in Switzerland is a famous cartoon character for children. But they also have a gondola that’s exclusive inclusively the Globi gondola. So if you have children who happen to know of this character or are really enamored with him, that’s a really fun way to go up the mountain before you start that theme trail.

Carolyn: Yeah, certainly. Yeah. Well, these five waterfalls that you’ve chatted about today are just a small number of the many stunning waterfalls in Switzerland. And one thing I love is that there’s just hiking options available for anyone who wants to go and see these waterfalls. You can visit them without hiking, but you can include a hike as well, which is a great option. Do you have any final words that you want to share about hiking to the waterfalls in Switzerland? Switzerland before we finish up?

Melinda: Yeah, sure. Like you said, Switzerland is so magnificently beautiful, and I think the waterfalls just added another level to the beauty of the country. But there are so many waterfalls in the country. We said, Lauterbrunnen is home to 72. We highlighted five here. There are a few beautiful waterfalls in the Ticino region. So if you happen to be in that region, definitely do a waterfall scouting trip as well. If you’re going to Murren, which is also accessible from the Lauterbrunnen Valley and Berner Oberland, there’s a huge gondola that goes up the mountain. And on your right is the Murrenbach Falls, and those are magnificent. So if you’re going up to Murren, which is a car-free village, it’s really magnificent, don’t forget to look for that because it’s really quite impressive. And most of these waterfalls, if you’re going with small children, we do not recommend going with strollers at all. So that’s just something to keep in mind. 

And then some areas happen to become tourist havens, particularly like we mentioned, Staubbach Falls, where people will drive in, park their car, drive out, take their pictures. But I think it’s important just to remember that locals live.This is their home. So just respecting the locals and the local environment. And we always practise the role of leaving no trace. So taking all of our garbage with us, respecting the people in the community is really important. 

And that if you’re not accustomed to driving and you’re not sure if you want to rent a car, sometimes it’s really convenient. But Switzerland, again, has phenomenal public transportation. They have a great system that connects bus stops to gondola stations. So we didn’t have a car for the majority of the time that we lived here for 13 years. And we got to the most remote locations. So really take advantage of the public transportation. It’s a nice way to relax after a long day. It’s great when someone else is doing all the navigating for you, and you can look out the window and really appreciate the landscape and the scenery. 

And then I think my final tip, Carolyn, is just those hiking boots. And I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s really important on the trails, and particularly if you’re doing some hiking. And in the areas where the waterfall, the mist is sprayed, the trail might become a bit slippery. Those shoes will provide a little bit of extra traction.

Carolyn: Yeah. And if people are worried about the weight, as you mentioned before, they can always wear them on the flight over. So that way you’re not carrying them as such, you’re wearing them. So that might help people along and urge them or encourage them to pack those hiking boots.

Melinda: Yeah, I think you’re right. That makes good sense. Yeah.

Carolyn: Well, thanks so much, Melinda, for sharing all that with us. I know that there’s going to be lots of listeners who have jotted down notes about all those waterfalls and which ones they’d like to visit. And I will include in the show notes the names of all those waterfalls and the information that you’ve provided, how people can access them, and all that important information, as well as all your safety tips that we chatted about earlier. If people want to know more about you and the Fresh Air Kids books, where can they find that?

Melinda: Yeah. The best place to find the information is through our website, and that’s freshairkids. Com. That’ll link you to the books. We have some articles, some tips on there. So that’s really the best place, Carolyn.

Carolyn: Okay, great. Now, I think you’ve got three books published already, and there might be a new one in the works. Is that right?

Melinda: Yeah, that’s right. We have another one coming out, which will come out, we think in April. You never know with publishing, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’ll come out this spring. So yes, that’ll be our fourth book in the series. They’re all a bit different, but yes.

Carolyn: Wonderful. Well, good luck with that. And I look forward to seeing that on the shelves when I’m in Switzerland next.

Melinda: Yeah. Well, thank you for your time today, and thanks for having me back. I appreciate it.

Carolyn:I know you’re going to want to see some – if not all – of these waterfalls when you visit Switzerland, and like Melinda mentioned, they can all be reached by public transport.  

The Rhine Falls can easily be visited on a half day excursion from Zurich, and whilst the other four waterfalls we chatted about are all in the Bernese Oberland, you will need more than one day to see them all.

For more suggestions about inspiring places to visit in Switzerland, head on over to our website holidaystoswitzerland.com where you’ll also find the show notes for this episode and the link to subscribe to our newsletter.

Thanks for joining me today.  Until next time, tschuss!

You can see the full show notes and listen to this episode > here.