Free Public Transport Day, or Two Birds With One Stone

This post is about two little trips to the Rheinfall and across the Zürich lake, which were made of a free day of public transport in the Zürich canton.

Этот пост рассказывает о двух небольших путешествиях – к Рейнскому водопаду и по Цюрихскому озеру. Обе поездки были совершены в день бесплатного транспорта в Цюрихском кантоне.

Meanwhile in Switzerland 31st of May was a special day. ZVV (Zürcher Verkehrsverbund) was celebrating 25 years from its foundation and to feast this memorable date, Sunday was made a free day of any public transport in the Zürich canton. It meant that everything, starting from buses and trams and finishing boats, did not require any ticket in that day (of course it was only about the 2nd class).

Big plans were made for that important day, long trip suggested and sandwiches prepared. First was decided to visit the Rheinfall, the biggest waterfall in Switzerland (in amount of water). The road from Zürich took about an hour. Already after our change in Winterthur I noticed several familiar people in the train, heading in the same direction. They were not that lucky with getting sitting places: the train was full, as many people were going exactly to the same place. It was interesting to remark what a different people chose famous waterfall as their destination in a free transport day. They could have chosen many things, but eventually decided to come there.


While I was having nice philosophic thoughts sitting next to the window in the train, a sought-for station brought us a lot of not new impressions. Apart from talkative students and energetic elderly couples, there were a lot of families with little children and child carts, who were also willing to see the natural beauty of Rheinfall. Nothing to be surprised, though the way to the waterfall consists of narrow paths and stairs, and there is almost no place for a child cart. Yes, precisely “almost no”, meaning that some women managed to find the narrowest possible points to stop with their crying children. This was bringing all traffic on the stairs into complete halt, without any opportunity to move. Fortunately, there were enough courage people to tell them about necessity of all tourists to move despite their current family problems, which eventually allowed us to reach the waterfall itself. But enough about people, time for a nature! The waterfall impresses with its noise, size and beauty. It is possible to take a boat to approach the Rheinfall a bit closer; we were witnessing how those boats were struggling to do it. All engine power seemed to be quite small and not enough sufficient in comparison with a giant strength of the waterfall and waves it created. Water dust was blowing into our faces, bringing nice chill in the hot noon. In my humble opinion, the place is definitely worth visiting. Apart from its natural beauty, you also can climb up the hill and explore little castle over the river. It is possible to cross the bridge and admire the waterfall from another side, although I can’t tell if you see much difference.

The city of roses
The city of roses

As we rejoiced in waterfall observation, it was decided to go back to Zürich and load ourselves on a boat in order to have a 2-hours trip to Rapperswil, nice little town on the opposite end of the Zürich lake. As we arrived to the boat station at Bellevue, we observed a huge crowd, although there was still more than half an hour before departure. People were hustling on a pier, trying to move closer to the huge boat. We checked boat’s characteristics on the website and realized that 1000 people could fit that huge floating monster. It seemed unbelievable, moreover I couldn’t imagine a way you need to pack people to fit so many. Anyway, a lot of people managed to get inside eventually, but not less had to stay waiting for the next trip. There was no place to sit; people were standing everywhere, but we found a nice place on a shadow side of the boat. It was amazing and beautiful journey: mountains were becoming closer and closer, revealing their showy peaks; we were passing by tiny villages with lovely churches; people from private yachts were waving hands to us. There were several stops before we finally arrived in Rapperswil. It is also called “the city of roses”, and it’s true: there are a lot of roses, growing everywhere. The town has enchanting old city, with cathedral, castle and captivating little streets. Way back to Zürich wasn’t very interesting as I completely fell asleep after such a exhausting but wonderful day. I remember that it was again crowded, though as all that day.

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