Waldhotel Hohberg in Schaffhausen

The hotel where we spent the first night in Schaffhausen is worth a few words. It was the only hotel we booked fr from the center of the city, for the rest of the trip we preferred to pay more and assume risks for a noisier place but be located near the places we knew we were to visit. In Schaffhausen we knew that we shall spend only one night, and the next day proceed on our way after visiting the city, so we picked the Waldhotel Hohberg, located at the outskirts of the city. The choice proved to be a good one.

horse riding ... in the hotel

The hotel is quiet, located in what seems an industrial area and near a big supermarket (so if you are in shopping mode it’s a good place – we were not – yet). It does not offer a great view, but it is well equipped, enough parking space, good Internet connectivity, and one attraction that makes it fun if you travel with kids – a riding arena with horses and ponies inside the hotel.

crossing the EC border

As we had ‘won’ time by missing the museums in Winterthur we decided to go and visit the village of Steim am Rhein, something we had planned for the next day. It’s a 20km drive from Schaffhausen, but an interesting drive, not only for the landscape but also for the route which crosses twice each way the border between Switzerland and Germany (actually the European Community border). No border guards or customs officers were in view, and crossing the border is as simple as crossing the street or a wooden bridge across a small river as in the photo.

Stein am Rhein - old city gate

Steim am Rhein was mentioned as a fishing village one thousands years ago, when emperor Heinrich II moved the St. George Abbey to this place (in 1007). It is located at the extremity of the lake Constance (Bodesee) where the course of the Rhine starts towards West gathering strength towards the Rhine falls and then to Basel and Strasbourg (where we shall meet it later in our trip) and then North and West to Germany and the Netherlands.


The village is most famous for the houses painted at the exterior, some of the most beautiful in a style which is wide spread in this area of German-speaking Switzerland. Most of them date from the 16th century, although renovations and additions were made in the later periods. The majority of the beautiful buildings are grouped in the Rathausplatz, with the Rathaus building itself at the edge of the square, with the lower store built between 1539 and 1542, with additions from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Rother Ochsen and other painted buildings

The buildings on the left side of the Rathaus include the Roter Ochsen (Red Ox – also hosting the oldest tavern in the village where we had dinner), the Hirschen (stag), Krone (crown), Steinerner Traube (stony grapes), and Sonne (sun) – the names being descriptive for the themes of the paintings on the facades.

Adler and Weisser Adler buildings

On the opposite side are the Adler (eagle) and the Weisser Adler (white eagle) which offers to the viewer the oldest frescoes on the walls of the city, painted in Holbein-esque style between 1520 and 1525.

Venice on the Rhein

The place is said to be very crowded during the days of the pick season, but it was late afternoon when we got there, and the pick season was behind. Our choice to take the vacation at that time of the year proved itself – we avoided crowds, weather was pleasant most of the time, and most of the places were still open and happy yo receive guests (well, Winterthur excepted :-) ).

Stein am Rhein and Bodensee at sunset

We took the last photos on the way back to the car, near the bridge at the gates of the city. The tranquility and beauty of the environment made us start to feel the tiredness of the previous night, so we returned to the hotel for a good rest before the second day of the trip.