Schloss Munot

Looming above Schaffhausen is the circular Schloss Munot, or Munot Castle or Fortress, dating from the 1500s (though a fortress was there from the 1300s) and a symbol of the town. Remember those 'stairways to heaven' I said we saw when we first arrived and walked around? At first we thought they were access to homes on the hillside. Turns out they are various ways to climb the Munot mount. Yikes. After doing the Rhine Falls and eating a way too expensive lunch at the lovely restaurant at the old tower over the falls, we took the train back to Schaffhausen and thought the only way up to Munot was one of these sets of stone steps. As we started the climb, guess who we saw? The family from the falls! They started their climb, then we did--nearly 300 steps! In the afternoon heat! Jan took the steps; I used the narrow bike ramp on the side. Lots easier.

But, what views. Surrounded by vineyards. And, the deer were a lovely looking into the past. Though spotted, they are not all fawns. They are a European breed called fallow deers. Though the place is used for cultural events, there's still a guard at the fortress, a 365-day job that I think is now held by a woman. And, as in the past centuries, the guard still rings the schloss bell at 9 pm. It used to alert businesses to close, but now it's a ritual for the town's parents to tell their children it's time for bed. On the way down, we realized there was a switchback path that would have been tons easier--just past rose and flower gardens.

Oh, and more surprises. Walking back, we spoke to folks at a restaurant who said there was an elevator up to the top. Then, we heard that a bus goes up there. Makes sense, when you think of all the public and private events that take place there. Oy!