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  • Writer's pictureKaren L Kurtz

At This Very Place

Updated: May 20

Toward the end of the Ice Age, some fifteen thousand years ago, the Rhine River shifted its course southward, cutting through chalk and soft gravel down to the hard limestone bedrock, which did not yield to the unpitying current that fell from the top of the cliff to where two limestone sentinels, jutted up through its foam.

At this very place a thousand years ago, a fortress named Schloss Laufen was built on a high bluff at the bend of the river overlooking the Rheinfall, where two natural, stone pillars braced against the force of the crashing river.

At this very place not so long ago, in the canton of Schauffhausen near the castle of Schloss Laufen above the Rheinfall, where the thundering water collided with the two limestone pillars, two students boarded a launch, which wended its way around whirling eddies and billowing waves, to the base of a rock pillar in the midst of the Rheinfall. They climbed the steep, winding stairs to the top, flooded only by the beauty in the six directions.

How could it be, at this very place, where over a million tourists come every summer, that these two found themselves alone on that natural pillar of stone in the middle of the Rheinfall?

At this very place, while feeling the limestone quiver as the Rhine River pummeled it, the two, who did not yet know they had fallen in love, spread their simple picnic on the rock.

~K L Kurtz


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