THE RIVER INN
Switzerland is known for its mountains and lakes, while its rivers with a few exceptions are often taken for granted. Many overlook the fact that a number of Europe’s most important rivers originate in the Swiss Alps. Its waters flow and drain out into the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, and the Black Sea; hence, Switzerland is reputed to be “The water tower of Europe”. The Rhine, the Rhône, the Aare, and the Ticino are the best-known rivers. In this spotlight, we will introduce you to a lesser known river. The River Inn, known as the En in the Grisons, is the 3rd largest tributary to the Danube. It gave its name to the Engadin (The garden of the Inn), and also to the Capital of the Tyrol, Innsbruck (Bridge over the Inn).
The River Inn’s birthplace is the small mountain Lake of Lughin (Lägh dal Lughin) in the upper Engadine. It is barely a stream as it flows eastward into the scenic Lake Sils, a popular destination for hikers, cyclists, & water sports enthusiasts in Summer and great for cross-country skiers in Winter. From there the River Inn feeds into the Silvaplan Lake, another trendy destination for wind & kite surfers, on to Lake Champfèr, and then into Lake St Moritz the home of the world-renowned holiday resort. One of the more unusual sports played on the Lake in winter is the Snow Polo World Cup.
The River Inn continues on its journey to the Lower Engadine in the direction of the picturesque village of Zernez, the gateway to the Swiss National Park. The River then meanders on to Susch where whitewater rafting & kayak enthusiasts from all over the world meet up for some of the best rafting in the Alps. Their destination is the Giarsun Gorge. For kayakers, the whitewater ride toward Lavin is a nice warmup for the rapids that lie beyond. The setting and the views are spectacular. Leaving the open valley you then find yourself closed-in and surrounded by 100 meter cliffs on both sides for a thrilling experience which will transport you on to Scuol and to Finstermünz on the Swiss-Austrian border. The River Inn will grow in importance as it passes Innsbruck to its ultimate destination at the 3-River City of Passau to merge with the Danube for its voyage to the Black Sea.
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