Day 08 - Sunday, April 14, 2019 - Drive to the Principality of Liechetenstein;
Sunday sunshine in San Marino! We enjoyed a quiet breakfast at the hotel and then we paid the bill for our three-day stay in San Marino. We were all packed and the GPS was set for our 6-hour drive to Liechtenstein.
Vic took a few photos of the sun shining on the western mountain peaks, a rare and beautiful sight! By 7:45 we were on the road heading down the mountain to Rimini, Italy. There was no traffic at all and we accessed A14, the Autostrada Adriatica, easily.
There were many large groups of cyclists out enjoying a morning ride. The route took us through large fruit orchards and acres of vineyards. The grape vines and the fruit trees were all pruned and staked to maximize the sun’s rays and to make picking easier and more efficient.
As we got on the Autostrada, we took time to look at the owner’s manual of the Renault to learn how to set the cruise control. Once accomplished, the drive was much easier and safer. Those 130KM per hour speeds seem to sneak up on drivers. Not many Italians observe the speed limits anyway so cars were buzzing around us.
We entered the Toll Road, A14/E45 and traveled north in the direction of Bologna and Milan. Another learning experience; the toll booths require quick action putting in the time-stamped ticket followed by your credit card, and then remembering to ask for a receipt, all while the cars behind you are honking encouragingly to help.
After passing Bologna we transferred to A1/E35 to Milan. There was nothing on the side of the roads to see because of the dense fog and then heavy rain.
At 10:30 we stopped at a Autoservice Plaza along the Autostrada for gas, rest rooms, and to buy a bottle of water. As usual, we did not linger, but got back on the road continuing north past Milan. Traffic was a little heavier and our Renault suggested that we drive at only 110 KM/hour because of the heavy rain.
The terrain started to get more rugged with many pine trees and then we entered the tunnels that took us to Como and the beautiful Lake Como. We were heading into the Alps and traffic got a lot heavier, almost at a standstill going into Como.
We paid the Italian toll and entered Switzerland. Although not a European Union country, there was no passport control between Italy and Switzerland. However, we were stopped at the border to pay the tax for the roads in Switzerland.
The Autostradas in Italy were well maintained but those in Switzerland were even better. It was foggy but we could see glimpses of sunshine on the snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps. The trees on the hillsides were just starting to leaf out. We drove in and out of occasional rain.
Although this was a driving day and not a day for photography, we still took time in Switzerland to stop and record the beautiful images on our journey. Parking along the road was a bit scary as traffic was speeding by, but Vic managed to take a few representative photos.
It wasn’t long before we saw snowflakes. It was snowing hard when we went over San Bernardino Pass, 5,386 feet of altitude. On our route we went through 27 tunnels, some as long as 7 KM, and 5 snow sheds.
When we entered Liechtenstein, we went directly to the capital, Vaduz and to our hotel, the Landhaus am Giessen. About a 6-minute walk from the city center, we checked in and then went into the main part of town for lunch.
Because it was Sunday afternoon, all of the major stores and restaurants were closed, but we did find a small café that served bagels, wraps, and sandwiches. The American Bagel and Coffee Shop also advertised Seattle’s Best Coffee.
We walked around Vaduz in the rain and saw 7 tour busses parked near the city center and government buildings. There were many tourists from China and we talked to a few when we went into the COOP grocery store for some fruit.
After driving around the outskirts of the city we went back to the hotel at 4:15 and settled in for the evening. It was very quiet on this Sunday afternoon but tomorrow we will have time to explore and see more of the tiny country of Liechtenstein.
Accommodations: Landhaus am Giessen Hotel - - - Meal: B, L, D
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Everybody is in a hurry worldwide!
"all while the cars behind you are honking encouragingly to help" You cannot even imagine my horn honking stories. I am afraid I have become intolerant especially in the countries where it is part of the mens ego trip. You made me laugh out loud imagining that. BEEEEEP BEEEEEP !
I love your photos! I will be in Milan a day before my Northern Italy tour and thought I might go to Lake Como. Maybe I should consider checking on going to Lichtenstein since I haven't been there! I may have to check train connections, etc. Looking forward to your impressions of the country and hope you have sunny days!
WOW!! I really enjoyed the drive. We had more time to visit after you got the cruise control going. The elevation was higher than a mile! Hiking or walking must have been exhausting, huh? The scenery is beautiful. I have had a wonderful time today and look forward to tomorrow. Maybe the fog will lift for y'all. Amazing pics. Stay Safe and may God bless.
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Fabulous scenery! Snowed here too so weather wise you haven't missed anything. Thanks for sharing your adventures.
Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.
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