Day 09 - Monday, April 15, 2019 – Explore Vaduz, Liechtenstein; Drive to Sevelen, Switzerland
When we woke up at 7:00 we could not see the Vaduz Castle on the mountainside because of the dense mountain fog. Breakfast was served from 7 to 9:00 with classic cold meats, cheeses, breads, and classic Italian coffee.
As we sat by the large windows and watched the local residents walking or bicycling to work, we noticed the sky suddenly cleared and we had stunning views of the snow covered Alps glistening in the sun. This was indeed an omen for a beautiful day.
The sight of the mountains was so breathtaking that Vic left his espresso and went back to the room to get his camera for the first photos of the day. After finishing breakfast we put on our jackets and went out to explore the principality of Liechtenstein.
Snuggled in between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is a German-speaking nation, only 15.5 miles long and the fourth smallest country in Europe. Considered the Heart of the Alps, there are many heart shaped designs around the hotel and the town.
Known for its Alpine culture, the little country is clean and very well maintained. Most of the government buildings are very modern but one can see the Alpine architecture in the older homes up higher on the hillsides. There was an emphasis on art in the city with many modern sculptures and a very highly acclaimed art museum.
We ventured out for a crisp walk to the city center. Gennie bought a few post cards and stamps and we talked to the gentleman about the train that circles Vaduz and scheduled tickets for 1:00 PM. We also had our passports stamped with the Liechtenstein crest and today’s date.
We walked back and got the car for a quick tour of the surrounding area. Driving across the border to Sevelen, Switzerland was so easy with no passport control at all. We bought a few things at the local grocery store and then returned to Vaduz.
Not far from our hotel was a quaint wooden covered bridge, the Alte Rheinbrücke. Built in 1901, it was the last surviving wooden bridge crossing the Rhine River. We walked from Liechtenstein to Switzerland via the old bridge.
Now only bicycles and foot traffic are allowed. In the middle of the bridge was a marker for the border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein and we had our photo taken connecting the two countries.
There were many cyclists out today and a group of inline skaters from Hong Kong stopped to talk with us. They had been in Germany for a competition and they were using this opportunity to see more of Europe.
We also talked to a young couple from Argentina bicycling through Europe. They explained how they stayed with local families and had been treated so kindly by people on their trip.
By the time we finished talking to the couple from Argentina it was time to walk quickly back to the city center to catch the Munson River Train for a 30-minute tour of the Vaduz.
We chugged out of the tourist area and then past the many historical homes of the capital city. At the famous Red House we stopped and had a Kodak moment to take pictures of the neighboring vineyards, Vaduz Castle, (home of the reigning Prince and his family), the upper mountain top chalets, and the Red House built in 1338.
The drive around Vaduz was very colorful with Bavarian music playing and a full commentary in English as well as German. The tour passed the Rheinpark Stadium, Liechtenstein's main sports stadium where the national soccer (football) team plays.
We had lunch after our train ride at the Centrum Grill. In the heart of the tourist area, Karakoc Garip from Istanbul serves a Turkish menu that was very delicious. We shared a kebab and an order of fries. A few blocks down there was a gelato shop, a perfect dessert for our walk back to the hotel.
By 5:15 we were in for the evening. We worked on the journal and the photos of this beautiful micro-country and also started to organize ourselves for tomorrow’s drive to Monterosso al Mare in Italy.
Gennie was having problems with the SIM card on our cell phone and Isabella at the front desk was very gracious to call the tour company that booked our next 5-day stay. The phone number we were given for the hotel was incorrect. After getting the correct number we were able to confirm our stay for the next leg of our journey.
Our dinner was fruit from the local grocery store and two pretzels from our visit to the bakery in Switzerland this morning. We talked about the friendliness of this little country and how welcoming everyone has been.
Accommodations: Landhaus am Giessen Hotel - - - Meal: B, L, D
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What a fabulous day! The first photo makes me want to see that place, too! I will be in Switzerland next year and that would be a better time to try to get to Lichtenstein. You are using OAT techniques to visit the countries by stopping in to shops, etc. and speaking to the locals. Thanks for sharing!
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I'm thinking, this whole trip has been one of your most scenic, Spring refreshing trips.
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