Living it up in Land Locked Liechtenstein


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Europe » Liechtenstein » Triesen
March 16th 2016
Published: March 18th 2016
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So, this happens all the time….you’re sitting there having a very nice conversation when somebody interjects “I will be vacationing in Liechtenstein this year!”

Okay…..that was a boldface lie. In all reality, unless you’re a fairly well-schooled geography student from Europe or really like to ski, you may not have spent much time thinking about the sixth smallest and one of two doubly land-locked nations in the world. When it comes to being small, this principality is roughly 25 km (15 miles) north to south and barely 15 km (9 miles) wide. Suree, it’s bigger than Vatican City and Monaco, but you could easily drive right past it without blinking. They don’t have their own money (they use the Swiss franc) and haven’t had an army for, well forever. They finally granted women the right to vote back …. in the 1980’s, and their monarch is a prince whose net worth is north of $5 billion.

So naturally, we had to come here. It shares a border with Switzerland and Austria Which allows you to visit three countries in one day without really trying very hard. You are likely to weave into one and out of another without realizing
Vaduz CastleVaduz CastleVaduz Castle

Home to the Royal Family, who oddly enough did not invite us over...
it.

It has an abundance of natural beauty and virtually no crime. What’s not to like? As you know we are not the norm so we’ve stayed three nights and had a grand time.

When we arrived at Hertz in Lucerne we were told we did not have a reservation and he didn’t have a car for us. We took out our voucher from Auto Europe proving that we did and also supplying them with our confirmation number. The young man behind the counter said the address on the voucher was not a Hertz address anymore that it was an Avis. He’s not sure how the wrong address ended up on the voucher. It was most likely a third-party reservation internet-type thing. He then looked in the computer at our confirmation number and agreed that we had a reservation but the car was supposed to be picked up north of Zurich not in Lucerne. Again we pointed to the Lucerne location on the voucher and he gave up. We were grateful that after a 40-minute wait he was able to figure out how to give us a car, even though it was smaller than what we had paid
Wild Garlic SoupWild Garlic SoupWild Garlic Soup

Indescribable!!!
for. We were happy not to be delayed any longer and agreed to take the Fiesta. He said all he had left was a Maserati and he would need that later in the day. I’m certain that a highly skilled customer service rep would have given us the Maserati, but of course….. What do you think? Should we write the CEO of Hertz?

Tucked into our little Ford, we headed off along the pristine roads of Switzerland. We’ve never seen such clean and smooth roads such as these, they wind through the hills and constantly provide charming views of the countryside. In this part of Europe with this many mountains, getting from point A to point B is never in a straight line and it takes about twice as long to get there…but the views are worth it.

If you are looking for a panoramic view of this part of the world you’ll want to take the Pfander cable car in Bergenz, Austria. You’ll have a 360-degree view of mountaintops, valleys and Lake Constance. You can hike, bike (ski a bit during the winter) and take your dog. They also have an alpine animal park at the top,
Beautiful local farmsBeautiful local farmsBeautiful local farms

Balzers, Liechtenstein
which you can hike to. By the time we reached the summit a few clouds were beginning to set in but the view was phenomenal. Our photos didn’t capture what we saw but that’s ok as we will remember the beauty.



Travel tip #63: When you are in this area you will need to stop at a gas station before you get into Austria and purchase a sticker to put on your car. If they catch you on the toll road without this sticker they will fine you 200 Euros. This is not a mistake you want to make! Fortunately our travel agent extraordinaire warned us.



Meanwhile…..Vaduz Castle is in the capitol city of Liechtenstein and is the home of the ruling royal family so unless you are very well connected you will not be taking a tour. It sits on the mountainside overlooking the town of Vaduz and is rather attractive. There are some hiking trails that will give you a decent view if you are after some different angles. You can see this castle from almost anywhere in town, so seeing as they didn’t invite us up for a drink, we settled for some nice photos.

We had to laugh at ourselves as we decided to venture south of where we were staying to see the Gutenberg Castle, in Balzers, Liechtenstein. Remembering that this is a small country we knew the drive would not be far even though it is one of the towns on the far south end of this lovely country.

As is the norm for our society these days, we did not want to get lost, so we used our GPS and it turns out we probably could have found the castle in a deep fog on a cold winter night. We only had to travel about 4 miles. It is perched up on a magnificent hill surrounded by breathtaking mountains. We parked the car and walked the narrow drive way to the top. The hillsides are covered with grapevines and at the top they have several park benches where you can sit to enjoy the show stopping view. So, we sat, and we sat some more, just taking in the incredible view. Then we wandered the grounds of the castle, which was closed, most likely because of the time of year. We thought might run into
Vaduz CathedralVaduz CathedralVaduz Cathedral

Vaduz, Liechtenstein
a few other curiosity seekers, but few tourists come to Liechtenstein so we had these amazing views to ourselves. Sweet!

At the base of the castle hill sits the Church of St. Nicolas. The setting is sublime. We spent a few minutes in the church. Dave lit a candle for his mother, as is his custom when visiting a Catholic church. We walked the graveyard and it was one of the most interesting ones we’ve ever seen. They have gravestones a standard size of approximately two foot by four foot, which are attractively engraved. A two-foot by four-foot plot of grass above each grave has been decorated in the most amazing ways. Most have some type of small shrubs and flowers planted along with a little fence around the space. Some have photos and some have religious symbols. You can see they are freshly cared for by loving family members. It was a very special place.

This part of the world grows a lot of grapes and they are planted on many hillside. This area is known for white wines.

After visiting the church and castle we were heading back to Vaduz to go to the national
Lake ConstanceLake ConstanceLake Constance

From Pfander hilltop in Bergenz, Austria
museum when Dave went rogue and turned right heading up the mountain. MJ had questioned a few minutes before how all those people got to those houses built on the side of the mountain. They look like they might slip off but clearly that has not happened. For the next twenty minutes our car hugged the contour of this snake-like road as we quickly gain elevation searching for the summit of this road. It seemed to go on and on and we realized at some point it would crest the mountain and head down into Austria. At last, we found a viewpoint took some photos and headed back toward the museum.

We headed back into the Vaduz, which is the capital and has about 5,000 people and paid a visit to the Liechtenstein National Museum & Treasury Museum. It turned out to be a bit of a gem as the Treasury had a collection of antiques along with a few Fabergé and Cloisonne eggs. The National Museum had nice displays depicting everything about Lichtenstein, including the Prince’s personal collection of stuffed and mounted wildlife, if you’re into that sort of thing.

A ninety-minute car drive will also allow
Balzers, LiechtensteinBalzers, LiechtensteinBalzers, Liechtenstein

Gutenburg Castle in the background & Church in the valley
you to head north and east to the city of Konstanz, Germany, which is located on Lake Constance. This grand lake is the third largest in Europe and the Old Town part of the city is a nice place to wile away a few hours, even in the early spring. The highlight for us was the Imperia, which is a statue at the entrance to the harbor. We approached it and determined that we needed to head a few steps north to get a frontal view, but the joke was on us as the statue is on a pedestal, which rotates every four minutes. If you simply wait, you will get the photo you want. It is a rather strange looking statue and looks out of place, but was erected on private railroad property, so there you have it…..

Interestingly enough, in our three days in this small, but interesting nation, we were able to visit three different countries in one day….twice. Our first day took us back in to Switzerland and then to Austria, the third day saw us go through Switzerland and into Germany. All in all, we had a marvelous time here. Don’t let this little
Tall peaks along the highwayTall peaks along the highwayTall peaks along the highway

Driving to Lichtenstein
country pass you by. It has a good vibe and plenty to keep you busy for a couple of days.



Where we stayed: Hotel Schatzmann, Triesen, Liechtenstein

Favorite restaurant: Gasthof Schafle – so good we ate there twice.

We feel fortunate to have visited: Vaduz, Triesen, Triesenberg, Balzers, Schaan, and Malbun.





*** We are having some camera troubles so the photos are not as sharp as usual.


Additional photos below
Photos: 51, Displayed: 28


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Lovely LiechtensteinLovely Liechtenstein
Lovely Liechtenstein

we will miss you
New snow on our treesNew snow on our trees
New snow on our trees

Last day in town and we woke to a lovely snow
Gutenburg CastleGutenburg Castle
Gutenburg Castle

Balzers, Liechtenstein
Lots of tunnelsLots of tunnels
Lots of tunnels

Makes sense with all the mountains
Brutus navigatesBrutus navigates
Brutus navigates

Keeping an eye on Dave's driving.
360 degree views360 degree views
360 degree views

Amazing mountains
Panoramic ViewsPanoramic Views
Panoramic Views

Balzers, Liechtenstein


18th March 2016

Lichtenstein
Did you also know that you can make Lichtenstein your 'own' country for a large sum of money. They will rename all the streets to whatever you want for a day, or so I have heard. I have started saving :). And can't believe you had wild garlic soup, it has such a kick!
18th March 2016

Lichtenstein
No we had no idea we could own the country and change all the street names. That is wild but we love this little country the way it is. We were enchanted by it. The soup was simply amazing.
18th March 2016

Scenic Thoughts...
I had to stop half way through your blog to picture myself driving through the beautiful mountain roads in my shiny red Maserati. I stopped at my castle in the clouds and was brought my special wild garlic soup that I always have when I'm there....OK, that was fun. What a nice place that I have never thought to visit. Looks like another place to put on the wish list! Until we get our chance thanks for taking us along!
18th March 2016

Scenic thoughts
Small but mighty. Yes the drive would have been nicer in our Maserati but that is life. I'd go back just to have the garlic soup again. Thank you for your comments.
18th March 2016

Complain???
They gave you a Fiesta instead of a Maserati, I am not a violent man but I think someones head should roll. I would save up your money so you can rule the place for a day and throw that guy in a dungeon. The scenery looks incredible, will have to put Lichtenstein on my list.
18th March 2016

Complain
Well we were supposed to get a Ford Focus not a Maserati -- but they down graded us to a Fiesta. We tried to convince them we needed the Maserati for all the errors but no go. Lichtenstein is a lovely country. Beauty abounds.
18th March 2016

Vacationing in Lichtenstein
Oddly enough, I have had the 'I will be vacationing in Lichtenstein" conversation several times. One of my coworkers has a daughter who lives there, so we talk about her vacations in the tiny country a few times a year. Thank you for the blog - Until now, I had not seen any photos from there. It looks like an amazing place.
18th March 2016

Vacationing in Lichtenstein
Ok...your conversation is unique and we say you should go. A tiny country surrounded by mountains, good people and good food. It is fun going to 3 countries in one day. Thank you for your comment.
18th March 2016

hair
I just want to know how you manage to always keep your hair looking great with all this travel?
18th March 2016

Hair
You crack me up! I've been thinking I needed a trim really bad but I want to wait until we are back in Florida. My hair has been flying away.
18th March 2016

Air
I can smell the mountain air from here!
19th March 2016

Air
Yes, I'll bet you can. The fresh, crisp air is noticeable. Thanks for the comment.
19th March 2016
Vaduz Castle

The capital of Liechtenstein is Vaduz
When I was a kid I'd play Capitals of the World with my dad. Whenever he'd say "Liechtenstein" he would always smile when I said "Vaduz". I think I was the only one at school who knew that one. Liechtenstein's claim to fame was it was the second largest exporter of false teeth after USA.
19th March 2016
Vaduz Castle

The capital Liechtenstein
What a great game and not surprised you were a star. Just realized we spelled Liechtenstein incorrectly and have gone back to change it. I guess that is what happens when you work on blogs late at night after a full day of exploring. No worries...it is fixed now. Always good to know at least one useless fact about a country and the false teeth issue fills the bill. Thanks for following along and commenting.
19th March 2016

In the Groove
Looks like ya'll are back in the travel mode where things are adventurous, enjoyable and delicious! Love the scenery and so glad Dave is now lager free!
19th March 2016

In the groove
We are having a grand time. So much to see and do. Dave is happy to be able to experience a variety of brews from Europe. He is happy.
20th March 2016

Great car stories
Loved Dave going rogue (sometimes the best part of a trip) and climbing up that mountain. So amazing that had you summitted it and descended, you would have been in Germany. And then being prepared travelers and having your GPS ready, only to find your destination 4 miles away. Europe always trips me out--how close countries are. You'll certainly be the stars in next year's TB Where Have We Been This Year--certainly the only ones to have gone to Liechtenstein.
20th March 2016

Great car stories
I always love it when Dave goes rogue....always an adventure. We enjoyed visiting Germany, Austria and Switzerland from this area....just be careful not to go into Austria without the sticker on your car as it is costly. It is fun entering so many countries in one day....heck it only took an hour or two. Thanks for commenting.
20th March 2016

VADUZ REVISITED
Many thanks for your beautiful description of this lovely region. It brought back memories of a great trip we had years ago, visiting Liechtenstein with our two daughters and motoring around the whole area. Your descriptions are marvelous! Have more fun. Aunt Phyl
20th March 2016

Vaduz revisited
Glad it brought back great memories. We truly enjoyed this portion of our trip.
21st March 2016

The Liechtenstein-Uzbekistan Conundrum
Great blogs from you guys again, and I love the doubly landlocked reference! I have had great pleasure reading as I sit with my chai latte in Denver Airport. Keep 'em coming!
21st March 2016

The Liechtenstein-Uzebkistan Conundrum
We are pleased that you enjoyed our land locked reference. Thanks for continuing to follow and comment. Ah, a chai latte in the mile high city sounds grand. Are you heading back to Canada? Hopefully, our paths will cross soon. Love to hear more about your life in Canada and Antarctic experiences.
23rd March 2016
Looking down over Balzers

Liechtenstein
I visited Liechtensten myself for two days or so many years ago. Long before TB even existed so i haven't written any blog on that. This picture captures exactly the image I have of it. Thanks for writing this blog entry that brought back memories. /Ake
23rd March 2016
Looking down over Balzers

Liechtenstein
Glad we've been able to feed you a memory or two. We were pleasantly surprised by our time there. Thanks for sending a message.
3rd April 2016

Frog crossing
We have those signs in UK in some places ... It is usually a place where frogs cross from pond to pond especially mating seasons etc
3rd April 2016

Frog crossing
Thank you for letting me know. We were puzzled by the signs. It never occurred to me that a frog would travel that kind of distance. The things we do for mating. Smile.

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