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Published: August 7th 2009
It's not every day that I'm setting foot in a new country. I'm not that far from 80 countries visited...but it take some effort to add one more at each step. Well, for sure I could add few more by heading to the Balkans (2010), or the Baltic (hopefully 2011)...or Central America (soon...maybe...). Some of my friends will also tell you that I should not put Liechtenstein in my count as we did not sleep there. But same problem as for Luzern...here you pay a lot...for not much in term of sleeping "quality". So we ended up spending the night in Dornbirn, few miles north of Vaduz.
Liechtenstein is a small country...and yes we did verify this.The is mainly one single main road connecting few villages. I had not much info in terms of what to visit. I did check few entries on travelblog before coming...and they were all saying the same thing...not much to see, or do. So I simply decided to get lost as much as we could. This is obviously easier to do by car than if you are walking along, at least with two young kids.
Our first stop was in Balzers...never heard of the
place before, but I spotted a castle from the swiss highway...and this castle was in fact on the other side of the river sitting in Liechtenstein. We parked the car...and climbed through the vineyards. Yes, the country seems to produce a certain amount of wine if I count all the vines that we saw in few hours.
The castle main door was close. There was some construction going around. I've got no idea if somebody is living here, or if it is closed for renovation...but it was indeed a beautiful castle from the outside. After this, few minutes stop on the local playgroung for my little guys...you cannot avoid to stop on these from time to time...just look at the smiles on the pictures!
Our lunch stop was another local gastronomy speciality, or rather a pan-alps speciality...the rosti. Tiffany...one more time was not very impressed...but Leslie on the other side could not stop telling how good the food was...happy face, happy Leslie!
We than made our way to Vaduz. I've got to excuse myself to the local drivers...I never made it over the 40km/h, trying to enjoy as much as possible the scenery. The country seems to
be able to hold in a single Valley, like a stamp between 2 giant neighbours...if we can call Austria and Switzerland giants!
I did drive twice around Vaduz. I knew already that you cannot visit the Prince castle...so we decided to "save" Tiffany's legs! I was looking for some old buildings that would have been worth stopping by and park the car. But Vaduz seems to be a mix of new buidling, construction sites...all of these with bank names on them. The nicest stroll was indeed to get lost above the city surrounded by gorgeous villas...but for a more "authentic" look of the city, I've got to admit, I couldn't find it!
The last experience of Liechtenstein was quite fun or indeed interesting. You've got the border between Liechetenstein and Switzerland...nobody to guard it. Than 50 meters later, you've got another post, this time with am immigration officer from Austria. I had to stop to ask...ok...what's the story...I'm going out of Liechtenstein...in Switzerland, and straight in Austria...Am I missing something? Instead of a reply...I reveived a....can I see your driving licence and passports...guess he must have been shocked that I took him for a
tourist information! The answer
is simple...in less than 100 meters, you go across the three countries...guess they couldn't put the road anywhere else!
This was the end of my "Liechtenstein experience"...it did last nearly 4 hours. Not sure I would have gain to stay many more days. I'm sure there are some very nice walks in the forest. For sure the Prince Castle is impressive keeping an eye on the nearly one street capital of Vaduz! But you know what, they have a lot less flowers in the street than in Colmar or Luzern!
Our next stop is back in the north...few more castles on the road to Ma'ri!
With love from all of us!
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