Liken it in Lichtenstein

Balzers Travel Blog

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A pano taken from Sacha's parents house. Unbelievable view...
Well I finally made it to Lichtenstein...

Yesterday was mostly a travel day, nothing much exciting happened. I drove from Bayeux back to Le Mans, and returned the rental car surprisingly intact.  :-)  From there it was a train to Paris, and then onto Switzerland.

As I was waiting for the Swiss train at the Paris Est station, I noticed the departures board was flashing “Supremiea” or something like that for my train. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it didn’t sound too bad.  Well, after asking at the information desk it turns out that it means CANCELED.  Doh!  

My first class sleeping berth on a non-stop night train turned into a second class 6 bunk couchette, and 4 train changes, one of which was at 5am in a VERY cold and empty Strasbourg station.
Looking down on the town where we were headed on the sleds
  Needless to say I was a little tired when I finally arrived in Switzerland at 11:30am the next morning.

My friend Sacha (who used to work for my company) picked me up at the Sargans station in Switzerland and drove me to his place in Lichtenstein. I had forgotten how beautiful the Switzerland area is, and I found my neck was getting cramped from staring up at all the mountains.

I had a quick shower at Sacha’s house, and then we headed up to his parents place in the mountains for lunch. Their house is very nice, but the view is insane. I’ll put a panoramic shot of it in the pictures section, but it doesn’t really do it justice.

After lunch Sacha and I were going to head up to a local ski area and have some coffee at the top of the mountain.
Sacha at the top getting ready to go down.
Before we left, he took me into the garage and asked me which sled I wanted to use. It turns out that you are allowed to take sleds on the ski-lifts here, and he wanted to race me on the hill.

I picked out a sled with two skis in the back and one in front for steering, it looked a little small but I thought it would be fast enough. Well, in hindsight speed should have been the least of my worries, not getting killed was a much higher priority.

We took the lift to the very top of the mountain, and I noticed that we were getting strange looks from all the skiers/snowboarders as we fought to get the sleds and ourselves onto the lift. I didn’t think too much about it until Sacha informed me on the way up that he had never tried to come down from the very top before, and they didn’t really like you to bring sleds up there.
This is about halfway down, just after I almost flew off the cliff.

Once at the top we had a couple of coffees with schnapps, or should I say schnapps with a dash of coffee. Both of us were getting a little bit tipsy, so of course we decided it would be a good time to sled back down the mountain. The trip down was one of the scariest and most fun things I have ever done.  I’ve sledded down some pretty steep slopes before, but never a double blue ski run with LOTS of very sharp turns and cliffs. I missed a turn at one point and after falling off the sled and skidding on my butt for a couple hundred feet I came within about 3 feet of flying off the edge of a rather large cliff.

After making it back to the bottom in one (soggy) piece, we decided to do something a little more sedate. Sacha took me on a tour around Lichtenstein, where I saw the prince’s castle, and a lot of banks. :-)  I also noticed a lot of people dressed up in crazy costumes and some serious drinking going on.
It turns out today was the end of “Carnival” which I had no idea was celebrated in Switzerland. We went out after dinner to a local bar and it was INSANE, but we were both pretty tired and didn’t think it was going to be a very long night.  Well, 8 huge beers latter, some more schnapps and a lot of clapping and singing we realized it was almost 3am and we had better get home.

I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be a long day on a few hours of sleep and a swiss style hangover.

gute Nacht

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A pano taken from Sachas parents …
A pano taken from Sacha's parents…
Looking down on the town where we …
Looking down on the town where we…
Sacha at the top getting ready to …
Sacha at the top getting ready to…
This is about halfway down, just a…
This is about halfway down, just …
photo by: delsol67