Leichtenstein - A 'new' 'country'
Liechtenstein Travel Blog› entry 5 of 10 › view all entries
So it's not yet even 8am, I'm feeling the lack of sleep, and I arrive at Schaan-Vaduz. Liechtenstein was a beer fueled insparation, a couple of Fridays before I left that still seemed a good idea the following morning. Maybe not now :-O. It was raining and the cloud was down to the base of the mountains.
I just got the notion to go, it was in the news in the UK a few weeks ago concerning the tax dodging, and it is one of theses places everyone has heard of, but doesn't know anyone that's been. Well I was here now, didn't have that much time, so I might as well make the most of it. Coming out of the station headed up towards the town centre of Schaan. Vaduz is the capital of Liechtenstein but runs right into the next town of Schaan, though Leichtenstein does extend further up the valley .
First thing that struck me was the amount of traffic :-O . There were four private security people doing points duty at the crossroads of the main road, and there seemed to be a lot of heavy lorries. The second thing that stuck me was that there was my hotel :-) and I went in and chanced it and although I wasn't expecting to get checked in I was able to dump my rucksack (again thanks to Danikbates I knew it was a bit of a hike into the centre of Vaduz).
Although I was tired I knew I was just going to have to push through it, and having got rid of the bag felt OK. Set off along the main road and kept looking up to the hills and the cloud that covered them getting brief glimpses of jagged peaks, but always knowing I wasn't seeing what it was really like.
As I appraoached the town centre I saw a sign for the RheinStadion, and being into football decided to head down to check out where Liechtenstein play there international games. They don't use it when they are playing the bigger nations, or countries that will bring a large travelling support( they move the game to Switzerland usually), but while I was waiting at the reception desk I noticed the guestbook had been signed by folk from Finland who had been over for a game. The stadium was small and basic, and to be honest even here in Scotland we have 3rd Division clubs with better stadiums,but they are from towns with a population of over 34,000.
I now found myself on the banks of the Rhein and decided to walk up along the side of the river and soon came to a covered wooden bridge. The road beside it had a roundabout with a sign pointing to Switzerland, so I figured the river must be the border and decided to go through the bridge. Right in the middle of the bridge I found a sign that marked the border :-) . I love places like that where you can physically jump from one country to another ( might just be me though).
When that had amused me enough I walked down the raod and found myself coming back into Vaduz from the other side. Headed into the centre and found the Tourist Information where I had been reliably informed you can get your passport stamped for a fee (no gueses now for who told me :-D ) .
The cloud had cleared a little, but it still wasn't what I had expected to see. Eventually I decided to go back to the hotel and check in and walked the 4km back,well I wasn't doing anything else that day. Rooom wasn't that great, but went for a couple of hours sleep and then got the bus back into Vaduz and went for something to eat in a wee pizza place. There really wasn't anything to keep you there and after a short walkabout decided to have an earlyish night and go back to the hotel. I was already onto HQ to find out the best way out and had decided on the 8-05am out of Buchs SG, rather than the 10-13 InterCity. Got back to the hotel, and decided to have a couple more beers, but at 11pm thye came round and hit you with the bill.
With an early start planned I thought it best ot get up early :-D and was up at 6-45 (and I was :-O ) . Showered, packed what little I had to and checked out. Stepped outside and looked up at the hills and the clouds had lifted completely. This was more waht I expected. Decided I couldn't miss it, and would put off leaving and walk back to Vaduz again. Having had a good nights sleep, it didn't feel as bad, even carring a full rucksack.
Got tot the road up to the Schloss and decided I would do that as well, I was feeling really good that morning. It was a steep climb though, and I did feel it carrying the pack on my back, but I made it up to the castle.