June 21, 2018

LITTLE LIECHTENSTEIN

On the 6-hour drive from Fussen, Germany to Zermatt, Switzerland, we passed thru this small Principality that’s the 4th smallest country in Europe (after the Vatican, Monaco and San Marino). It is only 160 sq. km. with a population of 37,000 people and has an alpine topography with rocky peaks and forested valleys. We crossed the Rhine at the German border and found ourselves inside Liechtenstein and in a few minutes, in Vaduz, the capital whose city center was made up of a main street with some shops and building offices. Further down were a couple of Museums and the cathedral. We had a brief pitstop to load gas and I wanted to buy some postage stamps as a souvenir but the post office was already closed for the day. There wasn’t much to see except Vaduz Castle built in the 12th century where the royal family lives until today. It can be reached thru a winding road with vineyards on the sides and a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside at the top. After leaving the capital, we found ourselves a couple of minutes later at the border with Switzerland. The distance from end-to-end was only 25 kms. and the width of the country about half of that. Now if that isn’t small, well, tell me what is!

The Royal Castle overlooking the whole Principality.

Approaching the Rhine which borders Germany.
The country is cleaner – if that were possible at all! – than Switzerland.

Passing thru the city center which is pretty compact. Buses are the main mode of transportation since there is no airport in the landlocked country and the four small train stations are not served by the major trains!

The Vaduz Cathedral with its arresting spire.
The museum downtown across the parking lot where we left the car for a brief stroll.

The Vaduz Castle where royalty lives.
Small vineyards can be found on the road leading up to the castle.
Most of the population lives on the Rhine valley.
Well-kept streets downtown. Unemployment is almost nonexistent and the country has the highest GDP in the world. Expensive but rich.
The winding road up to Vaduz Castle.
It just looks like a Swiss Canton.
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