around the world – part 32.6 (liechtenstein)

img_0020Liechtenstein (FL) is one of those most improbable countries (alongside the Republic of San Marino, Andorra, the Prinicipality of Monaco) – sandwiched between two larger neighbours, dominated by larger economies nearby – however it is rich, small, picturesque and undemocratic (not that this is in every case bad).    It figures in games of trivia as folks attempt to name micronations, is often misspelled and yet not so difficult to find. 

Many tourists to southern Germany might never travel much further beyond Munchen or Augsburg, perhaps extending their visit to Oberammergau – but missing out on a unique experience.   And so….

…with along with the Friends of Junior (FoJ), I zipped down the motorway towards Liechtenstein hoping to drive to the ‘top’ of the country.   Of course, at this time of year snow is to be expected, but early indications as we ascended through Triesenberg were that while it was certainly raining, perhaps we might make it as far as Malbun.    I can’t recall how many switchbacks there are on this road, but after several dozen we approached Steg through the tunnel and emerged suddenly into a very white and snowy landscape.   After a quick stop for some photography we decided to attempt a further climb.  But without snow tires it soon became apparent that while going up might not pose much of a problem, coming down could get a little hairy.  Discretion being the better part of valour we retired down through Steg to the next town where a pleasant hillside cafe (aren’t they all?) beckoned.

Fortified with food and drink we descended into Vaduz and wandered distractedly through the main tourist area – stopping to acquire trinkets,  knick knacks and passport stamps.  With early afternoon approaching and the prospect of a four hour drive from Zurich to Greding in the offing, we decided to head back.   Of course the weather began co-operating immediately upon committing to the highway, with the clouds breaking up and sunshine streaming down into the valleys above the Zuricherseee, revealing tantalising glimpses of mountain peaks off in the distance.    With FoJ deposited safely back at their lodgings, I headed for ‘home’.

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