If it’s Monday it must be Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Lichtenstein

Today is Monday and according to our itinerary it must be Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Lichtenstein – and we were in some of these countries more than once. Our final destination was Fussen, Germany. Fussen is located in Bavaria, near the Austrian border, at the end of what is known as the Romantic Road. We decided to stop in here because it’s near Neuschwanstein Castle, one of King Ludwig II’s three castles, which we’ll be visiting tomorrow. In photos the castle looks like something out of a fairy tale.

Since it was going to be a long day, we had decided  our only stop on the way to Fussen would be Vaduz, Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein is a tiny country, between Switzerland and Austria, covering just over 62 square miles, with a population of about 35,000. While it was a bit out of the way, we decided it would be fun to add it to the list of countries we visited. Vaduz is a beautiful pristine, small town. No litter, no graffiti – postcard perfect everywhere. In the center is a pedestrian mall filled with artwork, expensive shops and cafes. The Prince of Lichtenstein’s castle was built in the 12th century and prominently sits  high above the town. The Prince by the way is Prince Hans-Adam II von Lichtenstein – head of the 900 year old family.

Lichtenstein is a wealthy country, with a per capita income of $134,000. The town is filled with BMW’s, Mercedes’, Bentleys, Audis, Porsches and Jauguars, most of which were black. After exploring Vaduz, we stopped at the visitor center to have our passports stamped with Lichtenstein’s seal – and from the line evidently it”s a popular stop for tour buses. Included here are also a few photos of  the sculptures and buildings in Vaduz.

We spent the rest of the afternoon driving through the countryside on small roads in Austria and Germany. The rolling hills, villages and farms were beautiful. By the time we stopped for the evening in Fussen, we were ready to cool off and relax – the weather has turned hot. Getting to our hotel was a bit tricky since it is near the center of Fussen in the old town area. After a few wrong turns and some back tracking (the GPS is not a lot of help when streets suddenly turn into pedestrian only – it still wants you to drive down them…) we made it to the Hotel Hirsch. You can’t miss it – it’s big and pink. It fit my criteria for hotels, being old and family run – in the same family for four generations. The staff are wonderful and upgraded us to a larger room in the turret at the front of the hotel. The room is huge with a small balcony. Tonight we are having thunderstorms, with thunder that I haven’t heard since living in the Midwest. But it’s a welcome change and cooling things off a bit. The temperatures have been in the mid to upper 80’s since we arrived in Annecy, France. Even in the mountains in Switzerland the highs were in the 80’s. Rain or no rain, we’re headed out to walk through the old section of Fussen, and then had a late dinner at the hotel restaurant.

 

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These photos are of Fussen and Hotel Hirsch.

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And a parting shot of Switzerland as we left Lauterbrunnen this morning. We didn’t get a chance to spend much time here and have added it to our must return to list. Next time I’d like to visit some of the waterfalls. Staubbach Falls, the one in this photo, is just one of 72 in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and is the first thing you see as you drive into town.

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Tomorrow we’ll be visiting Mad King Ludwig’s castle and then on to Salzburg.

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