Liechtenstein or Bust
Posted on July 9, 2013
It was a pity that we had to rush away from the Allgäu but Liechtenstein was beckoning. Had I been sensible, we would have taken the toll road but the map seemed to make it reasonable to tool along the back ways. The car’s navigator and I were in constant battle. By day’s end it was pretty clear that I took the wrong path, worn to a frazzle as I was. The $14.00 toll route was good for both in and out, not just one way. Had I only known! When the mountains get steepy, there’s little room for roads so we found ourselves time and again in Austria and Switzerland as well as Germany and Liechtenstein getting to our destination. We did lots of messing about but eventually arrived at our most wonderful accommodations, Hotel Oberland, rather clinging to the mountainside with a 180 degree sweeping view of the Swiss Alps.
The young Rhine River lay at our feet, well, way down our mountainside.
We checked in at the front desk and were pleased to be able to use a credit card for the very first time.
For our room for three, they put us in the dungeon with “no view”.
Despite our basement location we thought we were in the lap of luxury.
Our small windows, perhaps designed to repel marauding Visigoths, had a great view of the onion-domed church with it’s overused bells, and snowy peaks beyond.
After dinner in our room, we spent the next couple of hours discovering our neighborhood until nearly dark at 10:00.
The church bells, located across the street were a little over eager the next morning. First four higher pitched bells to herald the full hour. Then six deeper bells to sound the hour of 6am. Then in full exuberance, a cacophony of 70 more clangs and clambers to fully roust us from our comfy beds.
We feasted on the best breakfast yet, in a lovely setting with the peaky Alps spread out across the windows before us.
We would like to have stayed here for a full week or more but we had to rush away to other adventures.
Instead of turning down the road that led us here we aimed to go higher yet, hairpin turns one after another getting us eventually to the end of the road in a cirque of high ridges and a small village supported by winter skiers and summer wanderers.
Cows and sheep with tinkling bells were all around us. We were really in the Alps now. We walked for a while, a kilometer maybe, taking in the whole breath-taking scene, surrounded by fields thick with wildflowers.
Cows were munching to their delight on verdant grasses while farmers were cutting and drying forage for the winter months. Hikers with their poles and gear passed us going up and down. Yes, just the way it was supposed to be.
After lunch on a grassy slope overlooking the Rhine and the Swiss Alps, we finally had to give in and leave, because we had reservations in Germany for the night, four countries over.
Before we left the country we stopped in Vaduz, the capital, to get Suzi’s passport stamped for the record. Directly above our parking place was a view of the castle, home of the prince and princess.
At the last minute, before the 6:00 closing time, we thought of grocery shopping for the next several meals, remembering that stores would be closed all of Sunday. We stocked up on cheeses, meats and veggies, and beer. The day had been hot, above 86 degrees, and perishables would not be happy.
Unable to call or even email our hotel that we would be coming late, we arrived at 8:00 to, our converted brewery in Aalen, fortunately before they had closed up for the night. They were not put out at our late arrival, honoring reservations we had made months before with no surety. We dined on our own provisions on the second floor terrace amongst a garden of towering chestnut trees. They supplied us with quality stemware for our wine and made sure our needs were met.
The end of another fine day.