I’m not the type of traveller who goes to places just to say that I’ve been. But when I realized that I was just a hop, skip, a jump away from the tiny European nation of Liechtenstein (well, a train and a bus ride, if we’re going to be accurate) I couldn’t help adding it to my itinerary.
Allow me to set the scene: it was late August and I found myself kicking around Switzerland as part of my solo epic rail journey last summer with Eurail.com. I was in Zurich, the weather was splendid, and I was feeling pretty happy to be alive. But I was also, if I’m completely honest, a bit… bored. Though I love travelling solo and have espoused the value of travelling by yourself in this post, I was starting to get a bit tired of my own company.
*cue violin music*
Before I could feel too sorry for myself, however, I realized that this was the prime opportunity to embark on an adventure. Tiny Liechtenstein is a just over an hour away from Zurich. Quickly referencing my Eurail guide, I figured out that I could use my rail pass to get to village of Sargans, on the Swiss border, then hop a bus to Vaduz, Liechtenstein’s capital. Before I knew it, I was there, sweating profusely as I scampered up and down the city’s main drag in the search of a cold drink.
Sadly, I wasn’t hugely impressed with what I saw. I didn’t ‘feel’ like I was in Liechtenstein; for all intents and purposes it resembled Switzerland, at least to me. There is not much to do in Vaduz other than to hike up to the Royal Palace (and even then you can’t enter- it’s closed to tourists, boo!).
A brief stop in the tourist office told me that Vaduz has an art museum and a post stamp museum (huh?), but those of you who know me well know that this discovery left me very uninspired. Lest you find me completely mirthless, this statue of a dude planking had me amused…
To be fair, my dismay with this miniscule principality was partially my fault. Quite simply, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time of year. Liechtenstein is a prime tourist destination in the winter, not summer, appealing to ski enthusiasts who flock to the slopes in Malbun, a village 15km southeast of Vaduz.
Furthermore, what Vaduz was lacking in excitement, it made up for in views. Check these snaps out:
After three hours of exploring in the relentless sun, I hunkered down in my seat on the bus and made my way back to Switzerland. I’m not sure I would come to Liechtenstein again, but I’m glad that I had the chance to see it with my own eyes. I mean, how many people can say that they’ve been to Liechtenstein?!
Have you ever heard or been to Liechtenstein?