Liechtenstein, Frastanz and Feldkirch

Liechtenstein is a really tiny country sandwiched between Switzerland on the west and Austria on the east. It’s approximately 25km long and 12km wide and, spread along a valley, the whole country can be seen from the top of the mountains surrounding it. The capital Vaduz has less than 5000 inhabitants and, owing to the size of the country, seems more like a town than a ruling city. Historically they were part of Austria but are now closer to Switzerland. With so many unusual facets we wanted to visit this place very much and learn something more about it.

As it is such a small place we weren’t able to find a couch surfing host in Lichtenstein itself so stayed with Martin, just over the border in Frastanz, Austria.

The view from Martin’s house is just fantastic Louise couldn’t help but take a walk up the evening we arrived.

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While Martin was in church I took a walk into the hills behind his house. Soon enough I had climbed past the houses and was walking among fields and through woodland. I saw deer, listened to birds and made friends with a cat… although as soon as I snapped the photo it was off!

From our host Martin’s house, Liechtenstein is only a 5-10 minute ride so we were able to visit Vaduz in the morning and still spend the evening with our host. As in the norm with this trip, Louise “deposited” me in the centre with the free WiFi whilst she looked around.

After Louise had her mini personal tour we took a ride up to the Prince’s castle and further up the mountain behind. The roads here are tiny and twisty but every corner gave us an amazing view of the surrounding area and valleys.

We had a nice lunch of cheese and bread mmmm makes a “change”!! After that we split up and Louise took a hike back down to the center and I rode the bike, stopping for photos along the way.

The signs told me this was supposed to take 1 hour 45 minutes but as usual, these signs over estimated… On my way I passed first through pine forest, then fields and more woodland eventually coming back in to Vaduz. I had little view of the valley below but managed to get one shot through a break in the trees.

That evening Martin had organised a couch surfing meeting at a pizzeria in the neighbouring town of Feldkirch. Rather than taking the bus Martin and I decided to walk. It’s only about 3km  when walking directly but our way was much more beautiful: we passed through fields and woodland before stopping at a Buddhist monastery.

Before the meal we had time for a quick tour of Feldkirch. Martin was a great tour guide! He was able to tell me all sorts of quirky facts about the buildings… one was a cinema called Oscars which was sued by the Hollywood ‘Oscars’ award for copy write. Sadly – but not surprisingly – the Feldkirch cinema lost and had to change its name.

At the dinner we had an amazing chance meeting of a couple we’d met last year in a tiny village outside Colmar in the Alsace region of France. It really took us all by surprise, it just shows how small this world really is!

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