Articles tagged with "liechtenstein"

Vaduz

Vaduz

I wanted to have a bit of a lie down before exploring the country, but the hostel wouldn’t let me check in until 2pm. It was 7.30am and the sun was shining, so I decided to head out. I walked down the road from Schaan to Vaduz, sat down on a bench in the empty town, and fell asleep. I woke myself up by snoring, embarrassed then to find that the streets were now quite busy. Feeling the disapproval of the passers by, I got up and staggered through the town. I found a small park full of trees, and fell asleep again in the cool shade. I slept for a long time, occasionally wondering if I might get arrested for vagrancy, but enjoying my doze far too much to worry about it.

Eventually I woke up and decided it was time to actually look around instead of just sleeping rough in various parts of town. It was a hot, hot, sunny day, and the little town was pretty much exactly as I’d imagined it, a street lined with expensive cafes, with a castle on the hills overlooking the town, and jagged mountains all around. I stopped in one of the cafes and had an expensive lunch.

I wandered up the hill towards the castle. Wealthy suburbs full of large, comfortable-looking houses spread out across the lush green fields. Not far away was the Rhein, and on the other side of that was Switzerland. Austria was behind me, over the mountains. Behind the castle, a forest stretched away. I relaxed in the cool shade for a while, before heading back towards Schaan.

The heat of the day was impressive, and the cool of evening was welcome. I went to bed early and slept deeply. Early the next morning I walked out of Liechtenstein and into Switzerland, to catch a train from Buchs. My next destination was Nice.


Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein

After the conference in Vienna, I was heading to the south of France to meet my family for a relaxing holiday in a villa. I could have flown, but I decided to travel at ground level and stop off in some countries more or less en route that I hadn’t been to. So I headed to Wien Westbahnhof, found the night train for Feldkirch and got on board. At first I had a compartment all to myself, and thought I might have a nice ride, but in the minutes before departure it filled to capacity. It would be an uncomfortable night.

We crossed Austria. I woke up in Salzburg and Innsbruck, and then at Bludenz, where the sky was beginning to brighten and we were not far from our final destination. By now there was only one person left in the compartment, and he also woke. He rubbed his eyes, looked around blearily, and slowly focussed on the station sign. In an instant he was thrown into a panic, leaping from his seat, grabbing his things and bolting. I saw him leap from the carriage moments before we started pulling out. I wondered just how long ago he’d meant to get off.

Not long afterwards, we arrived at Feldkirch, right on the edge of Austria. After a chilly half hour wait in the fresh morning air, the train to Buchs arrived, and I got on. It was going to be a beautiful day, and as we crossed into Liechtenstein, mist drifted over the fields and the hills. A few minutes later I got off the train at Schaan, excited to be in a tiny country about which I knew almost nothing. Tired and grubby from the night train, I walked out into the deserted town. I found an early morning bakery, bought an excellent coffee and a few pastries, and sat in the sunshine looking around at the country.