Birthday in Liechtenstein, Switz, Austria, Germany

Trip Start Aug 25, 2006
Trip End Jan 07, 2007

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Monday, October 2, 2006

Monday 10/02 Eric and I got up fairly early and ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant. By 8:00 we were outside walking around the village. Malbun was unbelievably peaceful. Since ski season has not yet started, the town is pretty deserted with the exception of a few locals that seemed busy getting ready for the approaching season. There were cows interspersed among the houses and it seemed they all wore these beautiful sounding cow bells around their necks. So, we were walking around, looking at beautiful mountain vistas and listening to the soft clang of these cow bells echoing through the mountains. The setting really was quite magical. After walking a good ways up the mountain trail behind our hotel to get some good pictures, we decided to pack up, check out and head back down to Vaduz to see the capital city and investigate the famed "offshore banking" offered by Liechtenstein.

As we were getting ready to back the car to leave, we realized they were not only working on the chair lift beside our hotel, but were actually offering lift tickets to the top of the mountain. So we shut her down, purchased our lift tickets and headed up the chair lift to the top of the mountain. Another walk around the top to get even better pictures and we were ready for another late morning coffee. Amazingly, (since we were two of only a half dozen or so people that came up), the Berggasthof Sareiserjoch lodge/restaurant at the top was open for business. So, we ordered up a couple coffees, purchased some post cards and sat out on the deck to write our post cards. As the pictures show, it was very beautiful at the top. I can't say I have ever been to the top of a "real" ski mountain off season (Wachusetts doesn't count!) when you could sit outside on a warm, sunny day and enjoy the views from the high elevation.

A quick trip back down the lift (we considered the couple hour hike down; however, there were sites we wanted to see in Valduz and we also hoped to stop at Lake Constance, Germany on the way back to Frankfurt) and we were back in the car heading out of Malbun. We stopped at the village ski shop long enough for Eric to buy some gifts and for us both to have our passports stamped with the official Liechtenstein passport stamp. I think it was during this stamping process that I remembered it was my birthday, and I was spending it in Liechtenstein of all places! How cool is that?!

We navigated the switchbacks down the mountain, this time with me in the passenger seat cringing over to the middle as I peered over the straight vertical drops inches away from the side of the car! A quick stop in Valduz to gather some info at the bank and we were off towards Germany and Lake Constance. Since I traveled through both Austria and Switzerland to return to Germany, I will be spending this birthday in 4 countries!
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kmidgette on

Re: Driving/Riding on the Autobahn
Well, I have to admit, I was a passenger while using the blackberry, although later, we did switch off and I drove while Eric napped. I think our top speed on this trip was actually 220 KMpH. The roads here are fantastic! My host tells me it is because during the war, the first Autobahn's were constructed to serve as airstrips if necessary (roads are several feet thick) and the Germans have kept with that construction process since while much more expensive to build initially, it results in almost no maintenance over the long term. Roads are not effected by frost heaves, rain, heavy trucks, etc. The roads are perfectly smooth, flat and predictable. And, the German drivers are amazing. It is illegal to pass on the right or not signal before changing lanes. People do NOT drive in the high speed lane since there is no speed limit and one driver chooses to go 120km while another might go 220, so, you get in the left lane to pass, then you move over. It if fantastic driving here....I think I might move to Germany.....! lol

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