We showed up in Vaduz (the capital city) – knowing little more about this small country – other than it was small and fairly mountainous and that there is a royal family. “Small Country Europe” was the latest self titled trip to the continent- we had already visited San Marino and Monaco and Lichtenstein certainly fit this “small” role. We drove up from Lago di Como in Italy ultimately passing through Logano. I have been to Switzerland several times in the past and if you had told me we would be seeing bananas, palm trees and olives in Switzerland prior to this trip, I would have told you to take back the “crazy talk”. But along this route, we saw a number of these trees – growing outdoors.
Then we made a very smart decision; we opted for the old road heading up the steep mountain passes. The major highway parallels this old road and shoots right up the valleys leading to the pass and into a final tunnel through the mountains to the other side. By choosing the old road – were able to visit small little towns, avoid nearly all the traffic on the main highway and stop at our leisure.
We crossed the Rhine River and found ourselves in Lichtenstein. Switzerland is one of the top five most expensive countries I’ve visited – Lichtenstein seems comparable or perhaps even more pricey. We wandered through Vaduz – seemingly we were the only other tourists besides a large group from Japan. We drove up to the mountains above Vaduz based on a few recommendations we were given. The road to Malbun is narrow and steep at times – passing above gorgeous scenery, the valley far below and the jagged snow capped mountains rising far above us on the opposite side of the valley.
If we had more time we would have definitely stayed in the small town of Triesenbourg – we were tempted asking about availability, but the two hotels here were totally full. The ski town of Malbun is just a bit further up the road – when we arrived it looked like a ghost town. All the homes were still shuttered; nothing had yet opened for the summer season. There was plenty of snow still.
Here are a few photos from our day in the mountains.