Vaduz, Liechtenstein: This morning I woke up in Germany and will go to sleep in Liechtenstein. In between I cycled across bits of Switzerland and Austria. Some days it’s about the destination. Today it was about the journey, zipping in and out of countries and cycling alongside Lake Constance and the Rhine river. This ride up the Rhine valley, surrounded by Alpine ranges, surely rates as a highlight of this Euro journey. Which is a good thing, because tomorrow I have to return through the same valley on my way to Munich.
This visit to Liechtenstein is a big detour. It’s not part of the master plan. But as I run ahead of schedule I have the time to indulge some whimsy and cycle to a little speck of a country on the side of a mountain just for the fun of it. Liechtenstein appears tidy and proper and rich. The Prince inhabits a castle perched above Vaduz. Most of the principality — all 62 square miles — is mountain, and I have seen far more banks than restaurants in Vaduz. There are more registered companies in Liechtenstein than people, and as many live in Liechtenstein as in a typical Hong Kong public housing estate. Despite its petite size they have a government, a foreign minister, a national football team, a TV and radio station. They keep busy when they’re not banking.
As far as I can tell, there’s not much reason to visit Liechtenstein beside saying that you’ve been. That’s reason enough, I suppose. After all, I will have cycled 200 km out of my way for that purpose.
Daily and Trip summaries:
Day 37: Konstanz, Germany – Vaduz, Liechtenstein via Austria and Switzerland
Day 37 Distance: 112.1 km
Day 37 Ascent: 451 meters
Weather: Beautiful, despite some ominous clouds
Total Distance: 2,814.42 km
Total Ascent: 19,856.28 m
Rest Days: 6
Police interactions: 1