Lichtenstein, then on to Innsbruck

Trip Start May 25, 2008
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Trip End Jul 04, 2008


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Flag of Austria  ,
Friday, June 20, 2008

Regretfully, he had to leave Engelberg, leaving those amazing winding mountain range roads, with the foggy, damp views across steep, rocky slopes til we reached the valley floor and moved on to Vaduz, capital of the really tiny country of Lichtenstein.
Sitting at the base of yet another awesome mountain range, the town holds no more than about 5000 people, who are ruled by Prince Hans Adam II from his cliff-top castle, which is perched directly above the township!
The scenery of the Austrian Alps we then witnessed between Vaduz & Innsbruck was simply magnificent.
Our tour guide took us firstly for a brief walk to the centuries old Dom St Jakob cathedral, which had us all gaping in awe at the incredibly detailed & resplendant interior.
This was followed by us walking again til we stood right in front of the famous 15th century "golden roof" (2600 x gold-plated copper tiles), constructed for Emperor Maximilian I as a Royal Box for tournaments in the square we were now standing in.
Finding ourselves free to search out our own lunch from one of dozens of eateries which lined both sides of the square, we found a spot under an umbrella to escape the fairly warm sun. Lunch was followed of course by another tasty Swiss dessert!
"Swarovski" crystal shop featured a sparkling, crystal-encrusted soccer ball display, signifying that Innsbruck was one of the two cities currently hosting Euro 2008. A short walk brought us to the "official Euro 2008 fan area", obviously heavily sponsored by Coca-Cola....it looked a treat & was where you could avail yourself of any of the official tournament merchandise from one of many makeshift stores, setup under marquees. Inflatable soccer balls adorned huge, long lines across the square every 30 metres or so, and you could feel the excitement remaining from the game played at the stadium up the road just the night before!
Tour group met at 4.45pm for the coach to take us up the surrounding 'hills' (I use that term loosely), to meet Fritz and his wife who then took the lot of us in two horse-drawn carriages (pneumatic tyres for the journey over firstly sealed bitumen roads, then thru pine forest countryside) for a very pleasant ride thru an alpine village which featured a 600-year-old house!
All of us were obliged to sample some home-brew schnapps, which left an impression, I can assure you...something like heated up metho, I imagined it to be akin to!! We got to break up the slow-paced journey by stopping at a local pub, which serves locally brewed non-alcoholic softdrink, which the majority of us tried....with the typically Austrian name of "Almdudler", it turned out to be quite refreshing, and is the only place in the world one can enjoy it.
Once we had returned from our little jaunt, the coach took us back to Innsbruck and our waiting schnitzel dinner! Did I mention the views of those Austrian Alps??????
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