In Honeymoon Planning

Hallo! This week’s odyssey takes us to the Principality of Liechtenstein.  During our travels through the Alps, we were fortunate to visit this romantic retreat.

 Overhead view of downtown Liechtenstein

Overhead view of downtown Liechtenstein

Nestled in the mountains, Liechtenstein is one of the world’s smallest nations. It encompasses a mere 62 square miles and is home to about 35,000 German speaking people.
It lies in the Rhine Valley and is bordered by Austria and Switzerland. The western border is the Rhine River. Its remote, pristine geographic position makes it an ideal habitat for agriculture and winter sports recreation. Its ski slopes are spectacular and attract visitors throughout Europe. Lichtenstein has collected 9 skiing medals in the Olympics and is the tiniest country to ever win the gold.
Like its Swiss neighbors, Liechtenstein draws much of its revenue from business and banking. They have established extremely favorable business taxation and incorporation  policies which have induced businesses worldwide to incorporate there – there are actually more registered companies in Liechtenstein than there are citizens.  Despite all their wealth per capita, the country remains fiercely neutral and has no active military to speak of.
Our visit was purely pleasure. We did some sightseeing and took a horse-drawn buggy ride up to the Castle. Liechtenstein Castle is a picturesque mountain retreat built during the 12th century. Destroyed by the invading Ottomans in the 15th century, the Castle was rebuilt to its former glory in 1884. Even though it was May, we saw some beautiful ski resorts on the outskirts of town.

There was a charming market in the city center. We enjoyed traditional German cuisine and fantastic local biers.  During our overnight, we took in a traditional Alpine show complete with costumes, song and dance. They picked random guests from the audience to participate in the spectacle. Cassandra was selected to test her skills on an Alpine Horn. These long wooden horns were used by mountain dwellers to communicate. As the picture attests, I think she did rather well.
Liechtenstein is gorgeous and the air is as pure as you’ll find in an inhabited country.  Life here moves slowly and the people seem to be genuinely happy. When you hear stories about Europe’s “old country”, this is definitely what they are talking about. Liechtenstein does not have its own airport, but it has a fantastic network of busses and trains. We flew in to Zurich, Switzerland, and took a three-hour bus ride to Liechtenstein. We saw the main town in only a day and we are very glad we made the effort to get there. Beifall! (Cheers in German)
– The Rox

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