OK – stupid title for a travel post. But let’s face it, Lichtenstein is a tiny and boring place. At least it is on a Trafalgar Costsaver tour.
Close your eyes so we can do a mental re-enactment with you as the protagonist.
Hang on, can’t do that. You won’t be able to read my wonderfully evocative words with your eyes shut. So you are just going to have to read them and do your best with the mental image.
First, imagine that you are dragged out of your tiny, cramped hotel suite at some ungodly hour of the morning. Zombie-like you stumble into the breakfast room, nibble some
brains… I mean cheese, ham and cereal. Then stumble back up to your room to shove all your stuff into some suddenly shrunk suit cases which you push outside the door for porters to collects.
Somehow you wake up in a coach which is taking you away from the beauty of Lucerne. Except now you notice storm clouds gathering above the city and its surrounding Alps. You grin stupidly at your wife (yes, if you are a woman reading my words then no doubt you are having a sexually ambiguous moment – assuming I have any idea what that phrase means – which I don’t). Your grin is meant to express “Yippee, we’re getting out of here before the rains ruin our holiday.” It is probably interpreted as dumb and nothing else.
As per normal the coach drives on and on. Here are some snaps taken along the way. I have no idea where, other than vaguely between Switzerland and Austria.
Yes, even in a tired zombie-like state it is possible to take photos.
Then the tour guide starts to tell you about a tiny country called Lichtenstein that sits somewhere between Switzerland and Austria. Here is a screen capture of Google maps to show you where – the red dotty thing.
Now don’t get me wrong, our tour guide was absolutely brilliant and always full of interesting information. But all I can really remember of the Lichtenstein data is that it is tiny, has few roads, a small population and there is really not very much there.
As an aside from our little re-enactment, I have decided to look up Wikipedia (all hail Wikipedia – source of absolute truth – always). Apparently Neolithic farmers were there over 7,000 years ago and the Romans had a stoush (fight) with the local Celts at some point before setting up a military presence there.
Ooooh. Here’s a great quote:
Economically, Liechtenstein has the third highest gross domestic product per person in the world when adjusted by purchasing power parity, after Qatar and Luxembourg, and the highest when not adjusted by purchasing power parity. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the world at 1.5%.
There. You know everything there is to know. Back to the mental re-enactment.
So the coach drives you into what appears to be a small and mostly closed shopping mall. A few other coaches are around, from which spill other
zombies tourists. The tour guide tells you about the nearby free toilets (yippee) and the local tourist industry of stamping passports. Yep – for a few bucks you can get your passport stamped here. So you and your family do so. Why? Because everyone else is.
The tour guide now tells you that you have an hour to wander this mall (I have mentioned that nearly all the shops are closed). She also tells you that this is your last chance to spend Swiss dollars (or whatever the Hell they are).
With every other tourist on every other bus you descend upon the one souvenir shop that appears open. Surprisingly it is crowded.
You take few photos because there is pretty much nothing of interest to take photos of other than the big castle slightly hidden overhead on a cliff. You do take a photo of your family down one end of the mall.
You walk around. Nothing. Well, more closed shops. Some nice looking mountains in practically every direction behind the closed shops.
All too quickly the hour vanishes and you are back on the coach heading to Austria. You have seen practically nothing of the place, but your bored brain has worked out several puns involving Frankenstein and tongues.
And that’s it. You can force yourself back out from the surprisingly realistic imagery evoked within your brains.
And so that was my experience of Lichtenstein.
Thanks for reading