We left Switzerland on a warm sunny day, driving past Lucerne and the mountains of Pilatus and Rigi Kulm towards Zurich. There was no issue with the steering which clearly Piermin had fixed by topping up the engine oil.
It was a scenic drive on good roads with some tunnels through the mountain sides and we skirted the entire southern length of Zurichsee which was very industrial.
Schloss Vaduz, Liechtenstein
After driving east and then north alongside the Rhein (once again) we crossed the river into Liechtenstein and pitched up outside the country’s football stadium in Vaduz, where eleven years previously Beckham and Owen scored international goals during a game we had watched on TV at home in Cornwall.
The entire principality of Liechtenstein is just 62 square miles and it measures 15 miles north to south and almost 8 miles wide. Vaduz is the capital and home to the royal family who reside in Schloss Vaduz. It’s also the seat of government and home to the country’s art collection, which is in fact the Prince’s private collection made public.
The new Parliament House & Government buildin
We wanted to see the sights and also needed to find some screws to repair Bertha’s skirt which was coming away from the tyre housing. We discovered that Vaduz has innumerable hair dressers, quirky cafes, clothes shops, dentists, doctors and banks but no DIY store. A friendly chap in a Toyota dealership provided us with a handful of screws (no charge!) for which we were very grateful.
The Schloss overlooks the town
People were smart and well-dressed, cars were expensive looking. There seemed lots of young women in traditional bodice and skirt costumes, some of them less ‘maidenly’ and rather raunchy.
This all seemed to be quite normal as no-one else batted an eyelid and the girls were comfortable and confident.
We had expected an old Germanic feeling town but Vaduz feels very modern. It’s literally two streets so despite our guide book advising us to take a day to see all the sights, by the time we’d got the screws and done a food shop we’d seen the lot and it was only three hours later.
Back at Bertha we discovered that our bounty of free screws unfortunately didn’t fix the problem so gave up and set about travel planning instead.
A lone ‘van in Liechtenstein
As the evening drew in and the lights came on in the communities across the river and up in the Swiss mountains an impromptu motorbike training school set up next to us in the car park. Eventually they sped off and we were left, a lone van in Liechtenstein, listening to the bells of grazing goats and pondering Europe’s smallest principality.