Sunday, September 17, 2017

[VADUZ] Call Me Vadoots

“You’re in Zürich?!” I told my friend that I was just passing by and that I was going to Liechtenstein, to which he replied, “Why does everyone go to Liechtenstein, there’s bloody nothing to see there!” And I was, like, Meh. But I think he’s well aware that I am just collecting countries here so I really don’t give a damn. True enough, I spent less than two hours in Vaduz. It feels somehow unfortunate but when there’s nothing to see, there’s nothing to see. Drop by, take photos, and then move on with your life.

I was surprised to see all prices displayed in CHF. Crossing over from Buchs in Switzerland where I managed to book a relatively cheaper Airbnb place, I just had to tap my credit card on the SBB ticket dispenser. Contactless. Convenient! Going back to Feldkirch from Vaduz, I panicked a bit, but was reassured by a local passenger that Euros are also accepted by the bus driver. The trip back to Austria took around 50 minutes, with gorgeous views of the mountains ubiquitous in the region.

Schaan appears to be where most of the transpo links are made. Wikitravel said that walking from there to Vaduz takes only 20 minutes, although I bet it takes more than that. You might want to take that stroll, though, if you want to maximize your day here. Given the shortage of tourist attractions in the capital, you might as well do a combo of both places. A one-way ride on Bus 11 won’t take more than 10 minutes. Once you get off at Vaduz Post, almost everything you want to see will be within a 500 m radius.

The St. Florin’s Cathedral is right there at the corner, hard to miss with its bell tower and clocks on all four sides. But I guess the highlight of the trip will always be the Schloss Vaduz. They say that the prince of Liechtenstein still lives there up to this day, which probably explains why the castle is off-limits to tourists. You cannot enter his majesty’s palace, but yes, you can come close enough. There are hiking trails and alleys leading uphill that you can follow, complete with signs pointing you to the right direction.

I opted not to go hiking today because I just don’t have the strength. I mean, you can see the castle from down below anyway wherever you are in the area. Why the need for a close-up? I think the reward you will get if you end up there is the panoramic view of the town below, which I can only imagine to be mystical given the mountains surrounding the city on all sides. Oh yes, the mountains. So majestic! It was the same case in Buchs but then again these two towns are neighbors so it’s not really that surprising.

If I remember it correctly, it is also the Rhine that serves as a natural border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Even then, the two are culturally linked, as well as financially given how the principality also uses Swiss Francs as its currency. I digress. What else did I see in Vaduz? Oh wait, let’s talk about language first. I’ve been pronouncing it forever as Vadoozzz when in fact it should be Vadoots. I’m not sure if Liechtenstein has its own local language but it’s still pretty much part of the German-speaking sprachbund.

St. Florin’s was open to tourists today. The cathedral is not big at all but has a long history dating back to the 1200’s. I guess the medieval kingdoms here developed during the same time period. Feldkirch is also rich in history from the 1200’s and 1300’s. Back to the cathedral, there is a pipe organ of sorts inside as well as two or three stained glass art pieces. If you want to seek some refuge from the cold temperature outside, then now is the time to reconnect with God. Oh dear, I’m such a user. Sue me.

You can get a souvenir passport stamp at the tourist office which is along the same pedestrian street. It costs CHF 3/EUR 3 (~PHP 165/~PHP 180). I told myself that it was a waste of money but I found myself in the queue anyway, and the next thing I knew the lady was already taking my three euros and stamping my passport. The stamp is cute, it even has a red crown! And that’s all I saw in Vaduz. Wow. If you love hiking, I guess you’d love not just Liechtenstein, but the neighboring Austrian and Swiss towns as well.

[VADUZ] Call Me Vadoots

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