We had a slow start after the music festival and left Treviso quite late. Also, as this was possibly our last time in Italy for a good while we were not ready to let it go just yet (it was planned that we would drive to Innsbruck). We decided to stay in the Alpi Sarentine for one last Italian night before hitting Austria and chose Chiusa as a base. In the end it did not really deliver our last taste of Italy, more Germanic, as once we travelled above Bolzano the German influence becomes very strong, to the point where I had to dust off my rusty German.
Dual language is very evident, Chiusa
Chiusa, or Klausen in German, was a very pretty mountain town and was set up for summer hikers. We should have maybe used this stop off to do some walking training in preparation for the Camino de Santiago which is already looming upon us, but I was desperate to start the journey through Austria and therefore we settled for a quick morning stroll through the town.
Our view from the camper stop of the hillside castles, Chiusa (It).
Austria in the end turned out to be a non-event. Due to our lack of travel plans and maybe research we did not realise that the Tirol, the region we would be travelling through, does not allow overnight parking. We tried several towns and found that we either had to stay at a campsite (around 30 Euros) or at a restaurant car park, but then we would be obliged to buy a meal. This ruling is only specific to the Tirol apparently, and the rest of Austria is set up well for free stopovers. As our planned destination after Austria was Liechtenstein and this route through covered the majority of the Tirol, we decided to abandon Austria entirely for this tour and had to please ourselves with an Austrian one day drive through. After 40 Euros on the Austrian tolls, many long tunnels (12km the longest), dramatic mountain range scenery and several hours in the cab later we landed in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein.
We did a drive through of Austria, bis spater!!
The reason we wanted to go to Liechtenstein was that we find small countries very interesting. To seek the specific Liechtenstein experience we ventured out into the centre of Vaduz in the evening. After we had drawn out a few Swiss francs we sheltered from the rain at a bustling Brassiere on the main pedestrianised street.
At prices similar to Switzerland, Liechtenstein can be quite expensive – about 7 euros for a local Liechtensteiner beer, 17 Euros for a pizza.
We were not the only British people who had this motivation to see Vaduz as once we were back at the ‘free’ night stop over car park we met two UK couples travelling together. They both had 10 metre long twin rear wheel brand new A classes, so were in a different league to our little van. However, Kevin who was a hedge fund manager from Essex, summed up our motorhome differences – “it does not matter how expensive your van is, we both still have to Sh** in a chemical loo”. I found this quote quite levelling!
The next morning, we took the walking trail up to the Prince of Liechtenstein’s castle and I took a late opportunity to continue breaking in a pair of walking shoes that I will be using on the Camino, much to my dislike, as I would rather complete it in my old Vans. This walk lets you take in the mountain range views that surround Vaduz, and these views summarise Liechtenstein. Overall we enjoyed our short stay, we would of liked to have interacted a little more with the locals to gain more of an insight but we can save this to another visit.
That concludes our short time in the country of Liechtenstein (that makes 10 countries visited on this tour so far!)
Are Liechtenstein number plates the best looking in Europe? I think so, especially on black cars.