Liechtenstein 2. Getting into this tiny nation

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This is actually Buchs.   This is a medium-sized town in Switzerland.   I got the train from Grusch the town I was staying to get into Liechtenstein.   There is also a railway into Liechtenstein that goes from a different line from Switzerland or Austria.   It’s on a few kilometres away, so I walked in.

I was excited about doing my final (for now) little European country, as it was my goal to visit as many of these (in fact I’ve been to Liechtenstein, Andorra and Luxembourg) before Brexit happens, as I wanted to compare all of the non-EU countries to the EU nations.

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This is the border.   There are flags of the two countries on this bridge over the river.   It wasn’t very windy, and the flags not really visible on the other photo I had.   This one you can see this brass plaque as well.

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DSCF0770 1024The other side of the bridge and past the post office depot is the very pleasant town of Schaan, which is the second largest town here.   Vaduz being the capital.

This country very closely resembles Switzerland from terrain and cultural perspective.  If you get the bus, there’s a place to put your skis.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches Museum – 8. Business in the UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch – 3. Clever Swiss made things – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich – 5. Zurich, the more liberal Switzerland – 6. Swiss dinosaurs

LIECHTENSTEIN 1. Plans – 2. Getting into this tiny nation – 3. Motorbikes, cars and kebab shops in Vaduz, Liechtenstein – 4. Small country topography – 5. Road up to the castle – 6. The Prince’s castle and vineyard – 7. bars, shops, Olympics – 8. Tiny country, big output – 9. Vaduz church – 10. Government buildings and museums

 

 

 

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Andorra – 3. Sant Julià de Lòria

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My first real place I set my sights on was St Julia de Loria.

This is the closest town to the border.

Look around 360 degrees and you realise this lovely town is neatly in between the Pyrenees mountains.   Because I was here the last week of September, its neither summer or winter and no snow to be found, nor tourists seeking the slopes, hence I found myself surrounded only by locals.   You can see the tourist information office and Andorra’s own local banks.

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I found myself stuck in a party atmosphere, local families were out and about with a medieval festival.  This looks like an enlarged school or church fete, and everyone is dressed up and having fun.   There is locally produced food, kids jousting event and other games.

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This a stand with “Churros” which are elongated doughnuts which are served with Spanish style Hot Chocolate which looks like the viscosity of engine oil.   I had this before at a cafe in Asturias in northern Spain just before a close friend’s wedding in 2010.

If the X doesn’t look very Spanish, you are right.   Andorra’s main language is Catalan, which is spoken also in Barcelona.   It looks close enough to look like Spanish and a bit of French, but X is pronounced “ch” sound.   In fact, Malta which uses its own Semitic language (ie: like Hebrew and Arabic) also uses X as ch, so does Greek.

Of course, Spanish is used as a close second, and French and Portuguese are spoken a lot.    Some sources say, only 35% of people in Andorra were born there, I can see why many people would make a move to this mini country.

I got off here by mistake.   The bus stopped and the 5/6 other people got off rather at the main bus station at the capital city Andorra le Ville.     So I took another bus a little later.  More soon.

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