|Last night after I sent the journal I headed down to see if anyone was in the pool, not a soul. So I went and got my bathing suit on and headed down for a swim, sauna and steam bath before bed. (We’re staying at a Holiday Inn) So I get down there and a few minutes after me another guy gets there, fine. So we’re swimming laps and I notice two guys come out of the sauna/steam room area, buck naked but put there suits on when they came to the pool. So we all swam, after a while I got out to check out the sauna/steam rooms as all the guys were on deck at the pool. Well there would be no sauna or steam for me as there was a no bathing suit sign on the doors of the sauna and steam rooms. A few minutes after they saw me check it out and get back in the pool they all dropped trow and headed back in. I guess I should be happy at least they had to wear suits in the pool.
Well today was a busy day, we started out by heading to Liechtenstein to check out an old church from the 1400’s, I don’t think we found it but the one we did had a cemetery and that was good enough for me.
The one common thing I find with all these countries cemeteries is that each plot is maintained and immaculate regardless of how long ago the person died. We saw what looked to be contracted or town workers cleaning and planting flowers (yes their planting flowers in October) on plots that maybe the family had moved away as no plot is grown over or neglected. There were plenty of people coming and going, visiting loved ones graves either to have a moment or to pick some dead flowers off or plant some new ones. The plot size, number of people and marker type may vary but the care and condition never did. I know this sounds odd (as if you’re not use to it) but the cemeteries were one of the most interesting parts of this trip for me. Dave’s opinion may differ.
Anyway, we went to a castle ruin from the 1200’s, not a lot left but you got the drift. It also had a great view of the little town of Mauren. The valleys are vast and homes are scattered all throughout them along with sheep, cows and goats. It’s really very pretty.
Liechtenstein has a population of only 34,000, it oblong so it’s only about 5 miles wide and 15 miles long, it doesn’t take too long to see the majority of it. So after visiting a few towns we drove to Switzerland, we went to Appenzell, this is one of the places where they make chocolate. It was a quaint little town where many of the locals still wear the traditional outfits. The houses are different than Austria or Germany; they do look like something you’d see in Heidi. We drove up one of those Alpine roads (more like a paved trail) hoping not to meet anyone as most of the time there was nowhere to pull over. Needless to say we met a guy on a tractor and thank goodness we found a wider curve in the road so he could get by. We never got close to the old castle ruin we were headed for but we got a good view of the town below. Switzerland doesn’t have a lot of castles as apparently they didn’t use castles to defend themselves like the other countries they used landwehr or militia.
We then headed to St. Gallen and went to the St. Gallen Cathedral, once again inside, wow. It had been built in the 1400’s and it was beautiful inside the detail and extravagance was amazing. I took a few pictures of course as it was allowed, unlike those Italians! After that we walked around the town of Goldach then headed to a Lake Constance, which use to be the most polluted lake in the world but has since been rehabilitated. It flows into the Rhein River, you could see Germany on the other side. We strolled along the lake side for a while then decided to head back.
We took a different route back and totally missed going through poor little Liechtenstein and for the fourth time they never stopped us at the border. We’ve just popped in and out of countries without anyone batting an eye even though Europe is under a high alert due to Al Qaida threats.
Once back we checked into hour hotel and when for supper. We were too late to get to the internet cafe so this may be a day late.
Off to Munich tomorrow, it’s only a couple hours away so we’ll check out a few things before checking into a hotel near the airport.