Day 2 of this adventure started pretty easy. I woke up early, gathered my stuff, and snuck out of my AirBnB room. I would have liked to say goodbye, but no one seemed to be up and I didnt want to wake them. Grabbed a danish and coffee at a nearby cafe and set Google Maps to look for Liechtenstein.
The only challenge with he drive through France was all the construction. It’s like they suddenly decided it is time to fix every stinking road in the whole country. Google tried to route me around some bad traffic jams. In one case, I could see that I had missed all the traffic only to discover that Google had missed the memo that the on ramp they took me to was closed—also under construction. Google had no interest in me finding another way and kept trying to turn me back to the closed ramp. I guess they figured that since I had paid the full insurance on the car, I could just crash the gates and get on the freeway where I wanted. I wasn’t so eager. The only option I could figure was to backtrack until I could find an earlier ramp, get on the freeway despite Google’s protests, and just wait it out. I could hear the people at Google telling each other, we told him so; didn’t we tell him so?
As we neared the German border, the little French villages gave way to large hills protected by stoic castles. I could have stopped and spent some time exploring, but figured I was going to have a hard time getting to Liechtenstein by the time we had agreed in any case. So, I trudged on.
Entering Switzerland was a little different than entering Luxembourg. I guess the Swiss view the French with more suspicion than the Luxembourgers do. (Luxembourgers? Is that a word?) It wasn’t a difficult border crossing, but the Swiss guard stopped me, checked my passport, and asked where I was going. When I said Liechtenstein, he repeated the name of the tiny country correcting my pronunciation. Seems I missed both the “ch” and the “st”. Go figure.
Basel sits right at the border. I decided to have a brief look. For some reason, the Spalen Gate had captured my attention when I was surfing the Internet, so I asked Google to get me to that. After lots of wrong turns and difficulties, I got within 1 minute of the gate and decided I’d have better luck walking. I parked the car, grabbed my camera and...what! I came up from the parking garaged into a hospital. Yikes. I found my way from there to the University of Basel and finally found a map giving me directions to the gate...just the other side of the university. I took a few pictures then wandered to the river. This looks like a city that could use some exploring. But, I walked across the bridge, grabbed a light lunch, and shot a few more pictures.
Back on the freeway, I was amazed at the beauty of Switzerland. I have only been to Zurich before, a nice enough city, but the mountains, lakes, and tunnels—I kept swerving out of my lane just trying to take it all in. I wish you had been with me so that one of us could have watched the landscape while the other drove.
I got to LIechtenstein earlier than I had planned and decided to find a place to get on the Internet and wait until I had agreed to meet Stephan. McDonald’s was the only place I could find. I did poke around a little, but my plan is to do some serious exploring tomorrow.
Stephan was great. He’s a clean fanatic, the place is remarkable. We chatted a little about the sites in Liechtenstein until I made an excuse to get to bed. Looking forward to a fun day in Liechtenstein tomorrow.