After visiting Malta, I flew north to Milan and splurged on a 13euro per day rental car to drive up to the only country I’d yet to visit in the EU and EEA combined (difference between the two: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and now… the United Kingdom).

I’d already done a little fancy pants happy dance in Malta, as it was the final country I had left to visit in the European Union. But there was still one more country, a small hard-to-reach land in the heart of the Alps. Switzerland and Austria protect the world’s sixth smallest country from harm, surrounding it with some of nature’s most scenic mountains and valleys.

 

Take a quick trip through Italy and Austria to Liechtenstein – Click to view!

 

In the spirit of my name, I navigated the solo journey north with a map in my lap. I’d decided to take the back roads leading through Italy and Austria. Twisty turny roads would far surpass straight stretches of highway. There was no GPS for this journey, and I quickly realized that despite now being an expert at foot- and public- transportation, I’m still very good at getting lost while driving on my own.

Despite having driven for 4 hours, the first night was spent just 50 miles from the airport where my journey began.

Yes, I’m that good at getting lost!

 

 

Take a quick trip through Italy and Austria to Liechtenstein – Click to view!

The next morning I woke up and put together a general route, deciding to stay two nights in Austria near the border of Liechtenstein rather than give up an arm and a leg to stay within the country’s borders. A series of small towns greeted me along the way, each showing off their elegant churches, verdant fields and jagged horizons. Midway between Milan and the Austrian border, signs began changing from Italian to German and facades began sporting the distinguishable wooden porches overflowing with geraniums and begonias of magenta, periwinkle and sinless white.

 

A Rainbow Appeared at the Mountainous Border Crossing Between Italy Switzerland and Austria - The Road to Liechtenstein - by Anika Mikkelson - Miss Maps - www.MissMaps.com
A Rainbow Appeared at the Mountainous Border Crossing Between Italy Switzerland and Austria – The Road to Liechtenstein – by Anika Mikkelson – Miss Maps – http://www.MissMaps.com

 

Downshifting up, drifting down, zigging left and zagging right.

The views were astonishing and the trip there far overshadowed the visit to Liechtenstein.

Once I arrived in the capital city Vaduz, I walked through its pedestrian streets nearly void of pedestrians, scurried through souvenir shops merrily selling souvenirs from Switzerland, snuck into a vineyard whose front gate had been left ajar and posed for a photograph as Queen of Liechtenstein.

 

Take a quick trip through Italy and Austria to Liechtenstein – Click to view!

 

Surprisingly, an hour was enough time to see and do all I’d wanted to see and do in the entire country. After doing my best to delay – walking slowly, stopping in a museum and picking up a few postcards – I decided the open road and ever-changing views surrounding the country were much more delightful than the country itself. I elbow elbow wrist wrist waved goodbye to little ol’ Liechtenstein and drove through the countryside toward Austria.

When traveling to Liechtenstein, it was far more about the journey than the destination.

Take a look, you’ll see!

 

Flowers Rivers and Mountains Galore - The Road to Liechtenstein - by Anika Mikkelson - Miss Maps - www.MissMaps.com
Flowers Rivers and Mountains Galore – The Road to Liechtenstein – by Anika Mikkelson – Miss Maps – http://www.MissMaps.com

 

This trip is not over yet! Check out the video I filmed (yes, driving solo) from Italy to Liechtenstein, through the land where The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Music. Take 2 1/2 minutes and check it out, you won’t regret it (and will be booking your trip there in no time, I guarantee!) Check it out here!

7 Comments

  1. great pictures. Reviews of the Alps that you guys are phenomenal. I especially loved your photo of the sunken Church and of course your princess picture! So I have 2 questions for you first of all is Liechtenstein that expensive that you didn’t want to stay there? You alluded to that when you said that you stand on a Border Town. The second question has to do with anything you have had with other friends. If you spend less than 5 hours in any country like on a cruise or on a layover does it really count that you’ve been to that country?

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    1. Hey Eric thanks for giving it a read and I’m happy to know you like the photos. That church sure was a surprise! As for the cost… yes I found that staying in Austria in a beautiful little mountain village cost between 25-30euro per night for my own room, wifi, parking and a great breakfast at a family-run Gasthof; whereas within Luxembourg single rooms begin at 70euro and increase rapidly from there. As a budget traveler, that would have been the most expensive room I’d stayed in … in all my travels! That didn’t make sense for me when the options were available. As for time, I absolutely believe in slow travel and getting to know the place. However, in this case, I devoted an entire week to traveling to and from Liechtenstein (if I was a millionaire options would have been endless- for me flying into Milan, driving to Liechtenstein and back, and busing from Milan cost substantially less $, though still enough!). It would have been silly to spend more time within the country as I felt it was so much more exciting to drive around it. Equally, in places like San Marino, Monaco and Transnistria, there is not much to occupy your time with that doesn’t require $$$ and often times in these situations it’s more about the journey than the destination! Finally (oo this is long!) layovers, no. Cruises, yes. For example I took a cruise last year and I’d definitely say I was at Ephesus even tho it was only for a few hours! To say I wasn’t there would be less of the truth! What are your thoughts?

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      1. whew..I got pooped reading that! Just kidding. Thanks for the response! That is a pretty drastic jump from 25Euros to 70 so I understand that. Plus I agree, if you are road tripping as long as you stop occasionally to see stuff then I think you had the better experience.
        I guess with the cruises thing, it may be different in the Caribbean because you just stop off at some random island off the coast of a country. I guess that island could be anywhere. Going to Roatan is cool don’t get me wrong but does that count as seeing Honduras? Not sure. However, spending 8 hours in Belize, I feel counts cause you actually can go into the mainland to participate in activities and see the rest beyond the port. I guess that is the Mediterranean experience you had.

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