Yesterday morning at the gym Selena Gomez’s song “Back To You” came on, and I instantly felt all warm and fuzzy inside because I was emotionally transplanted back in time to driving around Liechtenstein.
The last time I heard that song was last Thursday early afternoon right as we crossed the border from Austria into Liechtenstein. The windows were down, the weather was perfection, the scenery was unreal, and this upbeat American song was on in the background. I found myself soaking it all in and taking mental snapshots of everything I was seeing for the first time.
I can barely pronounce Liechtenstein (lick-ten-stine?), but I know that this tiny country is one I’m really, really glad we put on our travel agenda.
Once we decided a couple of months ago to travel to Switzerland after leaving my sister’s house, Jamie looked at a map and realized that we could easily take the driving route that would swing us down through Liechtenstein on our way from Ansbach, Germany to Gersau, Switzerland. I knew nothing about Liechtenstein, but Jamie was intrigued by it and wanted to scope it out. All I knew was that it’s one of the smallest countries in the world.
I did a good chunk of our trip planning, but I left this particular day up to him. He did some research about a month ago and said he’d found us a lunch spot to head to first. I didn’t ask any questions because I really didn’t have any expectations.
I had no clue that Liechtenstein sits at the base and in the side of a mountain, and our lunch spot was at the very tip top. Our drive up was exhilarating and utterly terrifying; I wanted so badly to take in the sites but that ledge was awful close and steep.
But when we pulled into the lunch spot, Restaurant Kainer, I actually leapt up and down a few times as I got out of the car. You can see our car in the picture above (the black Jeep). I could not believe my eyes. So beautiful. Jamie did so good.
We ate on that little outdoor patio area, and I was just so happy I couldn’t stand.
Like most people’s vacation photos, these images simply do not do Liechtenstein justice. I don’t know how to describe sitting atop that mountain other than breathtaking. We just kept smiling at each other like WE ARE IN LIECHTENSTEIN EATING ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN. WITH OUR KIDS. SIPPING WINE AND EATING FANCY FOREIGN FOODS.
What a time to be alive.
Our waitress spoke decent English (so impressive) and made our experience at Restaurant Kainer a really great one. It was an upscale restaurant that was wonderfully accommodating for the girls, which was really appreciated.
Big kisses for my big girl. Mama was in her happy place!
After we made our trek down the mountain (which was much easier going down than up!), we drove around to find the Prince’s castle that we’d spotted on the way in.
There was an area nearby to park, so we climbed out and headed toward the castle.
Turns out that this is a very active castle and the actual residence for the Prince and his family, so using it as a photo op was all the allotted parking was intended for. Ha!
We asked a nice young man to take our picture in the photo op area, but he missed getting the castle in the background entirely. Language barriers are hard! 🙂 Alas, you can still see what a truly beautiful day it was.
After we saw the castle, we spent an hour or so driving around downtown, debating whether we should park and walk around or continue on our way to Switzerland. It was around 2 p.m. at this point, and because we had two exhausted babes in the back seat, we decided that sight-seeing from the car was enough and made our way to Switzerland.
Downtown was so beautiful, trendy, clean, and full of shops, eateries, and people. Lots and lots of people, which was interesting considering Liechtenstein is home to only 37,000. It’s a very wealthy country that thrives on the banking industry, and we saw many, many business people dressed to the nines walking in and out of fancy buildings. I caught myself wondering how their lives must be so different and yet similar to ours. We’re all human, but I wonder where our similarities stop and our differences begin based purely on living in such different cultures.
Anyway, I’d highly recommend penciling in a detour through Liechtenstein if you ever do a European vacation through the Austria/Germany/Switzerland region. Head up to the top to the Triesenburg area, and you’ll just die when you look around. I remember just standing on the street near the restaurant, looking up and down the street and just gawking over it. What a storybook country. I’ve never seen any place in the U.S. that resembled what life looks like at the top of that mountain. You gotta go!
Have you been to Liechtenstein?! What did you think? What did you do?
Where is at the top of your travel bucket list?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo