Monday, August 18, 2014

Alps - July 19 & 20 - Liechtenstein & Neuschwanstein, Germany

Today we left Switzerland (*sob*) for Vaduz, Liechtenstein.  Liechtenstein is the smallest yet the richest country in the world and the only country to lie entirely in the Alps. It is known as a principality as it is a constitutional monarchy headed by a prince.  Many cultivated fields and small farms characterize its landscape both in the south and in the north . The country has a strong financial sector located in the capital, Vaduz, and has been identified as a tax haven. It is a member of the European Free Trade Association and part of the European Economic Area and the Schengen Area, but not of the European Union.

                       ok, there's your geography/demographic/history lesson... now here are the pictures...

                                   This is the castle in Liechtenstein which is owned by the Dukes of Urach

This is a little model of the castle 

Street scenes in Vaduz

Parliament Building

A Parliament 'mock' meeting with our group

Typical Liechtenstein fare for lunch

After lunch we boarded this little tram/train for a tour of the neighborhood and local vineyards


Leaving Liechtenstein we head back to Germany where our last day will be a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle


Neuschwanstein is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest BavariaGermany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.

If you don't recognize it by name, it is the 'fairy tale castle' that inspired the Cinderella Castles of Disneyland and Disneyworld.  I don't take credit for this photo, but it's gorgeous!  Ludwig never lived in this castle but I certainly would!!!

transportation up to the entrance

Some of the inside rooms ... ornate would be an understatement

This is Hohenschwangau which Kind Ludwig II also built - it is in the village of Schwangau (where we boarded the horse and carriage)

Scenes around the village of Schwangau

Our last glimpse of the castle ... as we were leaving it began pouring rain. 

Or, maybe those were my tears since our trip is now over.  Tonight we had our farewell dinner together and said all our goodbyes.

I hope you've enjoyed travelling with us ... it has been fun putting this together to share with you.


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