We woke up very early and had a nice breakfast overlooking the Liechtenstein Alps and then drove up to Vaduz Castle. The castle overlooks the entire country basically and was a nice, relatively tame castle for this part of the world after what we saw yesterday with Neuschwanstein Castle. We then continued up the mountain to the other town in Liechtenstein called Malbun. The town has a population of about 100 people but is special for two reasons: it is incredibly high in the mountains; and it is Liechtensteins only ski resort. Additionally, it goes without saying that the views are breathtaking and the town is gorgeous. After a quick stop off for photos and watching the skiers for a bit, we jumped back in the car and headed to Switzerland-which is just across the Rhine River.
This was my fourth time in Switzerland and each time I love the country more and more. This was my first time stopping in towns in the eastern part of the country and our first stop was Davos. Davos is a great little place and plays host each year to the richest and most powerful people on Earth at the World Economic Summit. This is basically a high class cocktail party for the ultra rich and powerful to rub shoulders, get wasted and ski. That’s pretty easy to tell by looking at the town and its many swanky hotels and cool little bars. The setting of the town is below some massive mountains. I am not really a skier but I am sure the skiing must be phenomenal. We didn’t spend too much time in Davos except to drive through and check out what it had to offer because we were hungry and were itching to get to St. Moritz.
Just like rolled jeans and big sunglasses, ski resorts are always going into and out of style but the one place that has always remained constant on the rich and famous winter circuit has been St. Moritz. The original ritzy Swiss ski resort, St. Moritz played host to both the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics and to this day continues to host the world with its perfect alpine lake and setting among beautiful and aloof mountains.
We arrived after about an hour or so drive from Davos through some of the most amazingly unbelievable scenery you will ever see. The passes through the Alps along this road are to die for. Truly amazing. It is what I picture some passes in the Himalayas to be like (I will have to wait until this summer to find that out though). It was so much fun to drive through the mountains and after the pass you are rewarded with seeing St. Moritz and all its classic beauty. We had lunch and walked around admiring the rich Europeans dressed very strangely. One woman in particular was wearing skin tight fire engine red pants, with red boots, matching red shirt, red gloves and a red jacket with big black waist belt, bleached blonde hair and big black sunglasses. She was quite entertaining as she just stood on the corner on front of our restaurant while she fought with her husband or whatever he was to her! After a few hours in St. Moritz, we headed back into the car and headed east to Innsbruck, Austria.
Again, an amazing and stunning drive goes without saying in this part of the world and then we arrived in Innsbruck. Innsbruck is sandwiched between majestic snow capped mountains which dominates your periphery. It is a great little city and also played host to two Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. Now in the last three days, we were in cities that hosted 6 Olympic Games; Munich (72 Summer), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (36 Winter), St. Moritz (28 and 48 Winter) and of course Innsbruck. I thought that was pretty cool. The old town is an atmospheric and medieval kind of place which is perfect for strolling around and looking at shops and of course the food vendors offer the best in Austrian sausages.
We stayed in a place called Weisses Kreuz which was apparently built in 1485 and played host to Mozart at one time which in my book is pretty cool. This creaky place is a great place to stay in Innsbruck and a real bargain for one of the more expensive areas of Europe. Additionally, we had some beers at Elferhaus around the corner and then at Jimmy’s.
As I am trying to wake up right now and head to toward Salzburg, I am excited for another awesome day on a classic road trip through the Alps.