This being the start of my first full German summer it was time for a road trip to share experiences with the friends I had made over winter. During the three day weekend I was properly introduced to Switzerland and Liechtenstein with mountain hiking, valley camping, and historic city tours.
Day 1: Munich -> Lauterbrunnen
Day one we had a beautiful hike but what I remember most was grilling out at camp with friends. It was my turn for cooking and with such good setting and the company it was very easy. There is just something about sharing a meal with friends outside thats feels right. “Please pass the beans” means shuffling around in the grass and any trying not to disturb the hot coals. The look on someones face when the accidentally knock a brat off the grill onto the ground, priceless.
The campground we stayed at is located right in Lauterbrunnen and we found a nice spot next to a creek to cook and eat. A wife of a regular party member had joined for her first time camping and it was a treat to see the experience through her eyes. We had delicious meal there and as night came they shined a light from the village on to the cliff face above. The rock walls that shoot up into darkness are accompanied by a sparkling mist from the waterfall above was a great view, definitely a location I hope to visit again.
Day 2: Lauterbrunnen -> Lucerne -> Liechtenstein
It was just getting dark at campsite in Liechtenstein, where we were enjoying our second night of grilling out, when Jerry proposed a little idea. “How about a night stroll?”. Seemed like a jolly idea so we climbed in the car and headed for Balzers. Considering you can count the number of villages in Liechtenstein on one hand you think Balzers would be a hopping place, at this time it was very much asleep. There we had Gutenberg Castle all to ourselves and after a whisky toast on the top of the hill Jerry had the bright idea to continue the evenings adventures to a trail near by on the edge of town.
It’s dark, we are in a foreign country, there absolutely no other people out and about, and we don’t have headlamps enough for everyone, so of course we went. The start of the hike along the fields featured unique view of the slumbering village and Switzerland beyond and there was plenty of light until we ducked into the woods. There the scene was straight out of a horror movie as a group of young unsuspecting coeds wander through the woods after dark. Looking into the thick undergrowth eyes little beady eyes would catch the headlamp light. It was a surreal experience. Half way though, haven given my headlamp away, I was stumbling along as I climbed on castle walls ruins we located off trail. All and all after 7km we made it back to camp safe and I learned a valuable lesson, Jerry’s night strolls are no joke.
Day 3: Liechtenstein -> Lindau
Hike: Bergdorf Malbun – Augstenberg Loop from Triesenberg
Historic City Tour: Lindau, Germany
On the third day as we were winding through the alps towards the day’s hike the traffic we were in suddenly stopped. A large herd of cows had merged onto the road, not simply crossing but like us headed up the tight road. Behind the animals, in a jog, was a legion of farm hands using sticks to maneuver the cows up the road. One young boy in overalls stood out as he ran ahead of the herd defending parked cars and traffic stopped as they were enveloped by the herd.
After a while the herd and trailing line of vehicles entered an alpine tunnel as one does when driving in the alps. It was at this point I started to jog along our vehicle to get a better view. Dogging cow dung as I experienced a special mixture of methane, car exhaust, and morning fog filling the tunnel. Soon cows were fading in and out of the haze, a sight to behold.