Local Heart, Global Soul

January 25, 2015

The Bottle That Couldn’t Face It’s Unmasking And Bottled It…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At this stage of my archive posts, Family Kiwidutch are back at our accommodation  in  the Autenrieder Brauereigasthof hotel  located in Ichenhausen, and enjoying a slow “catch up morning”  where I rest up with every pillow in the family room under my foot to relieve my foot pain and Himself and the kids make good use of the hotel swimming pool.

They still want to go to Legoland again today but I will see if I end up going with them or not.

Himself had a drama by the car and is not in the best of moods, here is the tale of the sad saga: Himself likes very dark beers and nice wines (not together obviously) and loves nothing better than hunting down a locally made wine from each country we visit if that is at all possible.

Having spotted a little shop in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein that looked like it sold bottled goods, he made a speedy detour and after a conversation in German came back triumphant with what he thought was an actual Liechtenstein wine (even though vineyards were not anywhere in evidence).

Mind you, in a tiny country a vineyard would be correspondingly tiny so seeing rows of vines is neither here nor there.

The downside was that the bottle had cost him Euro 25,–  an amount he would not usually consider paying for a general run of the mill dinner wine that only he would be drinking. (My strong pain medications ruling out any alcohol consumption in the last four and a half years).

He was so delighted that he had discovered a real “Liechtenstein wine” that he bit the bullet and paid up… bringing the bottle back to the car with a huge smile on his face.

Once back at our hotel, getting our stuff out of the car he looked closer at the bottle and gave an annoyed mutter about his expensive purchase: even if the label really made it look like it was a Liechtenstein wine, the fine print right at the bottom actually revealed it to be Austrian, so clearly not the rare find he thought had scored.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

He was annoyed that the shopkeeper hadn’t pointed out that it wasn’t really  a Liechtenstein wine when he must have known (but Himself did admit that there is a small possibility this might  also have been the fault of cross-purpose communication his part).   That said, Himself’s German is more than passable and so personally I’m inclined to think that the seller in this case took advantage of a tourist customer in a hurry to get rid of a more expensive stock.

In a fit of pique and to save on carrying unnecessary luggage back and forth to our room, Himself left the offending full bottle of wine in the boot of the car where he tried hard to put it out of mind whilst he simmered down over it’s price tag.

He was in the back seat making space in our seven seater for the baggage a few days later, and with the boot open, and some of the extra seats folded down, pushed a large box of Lego over to fit in a suitcase, to be greeted by the sickening sound of breaking glass which then reminded him of where the Liechtenstein (a.k.a. Austrian) wine had been stashed.

He exited the car and went around to the rear where a red puddle of wine was on the concrete pavement along with a lot of broken glass. He managed to clear up the glass but of course the wine was well and truly lost and he came back to our room with a woeful tale of the accident and mutterings about Murphy’s Law that it had to be that expensive bottle that fell out of the boot of the car.

We (after he had simmered down) made jokes along the lines of “that wine knew it was less loved because it wasn’t a real Liechtenstein wine after all, so may have jumped rather than been pushed” or “maybe it knew that it’s taste wasn’t up to it’s Euro 25,– price tag so it did all it could not to have added insult to injury”.

It was a sore point for a while as he tried not to let the whole incident get him down but in the end he chalked it up to one of life’s experiences that you have to live and learn from.

The rest of the day went well, and I didn’t say a word when Himself opted for a beer instead of wine with that night’s dinner…

January 16, 2015

A Bridge Over Untroubled Waters Of Two Nations…

Filed under: LIECHTENSTEIN,PHOTOGRAPHY,SWITZERLAND,Vaduz — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Liechtenstein capital of Vaduz sits just a stone’s throw from the Rhine river.

The Rhine is a demarcation of the Liechtenstein and Swiss border, with half of the river belonging to each country.

Further on the north side where we first entered Liechtenstein, we crossed a road bridge, but here close to Vaduz stands another bridge that clearly has some history.

I found a few websites that have me some information (links included at end of this post). Since one of the sites is in German, I’ve combined some snippets of information from both here, in italics.

“The “Alte Rheinbrücke”, (The Old Rhine Bridge of Vaduz-Sevelen) was built in the years 1870-1871 and is a covered wooden bridge linking the municipalities of Vaduz , the capital of Liechtenstein and Sevelen in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Measuring 135 metres in length, it was completed in 1901 and is today the only remaining wooden bridge spanning the alpine Rhine. Until the 19th century dams on the Rhine were not regulated in the border area between Liechtenstein and Switzerland, (with a few exceptions) and therefore could flow as free as possible.

The passenger and cargo transport, therefore, was carried out by Rhine ferries that were maintained between Liechtenstein and Switzerland in the early 19th century. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another wooden bridge was, erected at the same spot 30 years earlier.

 Due to the increase  of water from the Rhine dams, the bridge had to be raised in the years 1874/1875 and 1886 .

Poor structural condition finally made a new building necessary due to damage caused by the two raisings meant that in the years 1900/1901 the bridge was finally rebuilt on the piers of the previous bridge.

 Between then and 1975 the bridge served both motorized and no-motorized traffic (up to a payload of 3.5 tons)  but in 1927 a flood from a dam breakage in Schaan damaged the bridge which was then repaired and raised once again.

 In 1975  a new concrete bridge was created over the Rhine about two hundred meters south to accommodate modern motorized traffic, so the Old Rhine Bridge now services only non-motorized traffic making it particularly popular with cyclists. The last major renovation took place in 2009/2010. “

Just to illustrate the statement that the bridge was popular with cyclists, one cyclist conviently crossed from the Swiss side of the bridge to the Liechtenstein side… one of the easiest border crossings in the world! (In the photograph below we see the 1975 road bridge).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Alte Rheinbrücke Vaduz–Sevelen  (Text in German language)

Old bridge over the Rhine in Vaduz

January 15, 2015

A Very Princely Castle…

Filed under: LIECHTENSTEIN,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vaduz — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the most famous buildings in Liechtenstein  is “Schloss Vaduz”  (Vaduz Castle) which is the palace and official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein.

Wikipedia tells me that the town of Vaduz was named after the castle and not the castle after the town and that:

” The earliest mention of the castle can be found in the deed of Count Rudolf von Werdenberg-Sargans for a sale to Ulrich von Matsch.

The erstwhile owners – presumably also the builders – were the Counts of Werdenberg-Sargans.

The Bergfried (keep, 12th century) and parts of the eastern side are the oldest. The tower stands on a piece of ground some 12 x 13 metres (39 x 42.5 feet) and has a wall thickness on the ground floor of up to 4 m. (13 feet).

The original entrance lay at the courtyard side at a height of 11 metres. (36 feet). The chapel of St. Anna was presumably built in the Middle Ages as well.  The Princely Family of Liechtenstein acquired Vaduz Castle in 1712 when it purchased the countship of Vaduz.

The castle underwent a major restoration between 1905 and 1920, then again in the early 1920s during the reign of Prince Johann II, and was expanded during the early 1930s by Prince Franz Joseph II. Since 1938, the castle has been the primary residence of Liechtenstein’s Princely Family. The castle is not open to the public as the princely family still lives in the castle.

The building can be seen from many points around the town of Vaduz, so I tried to take photographs from as many vantage points as I can.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Vaduz_Castle

January 14, 2015

Hunting Down Lunch And Taking The Scenic Route (Yes, Lost Again)…

Filed under: LIECHTENSTEIN,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vaduz — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch are visiting the tiny principality of Liechtenstein and are at this moment in the capital city of Vaduz.

We want to find somewhere for lunch, which proves slightly harder than we first thought.

There are restaurants, but some are still closed at midday and others in the immediate vicinity only offer haute cuisine, and not things like then humble toasted sandwich that our fussy Little Mr prefers.

The other down sides of going to a restaurant is that a sit down meal will take considerably longer than a café one and we also want something light, not a larger cooked lunch.

Since I’m still on crutches we don’t want the inconvenience of walking the length of the main street (beyond my capabilities at this point) so we concentrate our efforts close to where our car is parked.

There are many men in suits who pass us by in a hurry, clearly too busy to be wanting to be stopped for information by passing tourists, but we spot a man cleaning the street and Himself approaches him with a friendly wave and after a chat comes back with directions down a little side street close by where we find a take-a-way.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are many men in suits who pass us by in a hurry, clearly too busy to be wanting to be stopped for information by passing tourists, but we spot a man cleaning the street and Himself approaches him with a friendly wave and after a chat comes back with directions down a little side street close by where we find a take-a-way.

The place is rather plain, a no-fills establishment on a street called Badwegli  which is off the main street: Aeulestrasse at approximately number 20.

The street dog-legs to fit in parking for roughly two dozen cars  and behind the parked cars stand a row of small modest shops.

I didn’t catch the name of the place but they had toasted sandwiches, which was a popular choice with us all. After lunch we walked back to the car and I availed myself the opportunity to take photographs along the way.

As usual I’m intrigued by the local manhole covers: these ones have carefully cut street stones inserted into them so that they don’t break up the pattern of street stones one the pavements. Now that’s what I call obsessive detail. I’m almost lost for words.

Back in the car we drove around a little, partly sightseeing and partly  because we couldn’t actually figure out which road to take to get us out of town. Let’s take a look at probably one of the smallest capital cities in the world…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Parliament buildings…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 13, 2015

A Building Dressed In Style And Stunningly Accessorised…

Filed under: LIECHTENSTEIN,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vaduz — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this addition of our archive travels, we have arrived in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein and are taking a look around the countries largest city. As Capitals go, it’s not very big, but since the population is small, that’s kind of logical.

We park the car in the centre of town and start to have a look around the immediate vicinity.

We chance upon some interesting buildings and one in particular catches my eye. Later, the lady in the philatelic bureau tells is that it’s called the “Government Building” and is the official seat of the Government.

I love the decorative aspects of the building, the main body of the building is basically fairly plain, but the accent details are rich in colour and beautifully worked, so the end result is a building that’s sophisticated, tasteful and stylish.

It was a tiny bit tricky to get photographs because the sun was rather inconveniently placed (mea culpa, we turned up the the wrong time of day) and I had to keep the lens in the shade of the building in order to get any image other than sun flare.

I love the detail of the paintwork…. drool….

Note:  This post was in the WordPress schedule but I came back and amended this post because the photo after the two ladies is supposed to load horizontally (instead of the vertical that the WP software insists on turning it into) just before publication and appear to have pressed the wrong button somewhere, apologies if you logged on early and found a load of gobbledy-gook or missing text and photographs .I think the text is fixed now but sorry the photo is still stuck the wrong way around. ( I thought I better quit whilst I was ahead) 🙂

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 12, 2015

The Car Sticker Country Codes: Not Always As Obvious As You Might Think…

Filed under: LIECHTENSTEIN,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You know you live in Europe when:

If we drive in a straight line 10 hours east, south or north (or any co-ordinates between) from our home in the Netherlands, we would find ourselves in any number of countries and have crossed a variety of borders.

Therefore, one of the things unique to Europe is that whenever you are travelling on the motorway you can be sure to spot a multitude of car stickers sporting country codes from all over Europe.

I’m trying to teach my children the NATO phonetic alphabet that I learned years ago: (A = Alpha, B= Bravo, C= Charlie, D= Delta, E= Echo, F= Foxtrot etc) because not only can they learn something that might be a useful life skill, but also because in the meantime I can invent games on long car journeys based on the car number plates that we see.

Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr are proficient in most of the “code words” that represent the letters, they need a little help on a few of them. It’s not just number plates that fascinate us,  the country codes as represented by the passing car stickers are also something that can be used to reduce the boredom of long car journeys.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For this reason the number plate code of Liechtenstein fascinates us.

We first assumed it would be “L”, but then remembered that that code has already been taken by Luxembourg, or “LS” assuming (“Liechten Stein“) but no, that’s already allocated to Lesotho.

Hmm, How about “LT”? Nope, taken by Lithuania, so maybe “LN”? (not taken by anyone as far as I know)… but no, Liechtenstein’s car number plate country code is , wait for it…. “FL” !

Hang on a minute, “FL” ?

Seriously? Well yes, because it’s short for the German words: “Fürstentum Liechtenstein”  (which translates into English as: Principality of Liechtenstein)

It’s the same reason that the abbreviation for Switzerland is “CH” , because Switzerland is officially called the “Swiss Confederation” (Latin= Confoederatio Helvetica).

The things you see whilst on the road, cars with number plates that at first don’t make sense and then a car in a shape we have never before (it looks like it’s following the design of  those hard plastic out-door peddle cars that toddlers drive). Time to zoom on?

 

January 11, 2015

Small Nation, Towering Peaks…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have arrived in one of the world’s smallest counties: Liechtenstein.

Wikipedia tells us that Liechtenstein is a: “doubly landlocked German-speaking alpine country and a micro-state in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east and north.

Its area is just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles), and it has an estimated population of 35,000. The capital is Vaduz.

Double land locked: this means you have to cross two borers to reach a coastline. There are only two such countries in the world: Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan in central Asia.

Some other interesting facts that I learned from Wiki were:

Obviously landlocked countries can’t rely on rivers or ports for strategic trade income so  “Liechtenstein makes it’s living by being  tax haven, (one of the few countries in the world with more registered companies than citizens) making it one of the richest countries in the world and providing it’s inhabitants with some of the world’s highest standards of living.

Liechtenstein is the sixth-smallest independent nation in the world by land area.Measured south to north the country is about 24 km (15 mi) long.

Liechtenstein follows a policy of neutrality and is one of the few countries in the world that maintains no military.
During the 1980s the Swiss army fired off shells during an exercise and mistakenly burned a patch of forest inside Liechtenstein. The incident was said to be resolved over a case of white wine.

On the country’s national holiday all subjects are invited to the castle of the head of state. A significant portion of the population attends the national celebration at the castle where speeches are made and complimentary beer is served. Hanni Wenzel won two gold medals and one silver medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics (she won bronze in 1976), and her brother Andreas won one silver medal in 1980 and one bronze medal in 1984 in the giant slalom event. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

With nine medals overall (all in alpine skiing), Liechtenstein has won more Olympic medals per capita than any other nation.
It is the smallest nation to win a medal in any Olympics, Winter or Summer, and the only nation to win a medal in the Winter Games but not in the Summer Games.

Liechtenstein is a large producer of ceramics and is the world’s largest producer of sausage casings and false teeth.

Other industries include electronics, textiles, precision instruments, metal manufacturing, power tools, anchor bolts, calculators, pharmaceuticals, and food products.’

We also know ourselves that the philatelic trade is relatively big here, stamp collectors world wide order first day covers and stamps from Liechtenstein since it’s such a small country and stamps from here are proportionally rare.

Partly because of this and also because I regularly send postcards to people, I took the opportunity to visit the philatelic /post office and get a few postcards to write up quickly whilst we have lunch and send before we leave.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Mountains, glorious mountains, surely every one loves them as much as I do?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In New Zealand it’s not unusual to keep sheep to keep the grass down, here they use cows… I love it !!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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This shot feeds my latest drawing fascination… trees…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liechtenstein

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