Once again it was about eleven p.m. when we finally found a town that had a few lights on. Trying to differentiate between eateries and inns, we rounded a bend and Keith was sure he’d spotted a hotel, although we quickly realized it was a restaurant. Between the curve and looking at his GPS, suddenly we were riding along the edge of the sidewalk. Just as suddenly we were pulled over by der Polizei.
I thought it might be nice to have a photo to insert here of the handsome young man in
his dashing uniform, but thought better of it. He wanted to know if Keith had been drinking, to which he responded in the affirmative: one beer over five hours ago. The policeman asked for the car registration, our passports, and Keith’s international driver’s license, which was nowhere to be found. He asked Keith to get out of the car. Glancing at the day-long effects of travel (long hair askew, clothes rumpled—not that I looked any better), I wondered if we were going to have different accommodations for the night. Keith was asked why we were traveling, and when he mentioned the Christian aspect of the trip, there was a change in the whole tenor of the interaction.
Released and restarting our search, I saw a Bavarian-looking gasthous and exited the car to get the scoop. The tariff was 130 Euro, or 150 with breakfast, the equivalent of 150 or 210 dollars respectively, about twice what we’d been paying. Keith suggested we look around a bit more, and we discovered an industrial-looking place that charged 120. Exhausted, we agreed, and lugged our bags up the stairs. Upon inspection of the room, we thought we’d wandered into a cell in Folsom.
We lugged our bags downstairs. Mercifully we found Brasserie Terrasse, where a woman was just closing up shop for the night, but agreed to give us a room. It was clean and quiet and looked even better the next morning than it had at midnight.
After the breakfast provided by our hosts, we hopped in the car and aimed toward the principality of Liechtenstein, a constitutional monarchy and doubly landlocked country bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. About 62 square miles in area, it has a population of approximately 35,000.
Schaan is its biggest town, and it’s there we located a hotel and spa with an excellent restaurant. The outdoor seating offered a panoramic view of the Rhine Valley and the peaks of the Swiss and Liechtenstein Alps. (Hotel Schaanerhof AG, Montinari Enzo, In der Ballota 3 FL-9494 Schaan. Tel 00423-232-18 77 www.schaanerhof.li; email@example.com)
Since it was in season, we ordered asparagus soup and asparagus salad, its stalks wrapped in bacon, with a gratinee of parmesan cheese, which we enjoyed with a local wine and beer. But we reserved our after-lunch coffee for what we heard was the very best available.
Peter Demmel’s establishment is at Landstrasse 85 FL-9494 Schaan, Tel +423 232 12 09. Since we roasted coffee at our bistro in Nevada a few years ago, we are always interested in discussing beans with a connoisseur. We talked about the area (interestingly, though he has a business in Liechtenstein, since he is not a native, he cannot live within its borders) and bought bags of coffee to take home. You can do the same at his website. (www.demmel.li; firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Peter made me—bar none—the most delicious cappucino I’ve ever tasted.
- Need I say the most beautiful?
Next stop, Austria!