As part of my outdoor adventures, I decided to go hike the Alps in Liechtenstein over Memorial Weekend. Liechtenstein is a tiny country between Austria and Switzerland, and a short drive away from Stuttgart. The 48 km Panorama Trail sounded like a perfect route I could break into three days of hiking, ending each night in Vaduz, the small capital city of Liechtenstein.
A friend and co-worker asked to tag along, and while as you know, I’m not a fan of traveling with others, I went along with it. I think it turned out to be a good thing he went.
I woke-up to a cool, overcast day. I joined Don for breakfast where we discussed our hiking route for the day. He wanted to stay local. That wasn’t what I’d planned, but because it threatened to rain, I went along with it. We left the hotel and headed into the town center. The town center is small, but also quite interesting because there are pieces of art everywhere.
We found the route we were looking for and started hiking up the mountain. We hiked for almost two hours…and eventually found ourselves in thick fog and snow. The snow was unexpected. The majority of the hike back down was on the road, which sucked. Hiking on pavement is hard on the body.
I was starving by the time we made it back to town. We stopped at a pizzeria for some pizza before making our way back to the hotel. We were done hiking for the day.
On the second day, I wanted to make sure we got back to the original plan and headed up to find the Panorama Trail, aka route 66. We drove to Malbun, where the start of the trail is located but when we arrived, my heart sank. Things weren’t looking good…there was snow everywhere on the ground, and the lift to the start of the trail was closed. Everything I’d read about trail said it was opened from May – September.
Additionally, it was actually proving hard to find signs leading to the trail. Luckily, as we were leaving, I finally saw a sign and decided to pursue it. We got out of the car and started hiking. The hike brought us up towards the top of the lift, and eventually along to a trail that was hard to make out…since it was covered in snow. We followed the thin, snowy trail for awhile, the snow was up to our shins until we got to a clearing with a sign for Route 66 pointing down where we can from, and farther up. The visibility was crappy, but I wanted to keep going. A few steps later, the snow was up to our knees, and Don recommended it was best to turn around.
I didn’t want to, but I knew it would be dangerous to keep going. I was really bummed out.
We made our way back down, it was lunch time. We grabbed some lunch in a small bakery in the town of Malbun before driving back to Vaduz.
We made the best of the afternoon by visiting the National Museum, which was actually quite interesting, with well organized exhibitions. I was impressed of the quality of the museums, considering the size of the town. It covered the history of Liechtenstein, along with many other basic historical events.
After the museum, we went to the Tamina Therme in Switzerland. The sauna and thermal pools were much needed to help loosen up my tight muscles. It was not at all a good idea to do a leg workout the day before a three day hiking trip.
I slept quite well that night.
Don left after breakfast. I hung out in my room for a couple of hours before going out for my final day of hiking. I was really hoping the sun would finally come out…it didn’t. I drove to Steg, where I knew another leg of the Panorama trail passed through. Once there, I followed the sign for route 66, until the trail started leading back down a mountain. I didn’t want to go down, so I followed the signs for another trail that was going up. I was pretty determined to make it to the peak of a mountain. It got a little tricky but I did in the end, make it to a peak!
I came back down, with plenty of energy left in me, so I started tackling another mountain. I hiked up for a solid hour, until I got into snow again. A part of me wanted to keep going, but I knew it was once again best to turn around. I came across a small hiking hunt, which was pretty neat.
Back down I went. I got back to the hotel, showered, and had time for nap before going out to dinner. After dinner, I took a little more time checking out the art in the town center and then headed over to the wooded bridge that wasn’t far from the hotel and crossed on over to Switzerland.
The trip didn’t turn out the way I’d imagined it, I really wish the weather would have better cooperated because I know there were incredible views to be seen, but in the end, I enjoyed the hiking. I recommend going there to hike, just wait later into the summer!