Margerm Europe 2009 travel blog

Japanes olympic team jumping...

still jumping...

and still jumping...

skiers ascending in ski chairs (note picturesque Swiss sheep in background)

overview of Einsiedein and lake

Einsiedein Abbey

Swiss treat for the sweet.

Einsiedein Abbey (first built about 950 AD)

Royal castle/home on steep hill

downtown Liechtenstein with Swiss national

yet another church and museum no doubt

view of Liechtenstein from castle

Another royal castle


drenched peasants

Clouds and rain today. (only second day of rain in 33 days!) We were planning to go hiking up in the Alps, but the weather talked us out of the idea. Instead, the Muff's took us to Einsiedeln (I cannot even pronounce this place, let alone spell it), south of Zurich. We happened across a large Swiss ski jumping tower at Einsiedeln where, interestingly, the Japanese Olympic ski team was practicing for Vancouver next February! Sometimes you just never can tell what you are going to find? The facility has dry-land training capability which makes the summer practicing possible. We walked up to the base of the jumping tower and got a great view of the valley. We drove into downtown Einsiedeln to visit a huge Benedictine monastery (Abbey) where there is a rare and special "Black Madonna" statue. I could go into more elaborate details of misinformation, but if you are still vaguely interested in another European "church" info commercial -unfortunately for you Tanya is not writing this - please visit for all the enlightening and gory details. It seems to involve hermits, pilgrimages, treasures, robbers, killing and lots of othreferencesic refernces that would make a good start to a Lord of the Rings book. Anyways, I once again digress, the rain poured, we took shelter for a coffee, drove over another Swiss mountain, waited in another highway traffic jam and landed in Liechtenstein. A small country of about 35 000 people and an industry basically consisting of financial institutions and banks. Despite the rain we walked through Vaduz, the capital, visiting shops and the castle that is home to Liechtenstein Royalty. Of course, you had to walk up a steep hill to get to the castle (Why is that you have to always walk up steep hills to castles? What is wrong with having a castle down on a riverbed for a change?) I decided to skip this hike as Felix volunteered a "no problem" (once again with Swiss accent) and trooped up the hill with Swiss military efficiency and Tanya and Chaelle racing behind. I wisely chose to avoid the thighs-of-steel workout as it unnecessarily burns up Toblerone chocolate calories that I have been working so hard to acquire - and stayed down to purchase our token post cards and study more Swiss Army knife pamphlets (always a worthwhile leisure activity). We raced home to more Swiss beer, wine, schnapps and a fondue- go figure it was all delicious. dm

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