The breakfast room was full of kids, no tourist just Austrian. This was a local affair where families were coming in the mountains to hike and spend time in nature. The guys from the reception were nice but they charged another E10 for another kid. Because we had Internet we decided to book a room for the next night. The day final destination was suppose to be the Rhein Falls, near Schaffhausen in Switzerland and again the best hotels were just across the border in Germany, 13 km away from the falls. We booked a hotel that will prove to be the best pick from the entire trip, Hotel Krone, right outside of Singen.
Unfortunately the forecast we saw the previous day in Chiesa proved to be correct and drops of rain started right after we left the hotel. We cross the border and realized that even the previous day we drove to Austrian through Lichtenstein. The principality ran with authoritarian power by its ruler welcomed us with drenching rain and we stopped in Scharr for bit at the church and continued to its capital Vaduz. Lichtenstein is major financial spot that confers it prosperity. A lot of private banking are located there, it has a university that we visited and it sells like any small place in the world… stamps for tourists to put the country on the map. Actually it may be cool to send a postcard stamped from Lichtenstein.
I drove up to the castle, that is closed for visitors being the residence of the princely family and I stopped for a while on the small pedestrian area that has the city’s stores and museums. Luckily the weather improved and we were able to walk a little bit more but is not too much to see. Just curio shops and …stamps!
The pouring rain started again and we drove to St Gallen, about one hour drive from Lichtenstein. The main attraction in St Gallen is a famous and old library located in the city’s monastery. St Gallen was a main center of learning and the library that had an impressive collection of old books and manuscripts was founded in the 16th century in the old tradition of European libraries. Judging by its size the monastery was very influential in those days.
After a false start we found the city center and the monastery. The pedestrian area is quite interesting with lots of old buildings, with painted facades and oriel bay windows. The windows were a show of status in the old days when the city was a powerful center. However the rain started and stopped continuously, sometimes a little sun coming out but just to be followed by more pouring rain.
After I moved the car closer to the monastery I went to visit the library. Its ceiling was decorated baroque and the woodwork was impressive. The manuscript were definite a treasure and it had also a replica of a mechanic globe from the 16th century, the original being in Zurich Museum. The globe was build as a replica, and it became a fascinating project for the now-a-days engineers and cartographers, and given to St Gallen in 2007 after a long debate between the two cities of who should be housing the original.
Outside the spells of rain continued and after a bit of a walk in the rain to the end of the pedestrian area I was completely drenched and decided to come back to the car, located in front of the Textile Museum, a craft for which St Gallen was known in the old days.
On the highway the rain never stopped and we could not stop thinking how lucky we were of good weather during this trip. Everybody told us that all they had in Switzerland was rain. For us all the rain we got till now were T storms in the afternoon when we were driving for our night destination sometimes with rainbows over us. But today we experimented the heavy and unceasing rain that cuts you all the enthusiasm to go anywhere.
Close to Schaffhausen we stopped at the Rhein Falls just to check it out but we already decided that we would visit it the following morning. We continued the drive and crossed into Germany and we turned left right before Singen and went to the beautiful and charming Hotel Krone in Rieliongas??????
The room we got proved to be one of the nicest we had in this trip, with old furniture and comfortable beds. We went out and ate in another beautiful place, Hotel Lowen. The German kitchen is very good and famously hearty and tasty. But, maybe coming from Switzerland, it strikes you that the portions are huge and bare bone inexpensive for such exquisite food. The candle dinner in a traditionally decorated restaurant hall was great but I am relieved that I cannot eat similar portions every night. Would be a disaster for the health! The kids had sandwiches from their schnitzels for the entire following day!!!
We returned at the hotel where we were able to get Internet connection and used it to make some calls in New York over Wi-Fi and latter we had a late beer in the restaurant in the very German atmosphere.