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Reading teen romances in Liechtenstein

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The book: Kelly Blake, Teen Model #4 by Yvonne Greene

The place: Vaduz Tourist Train, Liechtenstein

There are many, many reasons why my friend Clare is an excellent holiday companion, but not least of them is her habit of bringing loads and loads of books harvested from charity shops on holiday with her, which I can then steal and read before they are discarded. I confess that Kelly Blake, Teen Model was only one of multiple books of the same ilk that were read and discarded en route – some Sweet Dreams teen romance novel, a Lurlene McDaniel book (never read one of those before, but apparently she’s famous for dying-teen misery-porn), and another teen model book, seemingly sponsored by Ford Models. As an avid reader of Sweet Valley high when I was around 12 or 13, I would have loved to have known about these books at the time.


I am quite dismissive about Checkbox Travel, and have ranted about the Travelers’ Century Club on multiple occasions (they count layovers! And for years they counted Tasmania as sufficiently separate from the rest of Australia to count separately, but not South Sudan vis-à-vis Sudan! Etc.!) but I admit that there was an element of that in play when Clare and I decided to visit Liechtenstein. We had relatively little time available for a trip, and wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been before, but relatively close to home, which more or less narrowed it down to a European microstate (sorry Andorra, better luck next time!). My expectations for Liechtenstein were therefore not so much low as non-existent. However: Liechtenstein turned out to be amazing, primarily for two reasons:

  • The Liechtenstein Adventure Pass, which gives you free entrance into all sorts of places you wouldn’t necessarily have thought to go to, but when they are all magically free (but for the price of the pass) they become a lot more appealing (winetasting at 9am? Why not? Walser Museum in Triesenberg? Don’t mind if I do!). Plus, free bus travel! Plus plus, the right to a souvenir passport stamp, which I probably shouldn’t have used as my passport is full enough already, but I could not resist.
  • Our amazing airbnb hosts, Bettina and Christian, in Eschen, a village to the north of the country (about as far away from the capital Vaduz as from one side of Glasgow to the other) – who could not have been more welcoming and helpful and willing to ply us with fondue and CHOCOLATE fondue and various boozes and talk to us about Liechtenstein and Scottish independence until the small hours of the morning. Love them.


This was the view from Bettina and Christian’s back garden, where we had breakfast every morning, and drinks every evening. The small item on the lawn is lawnmowing Roomba, and thus basically the best thing in the world.


Fondue. It’s not just for 1970s swinger parties, you know.

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We flew in and out of Basel, which boasts an airport that manages to be in three countries simultaneously, and ferries that cross the Rhine powered by nothing more than the river’s natural current.

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Basel also boasts a paper museum, housed in an old mill by the Rhine., where one can actually MAKE PAPER and do typesetting and various other things. (Another advantage of going on holiday with Clare is her encyclopaedic knowledge of the world’s museums, and her insistence on going to them, which I would very rarely do off my own bat, but which I almost always end up enjoying enormously.)

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Vaduz has a very good line in public art, clustered around its contemporary art museum. The thing on my right was my favourite:  two steel plates with a square cut in them, between them a constantly arcing jet of water, under which one can stand. I found this utterly delightful.

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Vaduz also has a good line in vineyards within city limits, through which one can walk. More cities should have this sort of thing.

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And views. Lots of views. (Enhanced by the fact that from certain points you can see pretty much the entire country at once.)

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The National Museum has exhibits related to local culture (the top picture shows the wooden markers that Liechtensteiner cows wear on their heads) and religious artefacts (middle picture is a huge Lent-related tapestry) and, inexplicably, tartan-covered stags’ heads lining the stairwell.


View from the train on our way back to Basel. Very Chalet School.


Written by Jess

May 25, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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