A country that measures 12.4 km at its widest point and 24.8 km at its longest point, it's easy to skip when you're traveling about Europe.
We chose to make the detour on our drive back to Slovakia from Switzerland and spent about an hour in the capital city of Vaduz.
There was a beautiful cathedral, with beautiful stained glass windows.
There was a main street / square type thing that was largely constructed of these beige bricks. There were many tourist shops and we found a cute souvenir boutique that featured a local designer (her husband and mother were manning the shop when we stopped in). I don't know how many of you are looking for gifts for your friends and family from Liechtenstein, but definitely check them out.
I realized that I was in need of a bathroom and we asked a friendly lady in the information center where the closest (or only?) public toilet was. She directed us a little bit down the street where we encountered this conundrum:
Now, I realize that you can't actually see what our conundrum was, so let me explain it to you. There's a tiny white sign in the lower left of the picture which says WC and has an arrow directing you to the right. There is a tiny white sign on the lamp pole in the upper right of the picture which says WC and an area pointing you to the left.
One might think this would be a fairly simple equation and any person (Swiss-German speaking or not) could figure out the location of the toilet.
We looked at all the doors between those two signs, went upstairs and back downstairs, went around the corners of the building and finally located the WC. You can see the white doors in the picture below.
There was a fairly utilitarian stainless steel toilet, which had handy grab bars to help those who have a more difficult time maintaining a squat without touching the toilet while in a public restroom. So really, other than the difficulty finding the toilet, it was quite a nice toilet.
Later, on our way back to the car, we passed this public toilet, helpfully marked as a toilet much more obviously than the one we used and also with a pretty little designation of the country in which you are depositing your waste. ;)
One of my favorite things about Liechtenstein was that you can actually get a stamp in your passport. This is so unusual with the open borders in the EU, that I actually expected it to be some kind of touristy thing that they just stamped on a piece of paper for you (probably because it was advertised for 3 francs).
However, this tourist-friendly country just takes that stamp (and your 3 francs) and puts it right in your official passport. Such a different experience than when I flew into Athens and asked if I could obtain a passport stamp and was told by the customs official that "it's not a souvenir."
Well Athens, I think Liechtenstein begs to differ.