Thursday, July 16, 2009

Liechtenstein- Day 3-4

Wednesday rained all day until 3pm, which meant a delayed ride until then. We rode along the Rhine river on this nice path that forbids cars. The path is full of runners, walkers, road and mountain bikers, and rollerskaters. Rollerskating seems to be pretty popular here. We rode into Austria a little bit before turning around and heading back. Shannon and I had some 10-minute rotating intervals to get ready for the 60K team time trial this weekend. It felt good to move the legs like that after the massage the day before.

In the evening, we took this tiny cable car up to the top of this 1800 meter mountain to a restaurant. There are no roads to the restaurant, just a hiking path to the top. Shannon just about had a panic attack on the way up. It was pretty high, but I think the worst of my fear of heights has passed- it didn't bother me too much. The weather was pretty cloudy so the view was pretty eerie. Unfortunately, because of the clouds we couldn't see Lake Constance. Oh well. The restaurant is famous for its Rösti which are Swiss potato pancakes. They were amazing, similar to hash browns but better. Phillip and Stephanie are hilarious and I've really enjoyed getting to spend the week with them. I'm thankful they offered to host us this week.

The moutain-top restaurant

Geez that's high. Hellooooo valley!

These prevent avalanches. Sweet!

Shannon's giant bier. It equaled about two normal ones.

Rösti with Piggy

In the clouds, Shannon and I

When we got back, we started to watch this awesome movie in Deutsch with English subtitles called Die Schweizer Macher. It was about people wanting to become naturalized in Switzerland, but first they had to get approval from the naturalization office. The office took the job seriously and would stalk these people because they said that you couldn't become a naturalized Swiss until you were indistinguishable from a born Swiss citizen. It was hilarious.

Thursday Stephanie, Shannon, and I went riding in the morning with Stephanie's MTB friend Alexa. We all had sprints which worked out nicely for riding together. We rode the other direction on the Rhine to Switzerland and towards the town where Heidi is fabled to have lived. It was another good ride.

In the afternoon, Shannon and I walked to downtown Vaduz (a whole 10-minute walk from the flat) to go to the Liechtenstein museum. I can't find the name of the German artist they were featuring, but his work was quite creepy. The theme of his work was death and the brevity of human life. All the rooms were dark with either candles or dull, old-fashioned light bulbs to light them. One of the rooms featured black and white pictures of old classmates that he didn't remember therefore he said they are "dead" and he put a light bulb under each one. It was just bizarre. Another room had discarded clothing from people that are now dead. Another had three French T.V. shows playing on super fast forward projected on 3 of 4 walls in a small room. It was squeaking with the words being said so fast. You could stop the shows by pressing a stop button but it would resume again. It was supposed to show how no matter what, life keeps moving, eventually resulting in death. I'm just thinking he is a depressed dude. If you spend your whole life contemplating death, before you know it, it'll be your turn and you won't have made anything of your life. Wasteful I think.

Creepy art

After the creepy museum, Shannon and I walked through downtown looking through a couple shops and finding some postcards to send home. We stopped by Coop for some Biberli and some rehydration before heading to the Catholic Church. It was surprisingly small, but I guess it fit the small size of the country. The interior was strikingly beautiful with a dark grey interior with vibrant, jewel-like stained glass. Oh and there were gargoyles ;-) It was an enjoyable afternoon for me.

The rest of the day was pretty chill with reading and finishing a book, watching the tail-end of the Tour, a delicious fish dinner, and the chick flick Alfie.

The Prince's castle

Man painting the Parliament Building

The bell tower of the church

The stained-glass inside the church

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