5 countries in one day………
After a nice cool rest by the Lake in Lindau, we set off on the driving portion of the trip. Prior to heading into Austria and Switzerland, we stopped to purchase the required Vignettes, toll passes, needed for each country. So off we go, hitting roundabout after roundabout.
**Apparently the Europeans do not like stop signs as they are disruptive to traffic, so they have roundabouts. I’ve been to Europe more times then I can count and I’ve never noticed them before. Now? I saw them on the plane during our approach to Frankfurt.**
The beauty of the Schengen Agreement, allows you to pass thru the different countries without border controls. So we breezed out of Germany into Austria and onto Liechtenstein, without even realizing it.
First stop, Vaduz Liechtenstein. Vaduz is the capital of this small land locked country. I must admit the reason for the stop was so I could get my passport stamp to showed I had been there. The city center is very compact and after a few stops to pick up some postcards, it was time to move on. And no, I did not get my passport stamped. Liechtenstein uses the Swiss Franc for their currency and I had spent all of mine on postcards and postage stamps.
About 5 minutes later, we were in Switzerland. A road trip would not be a true road trip without a stop for some munchies. A little embarrassed to admit, but yes we stopped at McDonald’s. Best darn French Fries I’ve had in a while. We took the scenic route along Lake Zurich. It was picturesque. Sorry I was driving so no photos to share.
The original plan had been to stop in Basel, but it was crowded and the streets were confusing with the trams, so we continued on to France.
Now in France, you have to be careful driving because they have speed cameras. But oddly enough the GPS will warn you when you are entering an area with the cameras. Also the roads were not nearly as pretty as Switzerland or as nice as Germany.
We stopped in Colmar, which is located along the Route Du Vin in the Alsace region in France. For years the German and French had fought over the region, so while it’s technically France, it has a very strong German feel.
The town is amazing. Almost like out of Disney story. We had a nice lunch and walked around.
When we had arrived in town, there was plenty of open parking spots. It appeared you just paid at the meter and put the slip on the car, or so we thought. We paid for 2 hours and upon our return, I noticed a large suv parking near my car. It was odd because you don’t tend to see large cars like that in Europe. The driver sees us approach signals to me as to say is that your car, I nodded and went about getting in my car. So we start to fiddle with the GPS, and I hear honking. I noticed the other car had pulled out and was honking at me to move, I put up my hand and ignored her. Oops. Next thing I know, she’s parked her car, comes around to my car door, opens it and starts screaming at me, in what I think was German. It was not French, I can say that much. Now I would like to think that I would have behaved differently given the situation, but I just sat there with my mouth open, wondering did she just scratch my car with her ugly purse? I did say back, I don’t understand. But by then, she had run away in a angry huff. So be careful how you park in France, just saying, you’ve been warned.
So off we head to our hotel in Strasbourg. According to the printed map, it was 20 minutes, but the car GPS was saying more like 50. We really only had a problem with time/distance in France.