July 11
Murg, Switzerland to Arlberg, Austria

There were some amazing castles on the hillsides.

When I was in high school in 1960, my friends had cars like a '48 Dodge. I had a '57 Citröen 2CV from France. I got 48 miles per gallon withmy 12 hp Citröen when gasoline cost only 18 cents per gallon. I managed to see several old 2CVs on this trip.

Today, we left Switzerland and crossed the entire country of Liechtenstein before settling for the night in Austria. Switzerland was the epitome of high tech efficiency and high prices, but it had class in the sense of historic structures. I did not like Liechtenstein because it seemed too modern.

There were too many buildings from the 60's and 70's and little of the quaintness we expected. It is a very wealthy country. I would say 2 out of 3 cars were in the luxury/high performance category: BMWs, Mercedes, Ferraris -- all seemingly tricked out for high performance.

After suffering from an upset stomach, I decided on good old dependable American food for lunch: a Big Mac Meal ($9.90 SF). Several other riders stopped there too.

In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, there were separate traffic signalsfor the bike lanes. In each of the lights there were bicycle graphics to make it clear that the lights were aimed at bicyclists.

There was no border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein, but there was one between Liechtenstein and Austria.

They just waived us through, however. I stopped across the border at a money changer and traded my Swiss Francs for Austrian Shillings. 100 SFs yielded over 800 Austrian Shillings.

In the town of Bludenz, Austria, we stopped at a brewery and sampled their dark beer. Then we came upon a milk chocolate festival which blocked our route with celebrants.

The young people in Bludenz had a distinct look.

The festival featured a Ford or Fokker Tri-Motor airplane dropping chocolate in little parachutes.

As the afternoon progressed, Tom and I stopped at a grocery store for fruit. I was taken with the system utilized in European grocery stores for affixing price tags to produce. Let's say you are buying carrots. You set the carrots on the scale and punch number 20 on the keypad and a self-sticking price tag pops out for you to affix to the plastic bag. This would be a major labor saving device at US grocery stores. I like this method because it give me control over how much I want to spend.

There were flowers in window boxes all through the Alps. I loved it. As I was taking this woman's picture, her husband looked out the window at me wondering what I was up to.

The campground we stayed at in Klosterle had the finest bathroom I've ever seen. The floors, walls and fixtures were all polished marble. The woman who managed the campground was fanatical about keeping everything clean and shiny. As were were using the men's room, she came in several times to mop the floors -- so much for privacy.

98 km

Tailwinds Home Page