Liechtenstein & Heaven in Hell

Ulla is originally from Austria and has many great bicycle adventures under her belt, so she was a great person to get advice from for my next route. She turned me onto the Bodensee-Konigsee Cycling route through Bavaria, Germany. But first, I wanted to make a quick stop in Liechtenstein. It’s the little country squeezed between Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, and I didn’t know anything about it, except that it was small, notable for its postage stamps, and rumored to have ties to money laundering. I had something I wanted to mail…perfect!


Not more than a 45 mins into my ride, I rolled into Liechtenstein. I asked a man at the bus stop where the post office was, and well, wouldn’t you know, he turned out to be a member of parliament (a retired math high school teacher for 35 years). Such good fortune! I ended up sitting down with Bruno, and he told me all about the country of only 38,000 people. An Austrian prince had bought the land, and it became a sovereign country in 1809. He explained that the current prince still held a lot of power. Although the 26 members of parliament are elected, the prince has the power to remove and replace members. If you marry someone from Liechtenstein, you will have to remain married for five years before you can get citizenship. Bruno then invited me to stay with his family. I may have done so if it were not so early in the day. I did not have the nerve to ask him about the money laundering, but he did make mention that he owned a couple of homes and a pool – not bad for a school teacher.


Back on the road, the Bodensee-Konigsee route takes you through the foothills of the Alps between Germany and Austria. Seriously rolling hills were just what I needed to get myself back used to climbing. The intensity of the cycling felt much like the foothills along the California coast. Along my route, a German tourist described Bavaria “as German-esk as Germany gets.” Ha! Dairy farm after dairy farm with large dark wood Bavarian style homes covered on every side with flower boxes overflowing with bright flowers –beautiful!


I had a great stay at a farm campground in Hell (Holl), Germany. The slogan at Ferienhof Maurus camping is something like, “A Slice of Heaven in Hell” –Indeed a very special. Families come back year after year, and so the children have grown up together and look forward each year to meeting up with old friends. Various parents explained to me that their children so enjoy the animals and playing with one another that they have difficulty getting them to go on day trips. Kids took turns walking the 15 year old goat. Each day was a special activity for the kids from pony rides, tractor rides, etc. In the evening, I was invited to join in the “bread on a stick” activity…this traditional German activity is akin to making S’mores in the US but healthier. Dough is prepared, and rolled out like a snake and then wrapped in a spiral around a long stick, and brushed with butter. Then children grill it over the campfire. Afterwards, the adults and kids sat around the campfire and sang while various people played guitar. How is that “Take Me Home Country Roads” makes campfires song selection around the world? I had my first Bavarian beer compliments of the farm’s owner, Mr. I (tricky real name). He explained that the farm has been in his family for four generations, and used to be a dairy farm.


In the morning, I picked up my fresh baked pretzels. Campers sign up the night before to request what bread products they want delivered fresh in the morning from a local bakery. I got laughed at the night before at the fire circle, when I explained that my only Bavarian pretzel came from the machine in Aldi’s super market. I thought it was so cool that you put in a Euro, and out popped a fresh baked pretzel. I’ll admit that the bakery one was better. Most of the camp kids gathered at 9:30 to help feed all the animals – from ducks, ponies, calves, donkeys, kittens, etc. After the feeding, I was invited to the “kitten petting circle”. The children gathered in a large circle in the hay loft and each got a minute to pet each of the three kittens before passing one along to the next kid. Mr. I hooked Steel up with a German addition to our bicycle flag, and offered a job a the farm if I needed one. He said he could always use the help. Good to know that I’ve got options in the world. With that…Steel and I were “on the road again”…la, la, la, la. I really do sing this song most days when we launch.

One thought on “Liechtenstein & Heaven in Hell

  1. Hello Lisa,

    its a nice report which you have written about the heaven in the hell. By the way. The name of the farmer is Ewald Maurus. It was a pleasure to meet you. In German you have to say “Schoen dich kennenzulernen” or easier “Schoen dich zu treffen”.

    Greetings from Jens and his family