This is part of a series by Linda King
We wanted to use our Global Eurail pass to its best advantage, so we weren’t spending long in each place. We tended to arrive somewhere in the evening, explore it in the morning and head on in late morning or early afternoon. That’s exactly what we did in Liechtenstein, except with a bit more drama than we had expected.
Liechtenstein is a tiny country, with only one railway station which has a rather sparse schedule. The station is about an hour’s walk from the capital, Vaduz, though there’s a good network of buses to take you there. We were staying at the youth hostel, which was about halfway between Vaduz and the Schaan Post bus stop, which is also where you catch the train.
We’d spent the morning in Vaduz and walked back to the youth hostel to pick up our bags before heading to the train station to catch the 12.30pm train – the last one for about three hours. But we completely mistimed our walk and got back to the hostel at 12.20 – there wasn’t a chance of walking to the station in time. A bus was due near the hostel at 12.25 – supposed to arrive at Schaan Post bus stop at 12.30. Cutting it fine, certainly, but the people of Liechtenstein take after the Swiss in terms of efficiency – or at least we hoped so.
It was an anxious wait for the bus, but it finally arrived and we bustled on with all our bags. The driver took off, and we named the stop we wanted – Schaan Post. We were a bit surprised when the bus driver said no. What? we asked. “Finished” he said. We were completely befuddled, but still tried to pay while he tried to explain how the bus stop had disappeared or something – we had no idea.
Since our German was verging on non-existent, we didn’t work out what was going on until we reached the stop we wanted, just outside the post office. He looked concerned and pointed to the post office and said “finished” – the post office was closed for the day and he didn’t want us to make a journey there in vain. We finally understood, and pointed to the train station and said “nein, zug!” (no, train). Indeed, the train was just approaching the station. His face cleared and he gestured to us to run for it. We tried to pay for our rather entertaining bus ride but he wouldn’t hear of it, so we ran and caught the train with seconds to spare. Mint.