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If a 12th-century castle can be unassuming, this one is.
We passed the castle and dropped into downtown Vaduz, a small-town capital with a pedestrian mall lined with restaurants and shops that basically close down every night at 8.
The trail on this leg was mostly downhill but was no less beautiful.
The main road snaking up from the valley has lookouts where I could see Triesen, church steeples, the Rhine and the Swiss Alps beyond.
We stopped near the bus stop for a well-deserved beer.
We walked on quiet streets then followed the Rhine until Triesen, Vaduz’s “suburb” to the south. The trail to Triesenberg reaches an elevation of 2,952 feet and then passes beautiful green meadows; the dairy cows wear clanging bells.
We turned onto a dirt service road that is conveniently blocked for all but foot traffic and mountain bikers.
After two days of ascending nearly 4,000 feet, my legs felt the first signs of fatigue. Schädler picked me up at the hotel and we drove to Schaan.
He and I descended from the forest in Planken, a town of postcard-perfect houses that is, coincidentally, home to Hanni and Andreas Wenzel, the brother and sister skiers who won six of Liechtenstein’s 10 Winter Olympic medals from 1976 to 1984.