Friday, August 17, 2007

Staatsfeiertag! Hanging with the Royals..

For those of you that also love to travel, I recommend that you find yourself in Liechtenstein on August 15th for Staatsfeirertag, which is also called `Liechtenstein Day`. It appears to be a national holiday on which the Liechtensteiners take a day to enthusiastically thank `God, The Prince and The Fatherland (Gott, Fürst und Vaterland)` for everything Liechtenstein-ish.

Over 90% of the population are catholic and so the day starts with an open-air church service, which we attended more for the experience than for the service. After two hours of listening to the priest, the bishop, the brass band, the alpine choir and various V.I.P`s do their thing in German, my mind was beginning to wander. I stayed put by reminding myself that we were located pleasingly close to the Schlöss which is the venue for the first after-party. After the service the Prince opens his family home to the public for a huge garden party with seemingly unlimited amounts of free food and drinks. The food was great - fruit, wholegrain bread, meats, cheese and pretzels. Prince Alois positioned himself in the prime spot, right under the awning of the Carlsberg tent (the beer that uses the self-conscious byline `probably the best beer in the world`) and chatted away to the visitors all afternoon. Princess Sophie and their four kids were in the upper garden.

Early evening we headed into Vaduz for the second after-party. The central main area is closed to traffic during the party and becomes populated with hundreds of vendor stalls, most of which are selling divine smelling food. The live German country & western music added to the atmosphere (the real reason why the Germans drink so much?) but the most anticipated event is the CF50,000 fireworks display. All of the town lighting is turned off and for about 15 minutes it is like being inside a kaleidoscope. I love fireworks and these were magnificent. I`ve never seen anything like it! Unfortunately the realistic illusion of the falling stars was a bit too much for our small traveller and she spent the whole time with her face pressed into Mum or Uncle Jases shoulder. The noise did not bother her at all, but the lights and sparkles really made her panic. With eyes closed and her face squashed into a comforting adult, she was fine.

Photos (in no particular order today)

We meet Princess Sophie
The Pepsi tent in the Princes garden
mmm.. some random photo that proves I`m not really living on pastries.
The church service.
The newly inspired crowd heads to the Schlöss for the garden party
Prince Alois and his first Carlsberg
We meet the Prince. We were actually looking at a different photographer but that photo was badly out of focus. It`s a good thing that Jase obsessively photographs everything and so we had a backup pic.

1 comment:

  1. La-de-da! Hob-nobbing with European Royalty.... what fun! :)


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