It’s a two for one today. Lichtenstein and Luxembourg are two of what are known as the microstates of Europe, tiny principalities, duchies or city states that are quirky and fascinating to explore.
Lichtenstein, all of twenty five kilometres long, is a principality between Austria and Switzerland. The capital and only main town is Vaduz where the Prince still lives in the castle – and no, you can’t stay there. It would be like asking if you could stay in Buckingham Palace! German speaking, lots of medieval castles and villages linked by walking trails, it is a delightful place to spend a little time getting to know.
And like all countries it has its own postal system, so philatelists will love the chance to get their stamps.
Luxembourg is the Lux in the Benelux countries – Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. A Grand Duchy, Luxembourg is 998 square miles and has a population of just over half a million. Bordered by France, Germany and Belgium, and a stone’s throw from Trier, the city perches over two steep gorges and is famous for its Casemates du Bock, tunnels and caves now galleries, worked deep into the cliffs, and a lovely medieval town centre. The Moselle river winds through the duchy and the Chemin du Corniche is a walk with beautiful views to enjoy.
French is used for legislation, German and the local Luxembourgish are the most widely spoken languages. The French influence is in the fabulous patisseries to be found on almost every corner.
Get your stamps here too.
Along with Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Malta and Andorra these little gems are well worth the time.