Volltext: Jahrbuch des Historischen Vereins für das Fürstentum Liechtenstein (2008) (107)

LIECHTENSTEIN IN ALTEN SCHILDERUNGEN NORBERT W. HASLER length of Liechtenstein. The Samina Valley is on the left and the backbone of the country reaches out to- ward the Falknis, past the Sücca kurhaus, which is our luncheon objective. That delightful haven, ap- parently so near, is not reached for nearly two hours. During my stay in Liechtenstein there was much rain, but even in dry seasons there is water and wa- terpower everywhere. The electric lights in our inn were never turned off, since one pays by the lamp rather than by the watt or hour. If Liechtenstein utilized all its waterpower it would have to export much of its electric current. Water pours down the face of the land in torrents; waterfalls and trickling streams intertwine, and one is seldom out of hearing of their voices; but I hardly expected to find deep bogs along the backbone of the land. The hoofs of cattle have plowed the hilltop into deep pockets, and I soaked my shoes more along the mountain crest than I had in the peat bogs of the low country. A herd resting on Liechtensteins Pilatus, a mile in the air, with the landscape sloping away in all directions, was ankle-deep in mud. Over the stable doors are small wooden plaques bearing the I. H. S., superimposed on a cross, with which Christians have long been familiär. Each year a priest Visits this and other dairy regions and puts up these «In Hoc Signo» plaques as a blessing on the herd. From the Hellwangspitze one has a marvelous view along the upper Samina Valley. Halfway along on the left there is what appears to be an immense polo field, velvet-smooth and of purest green. Around it stand small huts. Just beyond this seem- ingly level expanse the Malbun dashes to join the Samina at Steg. INN PROV1DES TROUGH FOR GUESTS' ABLUTIONS It was past noon when I reached the kurhaus at Süc- ca. My former visit had been on a day when one played hide-and-seek with mist and rain. I entered 
the barnyard, washed my face at the trough, and mounted the stairs to the open-air dining room. What a cheery greeting! «You have come back,» said my hostess, «and it is really good weather this time.» After seven hours of climbing, this friendli- ness was like rare wine. Personality seasons food as well as life, and at a mountain kurhaus in Liechten- stein it is a common sauce. On reaching Steg I found the polo field a moun- tainous place. This level lawn, as it seemed from the mountains above, mounted sharply from the river and was füll of emerald ravines. At the spot where the clear Malbun bursts into the valley, a tiny whitewashed chapel almost blocks the narrow exit. For the next half mile this vale is charming in its combination of rock mass and wa- terfall, of small, green-velvet patches and dense woods. After a while one turns to the right and arrives at the Malbun kurhaus, a huge chalet of brownish red isolated in a vast amphitheater which furnishes a splendid setting for winter sports. Beyond it is a grassy saucer devoid of trees, but dotted with hay huts and stables. A short climb carries one across into Austria. It was after 3 o'clock, and ten miles of ups and downs filled the zigzag route to Vaduz. One returning to Sücca, I found the cattle Coming home along the hüls to the music of soft-toned bells. These cows are from the Triesenberg or even from the Rhine Valley, but between June and September are pastured in the Samina Valley and stabled at Bargella or Sücca. The milk is sent over the pass each day, an hour and a half to Triesenberg town or even farther. Oth- er cattle graze near Aelple, Gapfahl, and Valüna, but as it is too far to send the milk over the ridge, butter and cheese are made there. While the cows have taken their appetites and chores over the pass, the Triesenberg folk tend their gardens and cut the hay crop. The tactics of having coverd the ground before now stood me in good stead. An insignificant climb would bring me to the tunnel; thence the path lay downhill almost all the way. So it was with that cheery feeling of something accomplished and a fa- 223


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