After taking a brief post breakfast walk on Wednesday July 31, 2002, we left Milan heading straight north with Vaduz, Liechenstein our goal for the day's drive. (See Milan to Valduz map; our route and picture locations are in purple.)
After passing through a number of highway tunnels on the "express" route north of Lecco, we exited onto the local road on the eastern coast of Lago di Como and enjoyed a bit of the local scenery, first in Bellano.
The lake was quite peaceful despite the strong breeze which Kitty enjoyed in the warm sun. We'd left the car in the parking lot of the local hospital and strolled back south till we found this unobstructed close view of the lake.
On the way back to the car, Kitty recorded these two homes that were visually fascinating.
The mix of different textures - rocks, flowers, metal, trees - and geometric shapes - rectangles, curves, lines - is an esthetically pleasing manmade system. And the view from those large windows is probably spectacular too!
That's no rock facing on this brilliantly colored house. It has been built directly atop the rocks and gives the appearance of having sprung forth from it while it actuality would have been a task of true construction competence. Several other homes in this rocky area were built similarly but none seen were as colorful.
We made another stop a few miles further north and captured the view of what appears to be a ferry in the distance beyond the Point Piano on the left.
We stopped at a pullout on a switchback along SP72, which shows as Highway 36 on map (north from more major #37). The lone picnic table and water pump from a mountain spring made a pleasant break enven though the threats of rain became actual before we'd completed our lunch. The fact thet we were under a tree saved us from getting drenched.
Poorly placed signs and lack of agreement with our maps resulted in one wrong turn near the turn off for Madesimo - several other travellers appeared to make the same error. Rain and fog in the switch backs with visibility down to less than 1/8 mile was the major feature of the remainder of Italy.
One small break in the clouds was seen at Lago di Montepluga, near the Italian border with Switzerland. This area is in complete contrast with the lakes at lower elevations; it reminded us quite a bit of some parts of Wales which we saw in April. No trees were seen and the only the cows were almost indistinguishable from the large rocks.
Passing through the border to Switzerland at Passa dello Spluga (Splugenpass in German), elevation 2113m (6933 ft), was a non-event; we were asked only our nationality and then waved on without even an examination of our passports. We stopped almost immediately to take in the view which was free from the low clouds seen on the southern side of the pass.
Looking down the road we will travel onward towards the major highway at Splugen.
Wild flowers dot the steep slope back up the pass from where the car is parked.
We paused momentarily to take this shot soon after we started into a dizzying set of switchbacks just inside the Swiss border. Even though the hill is not that steep at this point, presumably the switchbacks make it more passable in the snow.
From this point we just drove the route indicated on the Milan to Vaduz map without any breaks. It was even less of an event when we crossed the border into Liechtenstein, which in many ways is treated as a canton of Switzerland; the border was announced only by the posting of a different flag on each side of the bridge across the Rhine. Just a few more miles to the Vaduz Hostel, in Schaan.
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