Switzerland VIII – The Bernina Express

The Bernina Express is another of the scenic rail journeys.  The full deal starts with a bus ride from Lugano, through Italy along the shore of Lake Como to Tirano, where you board the train, which takes you back into Switzerland, heading North to St Moritz.

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The bus ride was, as the Rick Steve’s guidebook said, more scenic than relaxing.  You wind along on a very narrow road – glad that you aren’t the one driving the big bus.

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(a corner we just navigated – the driver knew just where to honk before each blind corner)

The ride was enough to make me a little motion sick, so I was happy for a break halfway.  The baby’s first time in Italy.
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The bus drops you off at the train station in Tirano, Italy.  There are actually two train stations in Tirano.  One for the Italian trains and one for the trains heading up into Switzerland.  We had the better part of an hour to kill before boarding the train, so had a bite to eat.  This was the only cheap meal we had the whole trip – with a half carafe of wine for about €4 that was fabulous.  (of course I only got a small sip)

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Lots of groups of tourists – mostly our parents’ age.

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I wisely purchased an ice cream cone before boarding the train.

Of the scenic train rides this was our favourite.  There were many twists and turns and interesting bridges, and the train was the nicest, with windows that curved right up onto the roof of the train unbroken by support bars.  (this is a major plus as when there is a support at the top of the window, before the sunroof it blocks prime viewing space)  We also found the overcast day to make for interesting and varied views.

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A bridge we would cross in just a few seconds…

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And sometimes the fog made for not much to look at at all.

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We got off the train in the charming village of Pontresina, near St Moritz.  We”ll pick that up next time.

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