The Bernina Express

This small country (which is smaller than California’s San Bernardino County) boasts four especially scenic rail journeys. Although not exactly on the way home from Venice, we chose to come home via the Bernina Pass, starting in Tirano, Italy.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 7.28.29 PM

We took the train early, early in the morning from Venice to Milan for 2 ½ hours. Then we  changed trains for Tirano in Milano, having one of the best cappuccinos ever in the train station (AND only 1.3 €).

IMG_4857

Arriving in Tirano at 13.00, we managed to spend our two-hour layover by eating lunch, having a gelato (since we were still in Italy, that was a requirement), and buying a snack for the train. We would have bought some more stuff at the grocery store, but it was closed for lunch until 15.30. That’s some long siesta.

IMG_4869

We had splurged to get into the panorama car of the train. And by splurge, I mean 5 CHF per person. Not only were these windows huge, they were clean. Best splurge for the price in Switzerland. (Except for the Schoggi Tram back in November….)

IMG_4868

IMG_4872

The train route starts out at 441 m (1,447 ft.) and crosses the Bernina Pass at 2,328 m (7,638 ft) with standard rails (not cog rails). Our four-hour trip was stunning, comfortable and thoroughly enjoyable.

IMG_9011

There’s a brochure in four languages to help point out the landmarks as well as the route.

IMG_9013

Leaving Tirano

IMG_9017

A cute town along the way. One of a handful.

IMG_9034 IMG_9032 IMG_9020

As we climbed, we saw more snow and some glaciers.

IMG_9042 IMG_9045 IMG_9051 IMG_9053 IMG_9063 IMG_9068

The four-hour journey goes through some of the terrain we saw when we went cross-country skiing, but we did not mind at all looking at it again. In fact, it would be fun to do this journey in all four seasons, given enough time and money.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s