Monday, June 23, 2014

A Train Travel Adventure on the Bernina Express!

This little train has always captured my fancy.  The fact that it is the BERNINA train is icing on the cake!  When I found that I would be traveling to Basel with my husband (more on that in another post) I factored two extra days onto the trip so we could do a bit of exploring.
We began in Basel this morning by taking the tram to the central train station, or SBB.  First, a train to Zurich, then Chur, then St. Moritz.  Then, we boarded the Bernina Express Train in an observation car, which we had all to ourselves.  
The scenery is beyond belief.  One immediately understands why this was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the train:
The train leaves St. Moritz and takes the line to Pontresina (1,774 m) in the Val Bernina. It ascends progressively the valley to theBernina Pass passing the Morteratsch station (1,896 m), where the traveler can see the glacier of the same name and the highest summit of the Eastern Alps, the Piz Bernina. Before arriving at the pass the train stops at Bernina Diavolezza (2,093 m) where an aerial tramway leads to Diavolezza. The Bernina Express reaches the summit at the Ospizio Bernina station at 2,253 meters above the Lago Bianco.
Alp Grüm (2,091 m) is the first station south of the Alps, situated above the Lago Palü and right below the Piz Palü and its glacier. After many hairpin turns the train reaches Cavaglia (1,693 m) above the Val Poschiavo, then the Swiss Italian-speaking town ofPoschiavo at 1,014 meters. The train then follows the course of the Poschiavino and stops at Le Prese (964 m) and Miralago (965 m) both on Lake Poschiavo's shore. After Miralago it continues its descent toward Brusio (780 m), where it passes the spiral of the Brusio Viaduct. Shortly after having passed the Italian border at Campocologno (553 m) the Bernina Express ends its journey at the Tiranostation at 430 meters.

The Albula line and the Bernina line on the Bernina Express route were jointly declared a World Heritage Site in 2008. The trip on the Bernina Express through this World Heritage Site is a four-hour railway journey across 196 bridges, through 55 tunnels and across the Bernina Pass on the highest point at 2,253 metres in altitude. The entire line is 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (metre gauge).

None of these photos can fully capture how magnificent this experience was.
And, tomorrow, we are doing it again in reverse!

And we are on Italian soil!

I love that my traveling companion is adventurous!

We walked to our hotel from the train station.

I love these old cobblestone streets even though they 
are very hard on my knees.

As a postscript:  when I texted one of our daughters that we had done this trip she responded by writing, "Well, you must have felt right at home on that Bernina train!"


  1. Contente que vous ayez aimer ces paysages et ce train
    Best regards of Switzerland

  2. Loved this post. It looks like "one of those times."

  3. It was "one of those times". An exquisite moment!


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