Day 2 Fri 24 Mar 2006, The Bernina Express
My roommate left the train when we arrived in Zurich at 06:30, after 20 minutes the train pulled out and headed off in the direction that we'd come in from! It's quite misty at the moment, so I wonder how much of my scenic trip to Italy I'm actually going to see. I slept in dribs and drabs last night, but I don't feel too bad.
I think I might have ordered breakfast from the attendant, but now I'm not so sure, he could have just been showing me a menu! Nope - a few minutes later he returned with a cup of tea and some cake. The train arrived in Chur on time, and after a bit of a wander around I found my hotel. Even though it was 08:00 they had a room ready, so they let me check in. The room looks good and I just dumped my bag and headed back to the railway station.
I'm now ready for the Bernina Express which will take me from Chur across the Bernina pass in the Alps all the way to Tirano in Italy. It's supposed to be one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world.
I obtained some provisions for the journey, and got on the train. The weather is overcast, and there is only one other person in the carriage, and my reserved seat is right opposite his! I decided to move to a free seat. The carriage is rather plush, with leather seats, and huge wrap around windows for easier sight seeing.
I'm going to see what Tirano is like, it's either a half hour or a two hour stay. I think there would be more to see in Chur of an evening. These curved windows could make photography difficult, there are going to be many reflections.
Well, the carriage is filling up a little, I might have to move back to my assigned seat. We're underway! Running along the bottom of a valley with snow capped mountains either side. The views are spectacular. As we reached the highest point of the line, just before the tunnel there was a little light snow, but now we're on the other side of the mountain it is really snowing hard. In fact it's a white out!
On arrival at Tirano I had to show my passport to the Italian border guard to get out of the station. I spent about twenty minutes looking around Tirano in the rain, and decided to get the next train back - at least it's dry!
The journey back to Chur was a bit quieter as the Americans weren't on board, and I managed to get some better photos by leaning out of the window at the end of the carriage. In Chur I got something to eat, and had a wander around the town after dark. Chur is a very pretty place.