The Bernina Express has been one of my most anticipated experiences for as long as I can remember. There’s something so calming about long train rides, and it’s even better when great scenery coincides. This 4 hour journey took us from Tirano, Italy (near Lake Como!) to Chur, Switzerland.
The shiny red train cars rattle along 130 year old tracks on a diverse route that’s been deemed worthy of UNESCO status. 196 bridges. 55 tunnels. Loopy ascents into thinner air and hairpin twists all the way back down. We saw glacier lakes, waterfalls, lush green woodlands, and the most adorable isolated villages in Switzerland.
The rain was a welcome visitor, even though it blurred some of our panoramic views. The pattering droplets upon our tin roof brought a kind of tranquility I had forgotten how to experience.
I’m not gonna lie, it did feel a bit like the Hogwarts Express in some instances. Sure you have the red train, the towering arched bridges and intimate coaches filled with a constant hum of conversation – but it was the trolley cart that really pulled together the scene. I helped myself to some hot cocoa and convinced myself (a couple times) I didn’t need the plush mountain goat as well.
I would take this train again in a heartbeat! Next time in the winter, as I truly believe it’s a completely different experience each season. Can you imagine all of this covered in a blanket of snow? We chose to stay the night in Chur and what a great decision it was. Though a very small town, we had some top notch Swiss fondue, wiener schnitzel and riesling from Bunder Stube, and the Old Square is definitely worth a walk through.
If you need advice on where to stay, look no further than this charming flat near the train station. This Airbnb experience was probably one of the highlights of our whole week! Piroska is an incredible host who you end up feeling so connected with after your stay. An artist who has just released the most unique book you could ever dream of (see it here!), she is truly someone that will inspire you to live in a more purposeful, happy and free way. Trust me, she’s the best!
After this excursion, we set off on the open road to Austria!