The Magical Bernina Express

Mom and Jim in Tirano
Oh my, dear readers. It's our last month in Switzerland. There is so much left to do and so little time, but I am so glad that Mom and Jim's visit gave us a gentle push to make the most of our last weeks here. For anyone making a similar transition, I would recommend that you take the time to see those places you might regret not having had the chance to see. Remember, all that paperwork stuff and planning will eventually get done and over with, but the memories you create in a special place will last far beyond your move!

Back to the topic at hand... Riding the Bernina Express was one of those things on our list that we would have regretted not doing. Now that we have crossed it off our list, we realize that it's one of those things we would totally do again! There is so much to love about this train. For one thing, there isn't a bad seat in the house, even if you're not in a panorama car. (I assumed all cars were panorama, but it isn't so. Since we rode on a Monday, the carriages were pretty empty, so the ticket controller said we could move to open seats in the panorama section. However, we decided to stay put so we could open the windows and avoid capturing that pesky window glare in our photos.)

Furthermore, the trains are sparkling new, clean, and comfy - even in 2nd class. (Duh, this is Switzerland, after all.) Also, you can use the Tageskarte Gemeinde on this train, which means huge savings! (I'll write later about this best-deal-in-Switzerland-ever.) All you have to do is pay extra for seat reservations, which is obligatory even with regularly-priced tickets. Another great thing about the Rhaetian Railway in general is their customer service. I must have sent them about five different e-mails asking all kinds of questions about riding the Bernina Express, and they always wrote back within 24 hours (in perfect English).

By far my favorite thing about this train route was exploring the varied landscape of the Graubünden region from the comfort of my seat. This year the Bernina Express celebrates its 100-year anniversary, which means people have been enjoying the sights of this tourist route for a century, and now I'm one of them - so special! It's an UNESCO World Heritage route that's not to be missed!

As I mentioned previously, we rode the Bernina Express bus from Lugano to Tirano, Italy. From Tirano, we took the Bernina Express train route that ends in Davos (you can also take routes that end in St. Moritz or Chur). Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

Miralago - not far outside of Tirano

We went from forest...
to snow within a couple of hours.
Crossing a viaduct, one of many
Palü Glacier
See? Magical! Like a kid in a candy shop...

Highest-altitude railway station on the Rhaetian Railway

Mom and Jim

Almost-empty carriage

Ospizio Bernina

By the way, don't forget your passport, as you do travel across international lines!


  1. What a great train trip! It's on my list too....

    Sorry to hear you're leaving. Good luck in your next venture/new land.

  2. Cachis la mar, llego yo y tu tes vas!!! mucha suerte en el viaje de vuelta!

  3. Hi Kathy - Thanks! Let us know on your blog when you get a chance to ride the Bernina Express. I'll still be following all of my favorite Swiss Expat blogs even when I'm in California. :-)

    Hola Julia - este...cómo? Nunca he escuchado esa frase "cachis la mar." Tuve que buscarmela en google! jiji

    Sabes que??? Tenemos planes de pasar 2 semanas en España antes de regresarnos a California. Estaremos en Barcelona la primera semana de julio... I'm so excited! AND I plan to buy SHOES!!! Will you be there?

  4. Glad you're making the most of your last month!

  5. Noooo! Are you really going to live without me having had a chance to meet you?

    I do love your pick for one of the "must do before we leave" trips. Great photos!!

  6. What fun pics and thanks for the advice. Sorry to hear that I wont' be reading any more quezo suizo but will you continue with your blog? or change its title? oh let me know.

    Enjoy your last weeks y.. has lo mejor de tu tiempo.
    (make the most of your time)

  7. Hola! Cachis la mar es una versión reducida y un poco cursi de la expresión "Me cago en la mar", ambas se utilizan bastante en España :-)

    Donde teneis pensado ir de España? Por cierto el 1 de julio empiezan las rebajas alli asi que buena epoca para ir de compras!

    Compras de zapatos recomendaciones:
    1. Uterque (es de la empresa madre de Zara) tienen bolsos y zapatdos de piel estupendos).
    2. En la calle Valencia con Rambla Catalunya hay dos zapaterias juntas, una bastante pija JorgeJuan y otra mas economica, en al economica en verano tienen "espardilles" (se llama asi en ingles creo) de plataforma muy bonitas a buen precio.
    3. Tanto en Rambla catalunya (no las Ramblas) como en Portal del Angel (ambas son dos callen en el centro) hay muchas zapaterias (Casas, Vogue, Querol son algunas de las mas populares).
    4. Entra tambien en el Corte Ingles tienen de todo y muchas veces he encontrado gangas!
    5. Mira en Massimo Dutti, aqui en Suiza es caro pero en españa es mas asequible y tienen zapatos muy monos.
    Mmmmm... que mas que mas... ya pensare! Yo no estoy en Barcelona hasta el 14 de julio pero dime donde tienes pensado ir o que te interesa y te hago recomendaciones!

  8. Chantal - doing my best!

    Elisa @ GinH - thanks! yes, sorry about not meeting up in real life. Perhaps we can meet up the next time you are in LA?

    Elisa in Croatia - I do plan to keep on blogging, I just haven't yet figured out what I'm going to do with Queso Suizo :(

    Julia - thanks for all of the fantastic shoe shopping suggestions!!! We are staying with friends in Mataro, but plan to do lots of sightseeing in Barcelona. Most importantly - where should we eat and drink?????


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