image of the Bernina Express

The most spectacular part of my entire trip to Lake Como was a ride on The Bernina Express. But let’s be clear from the start, this is no express train, rather the opposite.

Crossing the Alps on the Bernina Express is a very touristy thing and the train driver knows this, so is moving fairly slowly and stopping at photogenic points all the way, including some really lovely stations. This railway is the highest altitude rail route in Europe and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage railway line… and I can see why.

image alps

I took these pictures from the safety and warmth of the railway carriage, as did many others, but it doesn’t begin to show the scenic majesty of the mountains.

image Alps

At the start of the journey the guy opposite me in the carriage muttered “When you’ve seen one mountain, you’ve seen them all.” But as the train climbed ever higher into the alps, he soon changed his tune as each turn and each exit from a tunnel revealed ever more spectacular scenery.

The train line negotiates its way through 55 tunnels, 196 bridges and at the highest point of the line it’s at 2,253 metres (7,391 feet) above sea level. The line connects Davos in Switzerland to Poschiavo in Switzerland and Tirano in Italy while crossing the Swiss Alps. Almost all the journey runs along a World Heritage Site.

My alpine journey ended in St. Moritz and that in itself was exceptional, but the journey to get there was almost other worldly and stunningly beautiful.

Tom Kane © 2018

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