The Bernina Express to St. Mortiz, Switzerland & A Stop in Chiavenna, Italy
September 7, 2015
Lake Como lies near the northern border of Italy making a visit to Switzerland a short drive, bus, or train ride away. On Monday, I decided to take a guided bus trip via il Porticciolo Viaggi to ride the Bernina Express up to St. Moritz, which is one of the more famous ski and summer resort towns in the Swiss Alps. Meeting across the lake in Cadenabbia at 7:45am, we drove along the northern arm (Colico) of Lake Como to Tirano, Italy. Tirano is a small town but it is known for being the first stop of the Bernina Express in Italy before you cross over the border into Switzerland. We then drove up the road about 20 minutes to Poschiavo where we hopped on the famous red train for an hour ride up to Pontresina. From there, we drove to St. Moritz.
The views along the Bernina Express were breathtaking and stunning. From the Swiss countryside to snowcapped alps to straight-up glaciers, the picturesque sceneries were none like I have seen before in an 1-hour time-frame. Most of the jaw-dropping views were along the left side of the train, so if you’re wondering what side to sit on the Bernina Express – choose left! Unfortunately, I sat on the right side but the people across let me leave my GoPro along the window to capture the views of the glacier and snow melting into the bright blue colored lake below. Riding on the train with the fresh, crisp, cool air blowing, and especially when we went through tunnels reminded me of Mattahorn in Disneyland! It now makes sense that the ride was modeled after the real thing! In fact, Disneyland really does bring characteristics from all over the world into one place. I didn’t really realize that as a kid.
As one can expect, St. Moritz is a beautifully stunning resort town. It reminded me of Mammoth but larger, fancier, and much more expensive. We stopped in the upper part of town where you can find all of the designer shops and specialty chocolate shops like Hanselmanns – amazing chocolate btw! We only had a little over an hour to explore the town which I guess was enough time if I hadn’t decided to spend $22 on a plate of hash browns and sausage (Rösti). If I had known what Rösti was I wouldn’t have listened to our tour guide’s recommendation to try it!
After St. Mortiz, we made our way down the windy road (27) to Silvaplana and then across the border to Chiavenna. Chiavenna is another lovely Italian village along the Mera River close to the Swiss border. We had about an hour to explore which was just enough time to take a few photos, shop, and grab some gelato. By the time I returned to Lezzeno it was around 7:30pm and after a long exhausting day – I crashed.