5:00 AM. It’s still dark and cold as he drove to somewhere I don’t know. He said it’s a secret with no clue. Fine. I sat in the passenger seat and listened to Italian music and next thing I know, I woke up with snowy mountains everywhere. Now, I’m wide awake with my camera on hand, the view is just amazing! The scene got better as the sun started to illuminate the mountains.
We arrived in Tirano and started walking around. I thought it’s too early to explore the city, maybe we’re going to a nearby town afterwards. But nope! I was handed a Bernina Express ticket! We’re going to Switzerland! My heart is full of joy and excitement! Best surprise gift ever!
Bernina Express train route was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The route is Tirano- Valposchiavo- St. Moritz – Davos – Chur. It was built along the Rheatian Railway between 1896 and 1904. What’s more interesting is that it’s the highest open-air railway in Europe. 😱
Our train ride started in Tirano (border of Italy and Switzerland) and ended in St. Moritz. It was a wonderful winter ride because we saw the scenery change from green fields to snowy mountains as the train ascends to the Alps and descend to the small town of St. Moritz.
Choo! Choo! The train chugged as we curve our way up to Brusio Spiral Viaduct, one of the highlights of the Bernina Express ride. This nine-arched stone viaduct was made to prevent the train of slipping on the way up and going down too fast. Also, it lengthens the track to avoid sudden change of altitude.
The scenery gets better and better. We passed by Miralogo, a small town in the Poschiavo Valley where Lago di Poschiavo is. The lake is stunning with its clear and calm waters that mirrors the snow-capped mountains. It’s perfect!
The train made its way up and passed by a lot of bridges and tunnels. The view was gorgeous with pine trees and mountains covered with snow. We stared at the Alpine view from the train window as we munched our Nutella biscuits. It’s like watching a movie.
We arrived at Ospizio Bernina, elevated 2253 meters above sea level. It is the highest point of the Bernina Railway. The mountain peaks are up close and the frozen Lago Bianco is… white! LOL
The train continued its journey to St. Moritz with stopovers that gives spectacular view of sky high Alps and glistening glaciers. We stopped at Bernina Diavolezza station, where Piz Bernina (4049 meters) the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps can be seen. We also saw the Morterasch glacier from the Morteratsch station.
We finally arrived in St. Moritz after a 3-hour scenic ride from Tirano. St. Moritz is the birthplace of winter sports. The town hosted 2 Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and 1948.
Aside from the sporty vibe, this urban mountain village is glitz and gold, filled with luxurious hotels and expensive shops. The people are elegant and stylish and all cars in the pavement are either Rolls-Royce or supercars. Extravagance at its finest! Clearly, I do not belong here. Haha!
We strolled around the Alpine Town and saw some interesting places like the Leaning Tower of St. Moritz. The tower was part of St. Mauritius Church that was destroyed in 1893. It’s interesting to know that this tower stands with a 5.5% tilt and it leans more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
St. Moritz is perfect for those who love winter sports and high-end shopping. There’s not much to see in this small town and a day is enough to go around the area. I would say that it’s still a wonderful winter getaway, just because the scenic train journey from Tirano to St. Moritz is amazing.
Time to go back to Italy for some wine and pasta! We watched the sunset in the window train as it paints the sky with pastel colors.
For more information about Bernina Express, visit RHB.
Safe travels! 😉