The Bernina Express

Trip Start Apr 25, 2011
Trip End May 11, 2011

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Flag of Switzerland  , Swiss Alps,
Saturday, April 30, 2011

The next morning, we woke up early and had a wonderful breakfast in the breakfast room at the hotel. When we entered the lovely breakfast room we thought we were going to get the usual continental breakfast of bread/rolls and coffee but instead there was this incredible buffet breakfast laid out before us. There were scrambled eggs (also eggs made to order), bacon, sausage, various cereals, rolls and breads, fruit, yogurt, juice, coffee, tea, and even champagne! Unfortunately, we couldn't enjoy our breakfast in a leisurely manner. We had a very special train to catch.

The Bernina Express is all that the website says and more. The train with panoramic windows takes you from Chur, Switzerland down to Tirano, Italy. The four hour train ride takes you through the Swiss Alps, past snow covered mountains, alpine villages, deep gorges, waterfalls, frozen lakes, and glaciers. At every turn, there was another incredible view. Every time we came out of a tunnel, another breathtaking scene. I found myself saying "wow" constantly. But most of the time I was speechless as I beheld the amazing beauty of those (literally) awesome mountains. The train traveled up to an altitude of over 2000 meters above sea level. We were really up there with the clouds. We easily took hundreds of pictures. Everywhere we looked, we wanted to take a picture.  I am sure when we sit and really look at the pictures; we will laugh at how many pictures we took of the same mountain.  I am grateful to my husband for arranging such a wonderful trip through the Alps. It really was a trip of a lifetime.

We arrived in the Italian town of Tirano. Instead of German, we heard people speaking Italian. We had an hour before our train so off we went to find the church. This church was also up a hill and we were so glad we made the trek. A miracle is linked to this church called Basilica Madonna di Tirano. It seems Our Lady appeared to Mario Degli Omodei in that spot in 1504 and she asked him to build a sanctuary for travelers. It certainly was a sanctuary for us but only for a few minutes as we offered up prayers for those back home. As we finished our visit, several young people dressed in identical jackets processed in. Music was played by other young people. The sounds of their voices accompanied by the guitar and the organ filled the church.  With the youthful voices still fresh in our minds, we made our way (rather quickly) back to the train station to continue our journey. Off to Rome!
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