10.04.2016 - 10.04.2016
Sunday April 10th today I have a trip up to Switzerland it's the Swiss Alps Bernina Express rail tour from Milan. I booked it on viator.com before I got there, however if you go to the tourist information center you can book it there as well.
We all got on the bus out in front of the tourist information Centre and went up to some small restaurant on the side of the highway that we stop that I know are going to happen and we got a chance to stretch get breakfast with cute little restaurant even have a play area for kids. Then we continued on to a village about 10 minutes from Tirano, there we saw an older church that has a hand carved wooden organ. It was interesting to see but I wouldn't go all the way to that village just to see it.
We then continued on to Tirano, which is located at the foothills of the Swiss Alps, and is where we were going to get on the train that would take us up to St. Mortiz. Some people bought lunch with the tour, some of us didn't. A group of about five of us got gelato, then wondered around the little village together before some of them went to lunch, while a Gentleman, and I went to lunch together. After everyone was done eating and wandering around we met outside of the train stopped and we got on the train.
When we first got on the train the villages we passed clearly we're in springtime; green grass, families sitting in the backyards, flowers blooming, & the rivers were flowing. The farther up we went the more it became winter. We passed multiple lakes on the way that were frozen over, with snow all around. The only ones I can remember the names of are Black Lake, & the white Lake. Both were frozen.
Our tour guide kept telling us nobody get off even for photos at the stops because the train does not stay in the station long enough and he doesn't want anyone to be left behind. Well at one stop I said the snow is close enough you can almost touch it from the train. Our guide went over to the door, pushed the button to open it and told me if I want snow I better be fast. I ran for the door jumped off the train, and grab the snow. Anna leaned out the window and asked me to give her a handful so I gave her the snow I was holding and went over to the Hillside and grab another handful before jumping back on the train. Right after the door shut behind me we left the station. Best stop yet. We all passed the snow around it to each other, they laughed while I jumped off to grab it but still played with it once it was there. As it started melting we just tossed it out the window. My hands froze but it was totally worth it.
When we finally reached st. Mortiz you get off the train walking couple yards to see what channel walk through the parking garage and then take an escalator what feels like four floors up the hillside to get to the Village. If you were smart you take the escalator if you are stupid you go up the stairs. Well I decided I'll climb the stairs. The fact that I could not see the top of the stairs should have told me that the stairs were a crazy idea. The stairs are shorter than your average stair, and steeper too. However I did make it to the top, my leg muscles and lungs were dying but I made it. When you come out at the top it's a two-block walk to the square of the middle of the village, on this walk our guide was telling us what we could find in each direction the chocolate shop, cafés, Etc.
Priorities people I went to the chocolate shop first. Swiss chocolate is supposed to be one of the best in the world so you can't go to Switzerland without buying at least a few pieces. Switzerland is expensive though so I bought a few truffles and called it good. Then I started walking around. I noticed a lot of places that we're not cafes were closed even some of the shops. I finally found a little souvenir shop that was open and bought a magnet, because I buy myself one everywhere I go, and a t-shirt for a friend back home. Then since I only had about 15 minutes left I decided to just slowly wander my way back down to the escalator to go down to the train station. Yes this time I said forget the stairs, and took the escalator even though going down stairs is easier than going up them.
Well we had taken the train up our bus driver was taking the long way to meet us there. We then took the bus back down, our driver took a store cut to save us an hour and a half of drive time. The shortcut look like Lombard Street in San Francisco going down the side of the mountain instead of the hill and the curves we're not pretty since there were buses on this. We got to see a bus slightly bigger than us take the curve a little too tight and took about 4 minutes to correct and manage to make it around that curve. Our bus driver was awesome and did it in one try. About an hour outside of Milano we stopped at a small Café so that we could all stretch. A few of us bought slices of pizza, and called that dinner because we had to leave Milano early the next morning. The bus dropped us off in Milano back in front of the tourist information center where it picked us up at. I walked the 12-14 blocks to my hotel and called it a night.