Riding the Glacier Express

We took the Glacier Express, the world’s slowest express train, and enjoyed an afternoon in the Swiss Alps. Trains have been running here since 1889, the Glacier Express started in 1930, but the first panoramic trains, like the ones we enjoyed, have only been on these rails since 1993. The modern cars came in between 2006 and 2009, and they have all recently received a facelift. These are comfortable rides, and they offer three- and four-course meals. (The food was quite tasty …)

Otherwise, you sit back and enjoy the scenery. There are headphones with music and, from time to time, a narration with local points of interest and historical notes. We started in Chur, Switzerland’s oldest town. We traveled through the landscapes brought on by the last Ice Age landslides, and the “Swiss Grand Canyon,” past the oldest Benedictine abbey in the country, through valleys with towns that date back to the 11th and 12th centuries, near UNSECO World Heritage sites and, finally, to Zermatt and the cloud-shrouded Matterhorn, which, on this day, was still able to hide despite topping out at well over 14,000 feet.

But why read about all that, when you can see a bit of video from the train window.

Here’s our train …

And a few photos for you to enjoy. There are a few words down below, so scroll slowly, or you might miss a pun.

Here was dessert. Locally grown berries. Fresh and tasty!

We paralleled this rive a great deal of the trip. The closer you get to it’s source, the richer and whiter the water becomes. It’s full of nutrients and minerals and, eventually, it is very drinkable. But too close to the source, and it’ll give you an upset tummy. No matter where you are in Switzerland, though, the water looks beautiful. And chilly.

Panoramic train windows.

And speaking of panoramas, here’s one now. As with every panorama, click to see the larger version in a new tab.

This is Oberalppass and, at 6,669 feet, the highest point of the train’s trip.

I get one good joke a day. And this is where I used it.

There was a place near Oberalppass where they let us off the train for a few moments. Some of the scenic shots in this part of the post are from there. The Yankee got back on the train before I did, and so I took pictures of the train, too.

Here’s our river again. Notice how the water is getting white? We’re getting closer to the runoff source.

And here we are in Zermatt, a car-free village you can walk through in a few minutes. It’s a charming place. And at the other end of the valley, behind these clouds, you would find the Matterhorn.

We didn’t get to see it. Oh no! We’ll have to come back! Shoot!

Shutter error. Looked cool. I’ve added it here.

We had dinner at a little Italian joint, Casa Mia, next to the train station while waiting for our return train. We ordered pizza. This is the Pugliese, featuring tomatoes, mozzarella, coppa ham, burrata, dried tomatoes. So very tasty. That burrata was amazing …

And here are a few photos from our train out of Zermatt. Just a regular-old train, no panoramic windows, but amazing views. And here I’m able to share a bit more of the gorge-style landscapes.

Also, we had our own train car, which was a great way to travel.

We had to make a connection, but our second train was late in arriving, which shifted our schedule back by about an hour. It was the only train problem we had in Switzerland, an event I noted with this extra photo from our stop between here and there.

And we have two more days of Switzerland adventures to get through. As great as this one was, the one I’ll show you tomorrow might have been even better. So make sure you come back for that. Until then, “Hopp Schwiiz.”

One comment

  1. Nancy Reichart

    Just WOW!
    Thanks for the ride along!