12 of 12 for April 2009

27 Apr

Only 15 days late with this one, but I was on vacation! More on the context later.

Our third day of Spring Break found Madeline and myself in Tirano, a small town in the Italian Alps near the Swiss border. We were staying in a small, family-run hotel. Our room had a double bed and a single, so we rock-paper-scissored for the double. I lost. After a minimal breakfast of bread and nutella, we headed for the train to Switzerland around 8:30.

The Bernina Express soon crossed the Swiss border, ascending into the Alps and offering spectacular views of the Italo-Swiss countryside. Since it was Easter Sunday, our train was full of emphatic Italian vacationers who were awed by the beautiful views, such as this one of the Lago di Poschiavo in Miralago. The water was incredibly still, creating this amazing mirror image of the Alps.

As the train continued to ascend the Alps, attaining an altitude over 6,500 feet in the Bernina Pass, the landscape began to look other-worldly. Or at least much like Antarctica. The train-goers took to shifting from one side of the train to the other to take in the landscape. I particularly liked the contrast of the red train against the white snow (we were in the caboose, so that’s looking towards the front of our train).

The train ride ended in St. Moritz, which was still a bit snowy and icy, but not too cold for a short respite. Church bells signaled the Easter services, but unfortunately we had a tight train schedule and couldn’t attend any. Besides, we had entered the German part of Switzerland (or, more appropriately, the crossroads between the German, Italian, and Romansch parts) so we wouldn’t have understood anything.

We continued on to Chur and then Zurich, passing by more idyllic Swiss countryside as we descended through the Alps.

Once in the lower elevations, the countryside was much greener and spring-like (and still spectacular). I spotted these bikers somewhere along the train ride between Zurich and Luzern, our 4th and final train ride of the day.

After arriving in Luzern (Lucerne) around 4:30, we headed to our hostel near Lake Lucerne. We passed through this beautiful park, which was full of some rather “hippieish” loungers (much to Madeline’s delight) and plenty of swans. We then checked into our room (which we shared with two New Zealanders) and decided to explore the town for the evening.

The weather in Luzern was pleasantly warm and generally spring-like, evidenced by these lovely Swiss flowers.

Luzern’s old town was particularly picturesque, with the wooden Kapellbrücke and gilded ornaments on the buildings. For some reason, the bridge seemed to be full of Asian tourists. They sure do get around.

Since we hadn’t done anything remotely “Eastersque” on Easter, we searched desperately for some Swiss Easter chocolate. Although we found a few chocolatiers in Luzern, everything was out of our price range.

We spent much of the evening wandering around the town looking for a cheap place to eat dinner, but everything was either closed or too expensive. Still, it was a pretty walk.

We eventually returned to the train station, where we discovered a sort of shopping centre which included a large “CoOp” supermarket, much to our economic delight. We got some pasta salad, grapes, delicious Swiss bread, and even some chocolate easter bunnies that were about to be thrown out. We returned to the lakeside park to enjoy our Easter feast while the sun went down over the Alps.

Afterwards, it was back to the hostel for a restful night before the next day of our adventure.

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2 Responses to “12 of 12 for April 2009”

  1. ulid25 30 September 2009 at 06:57 #

    i dont have any words,,
    i just wanna say ” so amazing!”

  2. ulid25 30 September 2009 at 06:58 #

    i dont have any words,,
    i just wanna say ” so amazing!”
    i really-really wanna go there!, but i dunno How!!
    thanks

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