Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Glacier Express

Yesterday Nathan and I went on the Glacier Express - which is an 8 hour train ride from Zermatt to St. Moritz (or vice versa). I have to say it was an AMAZING ENGINEERING FEAT - the train crossed 291 bridges and went through 91 tunnels. The most amazing part - I thought - was that the first line of this train route was started in 1889. Wow! To see what they did without "modern" technology was unbelievable. I'm just glad that I wasn't the one blasting through the Swiss Alps or buidling the legenderary Landwasser Viaduct without the use of scaffolding!

Now with that being said Nathan and I kind of got that feeling like when a movie comes out and EVERYONE is all "OMG It's the best movie I've ever seen." or "It's so funny - it's better that Old School". You know - when the HYPE is so much better than the movie itself that you end up disappointed? We both kind of felt like that. So as not to piss off any of the Swiss who could possibly read this - yes it was a beautiful train ride - but so is the train ride to Luzern or Interlochen or really any where in Switzerland. Pictures from any train ride in Switzerland will probably include: Snow peaked mountains, beautiful lakes, rolling green valleys, cute little chalets, cows..... you get my point. So maybe if you have not traveled by train in Switzerland at all then this is the trip for you b/c you will get to see ALL of that! But if you have, then I vote being on a train for 8 hours might not be your best use of time. Of course, even as I write this, I feel like we must have miseed something monumental b/c the Glacier Express has been written up in so many books and magazines as "Unbelievable", "Amazing", "Top 1001 Things to Do before you Die" - so take our opinion for whatever you think it is worth.:)
The Glacier Express is a very busy train so you have to buy reservations several weeks in advance - and unfortuntately this means you get whatever the weather gods give you - so parts of the trip were less desirable than we would have liked for sightseeing (you'll see below:)). HOWEVER, we did have a great time on our trip (life is too short not to) and here are some of our pictures from the day! So without further ado:

Cute town of Zermatt! We will have to come back here to ski! When traveling to Zermatt you have to leave your car in the neighboring city - they don't allow any cars here!

All Aboard!

Nathan's little section of the world for the next 8 hours:)!

A map of the train ride - bottom left (Zermatt) to upper right (St. Moritz)

Looking back at mountains near Zermatt

Let me off here! Vineyards in Valais!

There were lots of beautiful water falls!

So we went into a tunnel with beautiful Sunny skies and came out 15 minutes later (it was a really long tunnel) into this - FOG! I don't know if you can tell from the photo but we couldn't even see a foot out the windows for about 30 - 45 minutes. Is this a classic Nathan expression or what? WTF:)

When the fog cleared up in started raining:) Here is a picture of part the Rhine Gorge "The Swiss Grand Canyon". Cool huh?:)

Rolling green valley and cute little town

The Glacier Express ended in St. Moritz - very beautiful city on a lake - my picutres don't do it justice! I would love to come back here to ski too!

So there you have it! Most of the pictures didn't turn out that well b/c of the glare from the train windows:( But if you would like to see them all - click here!

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