We had some thunderstorms overnight and it was very cloudy this morning in Zurich. The highlight of my morning was spotting an A380 strolling by my hotel room window. I know that will probably mean nothing to you unless you are an airplane geek like myself. The A380 is the largest commercial aircraft flying and this is the first one I have ever seen. I was surprised to see one in Zurich.
Left Zurich this morning on the train. Our first train went from Zurich to Chur (pronounced Kur).
By the time we got to Chur the weather had cleared up quite nicely. We changed to a slightly smaller train in Chur and headed for St. Moritz. The scenery was breathtaking all the way. It's hard to take pictures from the train window. There's always a tree or something getting in your way. But I was able to get a few good shots like the one below.
We went across the highest viaduct in Europe. I got a nice video of us crossing this viaduct and entering the tunnel.
We went by dozens of small villages and towns. We got to St. Moritz at 1:00. Below is a picture of my hotel. I have a nice view of the mountains from my small room. My cabin on the ship was bigger. But it's a neat little hotel. All pine floors and woodwork. It really feels like I am in Switzerland now.
At 3:00 we took an excursion on the Bernina Express. This is the highest-altitude railway in Europe. It is the only Swiss railway to operate a line top of the Alps. It does this without cog wheels.
Weather was pretty cloudy with some occasional light rain, but it was still beautiful. We passed by glaciers and waterfalls and stopped at the highest railway station in Europe.
We passed by more beautiful villages both going up and down the mountain.
The line ends in Tirano, Italy. But we got off a couple stops before Tirano and didn't actually cross the Italian border. We got off in the small town of Poschiavo where we had some wine and snacks before returning to St. Moritz by bus.
We had a nice dinner at the hotel when we got back from the excursion. There is a nice mountain breeze coming from my open window as I am writing this. It was a very enjoyable day. Tomorrow we journey to Zermatt on the infamous Glacier Express, the world's slowest train.
Hello friends & family,|
When I woke up this morning the fog was so thick I couldn't see more than three inches out my window. But by the time we left the hotel the fog had lifted and we had perfect weather all day. Today was Glacier Express day. An eight hour railway journey between St. Moritz and Zermatt.
During the trip we crossed 291 bridges and went through 91 tunnels. The train is described as the world's slowest express train.
The bright sunshine all day made it a spectacular trip. But the sunshine also caused a lot of glare on the windows and it was almost impossible to get good pictures.
As was the case yesterday we passed through dozens of villages and towns.
There's always a beautiful church in the center of every village.
We saw a lot of people hand gliding off the mountains. We came out of this one tunnel at a high altitude and the valley below us was full of hand gliders. Unfortunately the pictures were all glare but it was around the mountains you see below.
It was a great journey, but very long. Everybody was glad to finally get to Zermatt at 6:00 this evening. Below is my hotel where we had an excellent dinner of sausage and potato pancakes after our arrival.
After dinner the sun had just set and I took a small walk around car-free Zermatt. Cars are not allowed here. That is the Matterhorn in the picture below.
We will be spending all day tomorrow here in Zermatt. I will be taking Europe's highest cable car to an altitude of 12,400 feet.
Hello again everyone,|
Today was an incredible day. Words can't describe how perfect the weather was. I got up early to get some sunrise shots of the Matterhorn. I didn't get the multicolored shot I expected, but I did get a nice shot of the Matterhorn with the moon shining brightly in the clear morning sky.
After breakfast at the hotel we did the Klein Matterhorn. The Klein Matterhorn is a peak similar in shape to the Matterhorn. We rode Europe's highest cable car to the summit which is 12,740 feet up. The first step in the process of getting to the top is the gondola. The Gondola stops at various stations along the way. It is quite a long gondola. We were on it for about twenty minutes.
We got out at the final gondola station. The views of the Matterhorn are better here than they were on top.
Just look at that crystal clear blue sky.
We took some group photos up here with our new friend Heidi. Yes David, Heidi is coming home with me. Get the guest room ready.
The final phase to the top was the tramway.
Once on top we had a spectacular view of three countries, Switzerland, Italy and France.
Below is Mont Blanc, France's highest peak at 15,782 feet.
There is skiing up here 365 days a year.
We spent about an hour on top before heading back down. The peak on the left is the Matterhorn. It's elevation is 14,690 feet.
Below is yet another view of the Matterhorn. It was taken from the gondola. I tried to spot some mountain climbers but I couldn't spot any.
Below is a view of Zermatt from the gondola as we neared the bottom.
The entire Klein Matterhorn excursion took about three hours. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Zermatt.
Below is Zermatt's main street.
I was going to buy some famous Swiss chocolates from this shop until I discovered they cost over $50 per pound.
Below is my final shot of Zermatt. You're probably bored to death by now.
Tomorrow morning we are taking the train to Geneva.
You're gonna get this email a day late. The hotel wanted $30 for a half hour of wifi so I passed. Thursday morning we left Zermatt on the train. We changed trains in Visp and traveled through wine country on our way to Geneva.
We got to Geneva a little before 1:00 this afternoon. It is quite warm here in Geneva. Definitely the warmest weather I've seen since I left home. Our hotel is in the center of town directly across the street from the main train station. I took a little walk around the city after arrival.
Below is the Jet d' eau. The fountain is 40 stories high.
We had a small tour of the city late in the afternoon. Below is the reformation monument.
Below is the United Nations European Headquarters.
After our city tour we headed out of the city for dinner. We crossed into France and had dinner in a restaurant on top of a mountain overlooking Geneva, the lake and Mont Blanc. We cooked our own dinner on hot stones that they brought to the table. Everyone had a good time. Tomorrow we're taking the scenic Golden Pass line to Lucerne. Lucerne is my last stop on the trip. I will be there for four nights before flying home on Tuesday.
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